Clapping On Shabbat

The Daily Halacha Moment - Clapping On Shabbat 👏


״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן ‎העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Question:

May one clap on Shabbat?

Under what circumstances may one clap on Shabbat?


Answer:

One may not clap one’s hands together on Shabbat in a rhythmic manner. This is not permitted even for the purpose of a mitzvah. However, it is permitted to clap one’s hands even in a rhythmic manner if one claps using the back of one hand into the palm of the other, even if it is not being done for a mitzvah purpose. [1]


It is permitted to clap in order to make noise to wake someone from sleeping, since one’s intention is not to have a specific rhythm. [2] Similarly, one may clap regularly after hearing a speech on Shabbat or to applaud someone. [3] However, one may not clap in order to scare a bird from one’s field even though one is clapping without any rhythm, since one may come to pick up a pebble and throw it. It would be permitted to clap in a backhanded manner in such a case as well. [4] Furthermore, one may not snap his fingers on Shabbat in a rhythm. [5] However, one may snap his fingers in order to make noise that can wake a sleeping person. [6]


Sources:

[1]. Shulchan Aruch 339:3; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 273.

[2]. Mishnah Berurah 338:1 and 339:9; Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 67.

[3]. Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 69; Az Nidberu 13:14.

[4]. Mishnah Berurah 338:17. Piskei Teshuvot 338:11 states that one may stomp his foot in order to scare away a dog or other animal on Shabbat so that one does not come to harm. See also Kaf HaChaim 338:29.

[5]. Shulchan Aruch 339:3; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 275.

[6]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 275; Yaskil Avdi, vol. 3, 12:3; ibid. 5:45.


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