Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Nachas and Chinuch

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?


hillelKAPS said...

The truth is if you wanna get complicated the halacha brings down nothing on recorded music. It turns out my family actually holds we can listen to anything but live. Anything past that is more of a machmir thing. I do think that it is important though for those that hold that to hold it strongly and not to put cracks in their own opinions by allowing the seemingly a capella music to be listened to. Either way, great post!

Princess Lea said...

Everyday life is so easy nowadays that I find it distressing how we use loopholes to ease it even more. Day to day life was hard (a little persecution while starving), yet no one let themselves off the hook.

Although, I am curious; was there such a thing as recorded music when the laws of sefirah were established?

It is a delicate balance, because we do not want to disenchant the next generation while keeping everything as we should. I think we should always clarify with children what is halacha and what are minhagim, so they can make educated decisions later on.

Anonymous said...

there is absolutely no source that states you cant listen to music during sefira, live or recorded. the only source is the SA that states you cant dance. there is a hlacha that you cant listen to music but that is for all year round, sefira isnt an exception. so no, its not a loophole, saying its assur is the real misrepresentation.