Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Church music


[Please see the disclaimer atop this blog; I am aware that there are other views, besides that of Rav Moshe, in this matter.]

A Jew may not listen to music used in church services, whether it is in contemporary use or not. Listening is, at least, an action which could tempt a person to participate in such services; singing along could actually constitute a violation of biblical law.

(Rav Moshe Feinstein, Igrot Moshe Yoreh Deah 2:56)

Have a great day,


  1. Good morning,
    Is there, comfortably, room for listening to something like the Bach B Minor mass if one simply enjoys the music but is simply unable to undertand the words (because I don't speak the language)?

  2. Hi Michael,

    It would seem to me that this would be problematic per Rav Moshe; the point is being drawn not to the service, and not any sort of comprehension of words. It appears to me that Rav Moshe's position would apply to pure instrumentals, for that matter.

    On the other hand, there are other halachic positions on the matter; please consult your local halachic authority.