Question:

Dear Rabbi

Thank you so much for your kindness and help. I ask if background or incidental music is permitted during The Three Weeks e.g. programs with incidental music via radio, internet, or other etc.

Answer:

Regarding incidental music, here are some of the halachos.

  1. If there is music playing on a bus that someone is on, or  a waiting room, he does not have to plug his ears up in order not to li sten to it. The reason is since he is not intending to listen to it, because chazal didn’t forbid the enjoyment that comes to a person against his will.
  2. A person may listen to the music of a phone answering system, or the tune of his cell phone, for the same reason. If one can change the ring not to have enjoyable music it is preferred.

Sources:

  1. Kovetz Hilchos Piskei Rabi S. Kaminetzsky Bein Hamitzarim 4-17, Kuntres Toras Hamoadim in the name of Horav Chaim Kanievsly shlit”a, Nachlas Yisroel 3-9. But if it is easy to ask the driver to lower or shut the music this should be done.
  2. Moadei Yishurun pg. 128 in the name of R; M. Feinstein Zt”l, Horav Eliyashiv zt”l brought in Mivakshei Torah and Nechamas Yisroel ibid.

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