Friday, April 17, 2009

a capella

I've never owned a Sefira CD in my entire 20-something years of life. I didn't even know what Sefira music was until Seminary when girls would play Lev Tahor and Six13 (what's with jewish boy bands and these brilliant names) endlessly in our dorms. I actually didn't mind being in Sefira then - it got some annoying girls to shut up and stop singing - Yes, I told them I was that frum.

The only a capella I knew back then was the Boyz II Men version of One Sweet Day (fyi - available on my playlist at right).

Could Jewish bochurs actually sound good without instrumental backing? And if not, could I really get away with saying that I was too frum, even for a capella, to make them stop the noise?

I was at Eichlers the other day, the perfect place to keep myself busy in the music section while I waited for a friend. I started debating (I try and have conversations with myself as often as possible) whether to get frum and buy a Sefira CD.

I have Jewish music in my car, if only because I can't remember the last time that I, or that anyone I know, purchased a non-Jewish CD or even walked into a Tower Records (those don't exist anymore, do they), and because I haven't downloaded music since LimeWire crashed my old laptop (zichrono livracha) two years ago (hence the aforementioned playlist).

I also sometimes like to get my frum on, and turn up Shweky while I drive my yeshivish nephews around Boro Park (my youngest nephew asked if I could turn the music waay up and all the windows down - just like 'goyim' - his exact words). Sometimes I'll put on a Sephardi dance CD while I do the shopping on Friday - to get in the mood for Shabbos, and just to get people wondering what a white girl is doing listening to that stuff. (I used to have gangsta rap in my car, so this is a major improvement. I guess I just like something I can actually shake my booty to - do not attempt while driving).

Ok - back to Sefira Music. I never actually did buy any CD's that day. I figured that if I was going to listen to music, it definitely wouldn't be something I paid $15.99 for and which was only really good for less than 49 days a years. And plus - aren't you allowed to listen to regular, instrumental, music (also known where I come from as FM and XM radio) during Sefira, if it's for your own listening pleasure in the privacy of your own motor vehicle? Do the rules change if you have a friend or three in the car?

I hate having shaayla's like this. If only I hadn't slept through/skipped all those limudei Kodesh classes in high school and sem...


harry-er than them all said...

i heard (from a rabbi) that classical and chazanus is allowed (since it doesn't bring you to dance).
but on a side note, i listen to rockapella which is a non-jewish a capella group, and very talented singers, with real good voices, not synthesized god voices

Off the Derech said...

Beat'achon is ok.

inkstainedhands said...

I love listening to Six13's music... all year round.

Pinny said...

Not all a cappella music may appropriate for the 3 weeks or sefira.

Rabbi Yisroel Belsky addresses this issue in a very clear, straightforward manner: