Listening to music on Isru Chag during Sefira

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  1. Question: [Sunday, 23rd Nisan, 5782]

Is it permitted for one to listen to music on Isru Chag, despite the fact that we don’t listen to music during Sefira? Also, what is the status regarding the Moroccan post Passover Mimuna party in which I have seen many play music?


Those who follow the Sefira mourning customs starting from after Pesach, as is the Sephardic custom and custom of many Ashkenazim, or throughout the entire period of Sefira, as is the Chabad custom, are to avoid listening to music starting from Motzei Pesach, which is Isru Chag. Nonetheless, Moroccan Jews who play music by their after Pesach Mimuna party have upon whom to rely being that this is their tradition. Obviously, those Ashkenazim who do not follow the mourning customs of Sefira until after Rosh Chodesh Iyar may listen to music on Isru Chag of Pesach, and beyond, until their accustomed mourning period begins


Although Isru Chag is a festive day and is still connected to the holiday, we do not find any explicit source which excludes this day from the mourning customs that are followed during Sefira, for those who follow the mourning period of Sefira starting from after Pesach. On the contrary, we even find Poskim who prohibit listening to music starting from Motzei first day of Pesach, during Chol Hamoed Pesach, being that it is part of the 33-day mourning period which those who end their mourning by Lag Baomer must keep. Now, although this is not the practical ruling and custom, and indeed we do permit listening to music during Chol Hamoed Pesach even for those who end their mourning by Lag Baomer, nonetheless, we do not have any precedence to apply this to Isru Chag as well, as the widespread custom was not seen to be lenient on Isru Chag. Now, regarding the Moroccan custom of listening to music during their post Passover Mimumna celebration, seemingly, since this is their custom, and the entire idea of not listening to music during Sefira is due to custom, therefore, they may be lenient, and so was the response of Rav Ovadia Yosef to this question as can be seen in a video recording. Rav Ovadia Yosef is also quoted to have ruled that it is permitted to listen to music on Isru Chag being that it is part of the holiday and its joy, and indeed one is instructed to rejoice on Isru Chag and attach it to the holiday. However, from the above video response it seems that he only permitted it for the sake of the Mimumna celebration for Moroccan jury, and not as a general allowance for all during Isru Chag.

Sources: Yisa Yosef [Efrati] 3:117 as his final ruling, and that so ruled Rav Elyashiv; See regarding the festive status of Isru Chag: Admur 429:17; Rama 429:2; Sukkah 45b; See regarding listening to music during Chol Hamoed Pesach: Stringent: P”M 493 M”Z 2; Implication of Admur 493:5 “From the first day of Sefiras Haomer”; M”B 493:14 “From the 2nd day of Pesach until Lag Baomer”; Lenient: Implication of Birkeiy Yosef 493:2 and Yeshuos Yaakov 493:2 and Kaf Hachaim 493:25 that an Avel who finished his Aveilus on Chol Hamoed may get a haircut; Az Nidbaru 10:23, based on Shaareiy Teshuvah 534:1 in name of Shvus Yaakov and Birkeiy Yosef in name of Mahrach Abulafia who permits music on Chol Hamoed and does not differentiate between Sukkos and Pesach; Mishneh Halachos 8:188 that so is the custom to be lenient; Piskeiy Teshuvos 493:6; Nitei Gavriel 52:3 and footnotes 5-6 and 53:2; Perhaps the reason is because Simcha is a Biblical command on Chol Hamoed, and hence we allow music. [See Admur 529:6]; See regarding opinion of Rav Ovadia Yosef: Sefer Rabbeinu p. 242; Ki Va Moed p. 42

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