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Video: How Sefirah Music Is Made

A group of talented students at the Yeshiva in Wilkes-Barre, PA, created this video showing how routine sounds can be utilized to make artificial ‘Sefirah Music.’

65 Comments

  • 2. K wrote:

    A machine playing music of ANY kind is basically instrumental music.

    Why does it matter if the original was vocal but now it is reproduced by a machine or if the original was an instrument now reproduced by a machine?

    Why does it matter if the original was made by someone drumming a drum or someone drumming on a table?

    Ultimately, there is no such thing as music that is allowed during sefira unless it is live people singing.

    Reply
    • 3. U R Right wrote:

      Correct!

      it should be un-manipulated vocal sounds.

      yes, edited but not transformed to electronic tones, bass guitars etc..

      otherwise its electrical music, like any keyboard synth.

    • 5. K wrote:

      “mareis ayin” means that it looks like it is ossur, this actualy IS ossur.

  • 7. once and for all. wrote:

    Someone please cite the cource of not hearing music on omer?
    If you say aveilus why cant we hear AFTER lag baomer?

    Reply
    • 8. K wrote:

      Iggerot Moshe OC 1:166, 2:137,

      Minhag Yisrael Torah 493:8,

      Aruch Hashulchan 493:2,

      Yechave Daat 3:30 based on a Magen Avraham 493:1 that prohibits dancing during sefira because the two come together.

      Mishneh Halachot 8:118,

      Yachava Daat 6:34,

      Rav Mordechai Eliyahu (Maamar Mordechai 20:40), and Hilchot Chag BeChag (p. 67) agree that during sefirat ha’omer, it is forbidden to listen to musical instruments.

      Kapei Aharon 52 contends that although listening to music certainly is forbidden during sefirat ha’omer, the three weeks, and the 12 months of mourning for a parent, it was never mentioned by Shulchan Aruch or the commentaries because it is forbidden to listen to music all year round.

      Minchat Yitzchak 1:111 adds that even if there is no proof for this ruling, the minhag is to be strict.

      Rav Mordechai Willig quoted by Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz says that music is not necessarily forbidden, the prohibition was only placed on things that lead to excessive joy, which music doesn’t necessarily accomplish. Similarly, Rabbi Jachter (Gray Matter vol 3 p. 5) quotes Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, who in turn cited Rav Soloveitchik as saying that music wasn’t prohibited at all during sefirat ha’omer or the three weeks, but most poskim do not accept this position.

  • 9. K & wow wrote:

    I totally agree with both of you. It’s 100% considered music and yes you guys do have major talent.

    Kudos to rabbi Perlman and co.

    Reply
  • 10. Halachic Jew wrote:

    @k
    You are right that some authorities are very strict on any type of recorded music but there are many who allow acapella and the like, and even some that allow any recorded music. So it depends on who you follow. Even if you are strict I don’t think this short fun clip is really such a problem.

    Reply
    • 11. K wrote:

      “Halachic Jew”,

      You say ” some authorities” are very strict but there are “many” who allow.

      Please enlighten me by sharing who are the “many” that allow.

      The overwhelming consensus of accepted poskim is that it is not allowed!

      But I am very interested to discover the “many” that allow.

    • 12. K wrote:

      “Even if you are strict I don’t think this short fun clip is really such a problem.”

      Oh, I didn’t know that “fun” is a heter. Do you also approach shabbos the same way?

      Here is how you would sound: Even if you are “strict” on shabbos, doing small “fun” things that are ossur are not really such a problem.

  • 16. Yosef Yeshaya wrote:

    According to Minhag Yisroel to be Machmir re music during Sefiro, this isn’t allowed. I am certain that a Rov was not consulted. This is what happens when people pasken for themselves… This is what happens when there’s a lack of Kovod HaRabbonim. Moshiach will fix this too.

    Reply
    • 17. Anonymous wrote:

      From a comment I saw on the Facebook page by the guys who made the video, a rav was consulted, and permission was given for electronic music. However, your jump to conclude wrongly is forgiven because Moshiach will fix you too.

    • 18. K wrote:

      “a rav was consulted and permission was given”

      First, which “rav” (or was it a “rabbi” or school rebbe)?

      An anonymous “rav” who isn’t willing to have his name published?!

      Is this “rav” a moreh tzedek – a posek?

      Second, there is a heter for those who play music for parnassa (or training their career), it appears THAT is the claim, however, that does not allow others to listen to this music.

