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Instruments On Shabbat

The Daily Halacha Moment - Instruments 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)


May one play instruments on Shabbat?

May one use a door knocker on Shabbat?


It is rabbinically forbidden to play an instrument on Shabbat or Yom Tov, since one may come to fix it if it breaks. However, singing is permitted, and it is even a mitzvah to sing songs in honor of Shabbat. [1] Furthermore, banging on a table in a rhythmic manner is not permitted. [2] However, one may knock on a door in a manner that is not intended to have a specific rhythm. [3] Similarly, one may use a metal door knocker, since such an item is not considered an instrument. Some Ashkenazim are stringent regarding door knockers one should follow one's custom. [4] One may open a door that has a bell or chimes on it that make noise when the door is opened. [5]


[1]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 235. See also in Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 69 that one may compose a new song on Shabbat, provided that one does not write anything down.

[2]. Shulchan Aruch 339:3.

[3]. Shulchan Aruch 338:1; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 235.

[4]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 255; Halichot Olam, vol. 4, p. 268 explains that even though the Rama 338:1 is stringent, the opinion of the Shulchan Aruch is to be lenient and did not differentiate between methods of knocking on a door.

[5]. See Mishnah Berurah 338:6 who states that preferably one should remove the bells before Shabbat. See Mekor Chaim (of the Chavot Yair) 338:1; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 255 in the name of Shraga HaMeir 2:62.

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