Is there anything wrong with whistling?
You know that a Jew has certain manners – I’ll say mannerisms. Whistling is not practiced by Jews. It’s something practiced by gentiles. Once upon a time all gentiles whistled; they walked and whistled. Today not everybody does that, but still it’s not a Jewish minhag.
Now, what’s wrong with it? There’s nothing wrong with whistling itself but even to identify with umos ha’olam is already a certain weakness of character and a lack of understanding.
Let’s say the yeshiva men of Torah Voda’as would come out whistling – they walk out of the beis medrash and they’re whistling. It’s impossible that it should happen! The Jew is the Am Kaddosh. The problem is we don’t realize what it means when the Torah says: “You are a mamleches kohanim and a goy kadosh – a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Every Jew is a kohen. It’s not a mashal. Every Jew should feel like he’s a dignified kohen. If a kohen would whistle, an old time kohen, we would be very much surprised.
And therefore, there is nothing wrong with whistling; only it’s all wrong. If you want to whistle, do it when nobody is around. If you want to whistle to make some music or for fun, there’s nothing wrong; but you should know that to walk on the street and whistle, that’s a sign that you are identifying with the umos ha’olam.
TAPE # E-139