  • 19. I wouldn't listen to this during sefirah but... wrote:

    I must admit that this is really cool!!

    Reply
  • 20. Chossidquest wrote:

    Let’s leave the halachic rulings to the Rov and just appreciate the fact that this is fantastic stuff and very creative

    Reply
    • 21. K wrote:

      You seem to think that we should leave the Torah locked up in the aron hakodesh (“leave the halachic rulings to the Rov”) while we just enjoy life (“just appreciate the fact that this is fantastic stuff and very creative”).

  • 22. Ani K wrote:

    If your halachik view is not to listen to music then you shouldn’t have clicked on it to begin with. Obviously this wasn’t meant for you.
    Good day Mr k

    Reply
    • 23. K wrote:

      “Your” halachic view, “lochem v’lo lo”, are you excluding yourself?

      It isn’t “my” halacha but that of klal yisroel.

  • 26. Your local rabbi wrote:

    To all of us that are shomer negina…This entire thing of not listening to music is a minhag, that’s why some don’t before lag B and some after, since this is a minhag, then u need to see what the minhag is, the minhag in all communities is that acapella music if fine, even though it may sound like music to you, it’s not close to listening to a live orchestra, and proof that minhag rools, is in shulchan aruch it says NO DANCING, in fact it doesn’t talk about music, and yet this is what chsidishe ppl here are doing, i see dancing at every simcha during sfira, but since this is just a minhag in the first place, so it depends on the minhag hamakom, and I RESPECT that, and if the minhog was to listen to recorded music, but no dancing, that would be fine too, in general, it would be nice to practice yiddishkait joyfully, and help other yiddin do the same, instead of looking for ways to be machmir on these things, let’s start with ahavas yisrael, lashon hara, not talking in shul..that’s where it really counts, after all this is the lesson of the talmidim of rabbi akiva, each one saying the rebbe said this..the rebbe said that..look at our divorce rate going up, look at our kids..if we would respect one another we would be way better off

    Reply
    • 27. K wrote:

      Always wearting a yarmalka is also a minhag. In some “communities” (conservative) they don’t wear yarmulkas. Does that change the minhag?

    • 28. K wrote:

      “the minhag in all communities is that acapella music if fine” – ALL communities??!! Simply not true. Maybe in communities that are unorthodox or open orthodox but NOT in communities that adhere to halacha.

  • 29. ha ha its sounds cool wrote:

    the boy’s got talent no doubt its just i dont think its appropriate during sefira…:(

    Reply
  • 31. This is not a cappella music! wrote:

    A cappella is strictly voices ONLY. Period. Check any reference book on the history of Western music.

    This is not a cappella. It’s making music using unconventional instruments, with a little bit of voice thrown in.

    As another reader pointed out, “there is a heter for those who play music for parnassa (or training for their career); it appears THAT is the claim. However, that does not allow others to listen to this music.”

    Having this article posted during sefirah may be putting a stumbling block in front of a blind person, since the heading of this article is: “How Sefira Music Is Made” — implying that this is permitted for listening during Sefira.

    Reply
    • 32. K wrote:

      see matzav.com that Rav Yisrael Belsky (see also Shulchan Halevi 13:6 of Rav Belsky) and Rav Shlomo Miller differentiate between different types of a cappella, only permitting choirs which simply sound like a group of people singing and nothing more.

      Rav Binyamin Zilber in Az Nidberu 8:58 discussing music during the year says that a recorded voice is considered like an instrument.

      Sh”t Shevet HaLevi 2:57 and 8:128, however, considers recorded vocal music like a musical instrument, which he says is forbidden all year round.

      Additionally, Sh”t Tzitz Eliezer 15:33 writes that even though he considers recorded vocal music like vocal music, it is forbidden during the three weeks and sefirat ha’omer based on the minhag not to dance.

      Nitei Gavriel 15:1 agrees.

  • 33. COME. ON. PEOPLE. wrote:

    Why are all of these very frum, open minded tzadikkim who are commenting even on the Internet, the biggest stumbling block of all…?

    Just respect the talent, we can safely assume they meant no harm, so i say just enjoy it or dont and move on with your day.

    Reply
    • 34. Great tactic wrote:

      Shaming tactics. For shame to you!

