Is it permitted to purchase a musical instrument and play it at home? I am asking because I have heard that there are opinions that say it is not allowed since after churban bais Hamikdash, we are not permitted live music unless its for a seudas mitzva/simcha?

Answer:

The Gemara prohibits music after the destruction of the Temple (Gittin 7). However, as Iggros Moshe (Orach Chaim 1:166) points out, the vast majority of authorities (commentaries to Gittin 7) write that the prohibition applies only to music played in a beis hamishteh, a bar or pub, and not to music at home. Even the Rambam, who writes that all music is prohibited (Taanios 5:14), and whose words are echoed in Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 560), writes the contrary in a responsum. [Elsewhere Shulchan Aruch makes specific mention of music of idolatry, implying that ordinary music is permitted.] It is therefore the common custom to be lenient with regard to musical instruments, and it is permitted to purchase an instrument and to play it at home.

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4 Responses to “Musical Instruments after the Churban”

  1. so playing music at a chanuka party, for example, is a problem?

    • If the purpose of the music is not fun and rave, but rather to draw inspiration for thanking Hashem and singing His praises, it is permitted.

  2. what about attending live concerts?
    1)m’tzad the churban
    2)m’tzad nashim being in the same room

    • 1) Concerts are generally not considered to be equal to ‘drinking parties,’ and authorities lenient about music are not more stringent about concerts. Once again, this is certainly the case if the intention is to inspire, which some concerts might do.

      2) The presence of women does not make the concert prohibited. The issue of modesty depends greatly on the atmosphere at the concert. Some rabbis have voiced their objection to “mixed concerts.”

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