I was with my three year old niece in a local grocery store. Out of the blue, her happy face fell. "Uh oh!," she breathed, obviously distressed.
I was concerned, "What is it?"
Cutie is not known for being shy. "There's MUSIC!" Tiny kid, huge voice; people turned to look.
I wasn't sure where she was going, and I wasn't going to guide her. "There is music."
She was obviously alarmed: "But it's sefirah!"
I beamed with pride at her brilliance; she only turned a couple of weeks ago. Then I did what a good aunt does. I told her to go ask Bubby.
I went home and shared the nachas moment with my family. My father was the one who came up with the interesting question.
Everyone has their own opinion about a cappella music. Some feel that there's no reason to avoid it during sefira. Others feel it follows the letter of the law, but is far outside the realm of the spirit. Others, like me, avoid it because they can't stand it.
But what about the chinuch issue? What does it tell our children? And, more importantly, what about children who aren't old enough or sophisticated enough to understand the difference between a cappella music and "real" music? What does it teach the kids about the lessons they bring home from morah?
Regarding issues such as music during sefirah, I've often heard "we don't have to be so strict with kids." But today... I wonder, shouldn't we raise out standards for the sake of educating our children?
What do you think?