      Subtly imply that those who rightfully object are
      –really NOT “very frum, open minded tzadikkim,” and
      –are suspect because they are “commenting…on the Internet,” and
      –that they are really NOT “respect[ful] of the talent,” and
      –are unreasonable because the musicians in the article “meant no harm” (i.e., hypocrites because they should dan l’kaf zechus)

      These are all tactics to shame people into shutting up.

      You may get them to shut up, UNFORTUNATELY. But you won’t be any more truly right in posting so-called “sefirah music” that in reality is not a cappella.

    • 35. K wrote:

      I comment on frum websites as a way to be marbitz Torah and share the guidance of my daas Torah. It is my form of kiruv rechokim and a generous spiritual tzedakah to underprivileged.

  • 36. Crown Heightser wrote:

    We already figured out that “K” from BMG is Kotler from Lakewood. You are exposed! The only shailah is: Is it R’ Malkiel the R.Y. or R’ Ahron the menhahel gashmi?

    Reply
    • 37. Toshov Hashchuna wrote:

      Didn’t they assur the internet at the “Asifa” when K said to the Satmar Rebbe that Chabad is not invited because it isn’t part of klal yisroel.

  • 38. Chosid wrote:

    I wish someone would respond to the snag who keeps posting with his “holier than thou” attitude. I feel his entire point is to put us down!

    Reply
  • 41. Frumster wrote:

    Matbilim is a minhag. It is our first question in the Mah Nishtana to stress the importance of minhagim. Do not belittle minhagim. The minhag of yidden is NOT to listen to music during sefira. Do not try to “get around it”. Soon, instead of dipping bitter onions into salt water, you will be dipping watermelon into sugar water at the seder.

    Reply
    • 43. K wrote:

      There is nothing wrong with using any “ha’adoma” for karpas – including a watermelon or cantalope! Some use potato, celery, parsnip.But ANY haadomah works equally well.

    • 44. Balhabosta wrote:

      TO USE WATERMELON FOR KARPAS???? ARE YOU CERTIFIED MESHUGA L’CHOL HADAIYOS??? WHICH PLANET DO YOU COME FROM??? DO YOU THINK THE YIDDEN WHO LEFT MITZRAYIM USED WATERMELON FOR THEIR KARPAS???

    • 45. Ezra wrote:

      No, K, there is no haggadah where matbilin is the last question. Many have it as the third one.

      But Frumster’s point was that in the Chabad nusach it is the first one (as it is in the Rambam’s nusach and some other classical sources), and that indeed the Lubavitcher Rebbe pointed out that this is meant to underscore the importance of Jewish minhagim – including, in this case, that of not listening to music of any kind during sefirah.

    • 46. K wrote:

      The source of Ma Nishtana is a Mishne in Psochim 116a. There, “matbilin” is the last of the 4 questions.

    • 47. K wrote:

      Balabosta, in fact in Mitzrayim the Yidden often ate watermelon, see explicit in Bamidbar 11:5, so why wouldn’t they have watermelon at Pessach Mitzrayim?!

    • 48. K wrote:

      Mishne Pesachim 116a the “ma nishtana”: matbilim is the LAST of the 4 questions.

    • 49. Ezra wrote:

      And in the Mishnah in the Yerushalmi matbilin is the first question. And in an early edition of Mishnayos (Naples) it is third. The fact is that there is no (H)aggadah where it is last.

  • 50. to this K dude. wrote:

    the point is that a drum or a key bored is recorded as a interment but a table, or a ball, is not.

    so your basically saying that i cant bang on a table because it is like a drum?!

    Reply
    • 51. K wrote:

      On shabbos, there is ZERO difference between drumming to a beat on a drum or on a table – both are EQUALLY ossur.

      Follow carefully: A table becomes a drum when used as a drum while a drum can become a table when used as a table.

      It isn’t the name we call an item that defines, the way we use an item defines the item. Do you get it?

  • 52. Your local rabbi wrote:

    To rabbi k, kiruv rechokim is not a good word to use, who are we to know who is karov, and who is rachok, on a different note, if you consider yourself a rabbi, you know the difference between wearing a yarmulka and music during sfira, you don’t see for instance people that have the minhag only to wear it at certain times..etc. also, the sforim you quoted are NOT shulchon aruch, if u want to be machmir, u may, but it States clearly ktzas availus,
    Look it over.. and you will see that he writes clearly that u do not need to be too machmir, u can’t compare this to yarmulka, that chabad chasidim went on mesiras nefesh in the previous generation for, and chabad is knewn not to be machmir in avaylus, especially here that he States clearly like I said before that it’s only a little, ktzas..

