Q: I am a lover of jazz. However, since becoming observant, I have been told that it is negative to listen to non-Jewish music. Is there a way for me to continue to enjoy jazz?
A: There are certainly holy sparks in jazz, although this music is still in need of clarification. Jewish, especially Chassidic music has already undergone the full clarification process. This can be compared to a halachic conversion – taking knowledge or qualities from outside and incorporating their holy sparks within the Jewish religion. This pertains to melodies and styles whose origin do not necessarily lie in Jewish sources. Most of the greatest melodies, however, are original compositions of great Rabbis.
Although it may seem difficult for one who is steeped in authentic Jewish Chassidic music to clarify jazz, it is certainly possible. This is but one of the callings of our generation.