I often wondered what having no music over Sfirat Haomer has to do with the message of the time. of course, it makes us, (me, me) miserable, but so could many other restrictions. Why music?
This restriction has a modern day effect only a Navi could have foreseen. On the school bus each morning and evening, most people who aren’t chatting listen to music. It’s a wonderful way to recharge for the work ahead.
You have no idea how much more sociable the bus was last Monday. At first, everyone was simply kvetching and commiserating. Those who could swapped recommendations for a capella. But by the end of the long ride, everyone was chatting happily.
Even I was drawn in. Why? Though I had an audiobook to listen to– my headphones broke over Pesach cleaning! So while at first it began with some harmless conversations about ‘G-d doesn’t want to make us miserable, so obviously there’s a point to this.’ (Which, by the way, is my motto during Sfira. We’re supposed to learn from the experience.)
And yet, (gasp), yesterday I talked the entire ride home with a friend. In my defence, I was hyper and off the wall and she’s leaving for seminary next year, but still.
During Sfira, it’s nice to see that a restriction can no only upset us, but serve as a springboard for growth. In this case, the growth is in the exact area we need to improve during this time.
May our efforts in increased achdus during these days bring us to Shavout in the Bais Ha’mikdash, SOON!