    Reply
    • 53. K wrote:

      There are MANY halochos and primary dimin that are not in shulchan aruch. Let me introduce you to the multiple Shalos U’Tshuvos seforim that discuss millions of halochos not found in shulchan aruch, a few basic examples: Shu”t Rabbi Akiva Aiger, Shu”t Nodeh B’Yehudah, Shu”t Chasam Sofer up to and including recent halacha seforim.

      An example: No where in Shulchan Oruch does it say that a man cannot use a shaver to shave off his beard. It is found in Shu”t Tzemach Tzedek (one of your early Rebbes).

      Frum Yidden follow halacha as the mesora is transmitted through our poskim, gedolim, rabbonim. The Shulchan Oruch is an “instructional guide” but not “complete” – there are “nosei keilim” on the shulchan oruch, followed by commentators etc.

    • 54. K wrote:

      It is obvious who is a karov and who is a rochok!

      Your kerovim are you relatives. Rechokim are those who are not related to you.

      A relative to HKB”H is a father-son relationship (“im k’bonim”) – one who has kovod and yirah for avinu shebashomayim.

      This korov has kovod for his father by dedicating himself to learning his torah yomam v’laylah, and has yirah for his father by being hehader in the mitzvos of his father, taking on new chumros and kabolos.

      A rochok – does not have yirah and kovod for his father, so he distances himself – he does not learn enough torah or keep mitzvos properly.

      Kiruv rechokim means we, those of us who have a close relationship with our father HKB”H, try to bring this rochok to a level of expressing kovod to his father by learning Torah and joining a kollel and yira for his father by keeping halacha, shmiras haloshon and being careful not to eat chodosh.

      This is basic and poshut.

  • 55. Your local rabbi wrote:

    Also, this minhag is different, cuz there is absolutely no makor in shulchon aruch, neither does it say that you can’t listen to music all year long, and if you’re a person that really doesn’t listen to music all year long, then I think you should, and you should start with some chabad nigunim, it will hopefully have a positive effect on you,

    Reply
    • 56. K wrote:

      Are you saying that since ” there is absolutely no makor in shulchon aruch” (note: as if you actually studied the entire shulchan aruch, and searched the entire shas and poskim), therefore it is okay to listen to music during sefira?

      Then come right out and say that in your opinion this is a minhag shtus and all yidden keeping it are fools!

      Are you arguing in halacha with all the revered poskim I listed, including the posskim of our dor Reb Moshe z”l, Rabbi Belsky z”l, Rabbi Miller shlit”a?!

      You use the title “local rabbi” – maybe you are a rabbi from Chovivei Torah’s Avi Weiss, they also disagree with normative halacha practices?!

    • 58. Kop Doktar wrote:

      If K is a bored 10 year old, I am envious of his knowledge and clear views. When I was 10 I was clueless.

    • 59. K wrote:

      Are you adding anything to the conversation?! Is age an issue?! Is bored or busy a real concern?!

  • 61. Your local rabbi wrote:

    I didn’t say it’s ok, I’m just explaining the reason why it’s not, it’s just cause this is a minhog that started in the recent years, there’s no reason why to be machmir, and to add-on chumros to this minhog, of course you can find ways and rabbis that say that you could be machmir, and find sources for all of this, the same way you can find a source that says you shouldn’t eat meat all year round, yes it says that in shas too,

    Reply
  • 63. Response to K wrote:

    I’m glad you’re are so machmir on sefira!
    Now how about trying to be a little more machmir on the IDEA of sefira – ahavas yisroel and respecting other yidden

    Reply
    • 64. K wrote:

      I love myself and since all yidden are connected to me – they are included in my love to myself. Also, since it is a great mitzva to have ahavas yisroel, I gain a great deal by doing this mitzvah.

      As far as respect – snce when is there a mitzvah to RESPECT other Jews? Respect must be earned, or else it is meaningless!

  • 65. K wrote:

    People get caught up in the “idea” behind the mitzvah, while neglecting the mitzvah. The mitzvah of sefira is the counting. We also have a minhag of limited availus, we refrain from: music, haircuts, shechiyanu, weddings etc. As Jews we DO, na’aseh, that is what makes a person frum. The philosophies of the mitzvos are for the philosophers.

    Reply

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