Thursday, September 06, 2007

Musical Instruments on Shabbat

A full paper on this topic--still under development--can be found here:

In particular, I think there is an angle not yet integrated here that relates to a concern about using tools to make noise, which accounts for general permissions in many quarters to make noise as long as one uses either one's body or non-musical instruments, as in the case of banging on a table.


AS said...

The earliest source we have about musical instruments on Shabbat is Psalm 92:

מזמור שיר ליום השבת
עלי עשור ועלי נבל עלי הגיון בכנור
- Posted by BZ at October 7, 2007 at 5:32am

AS said...

An article including a whole bunch of sources on this topic can be found in a post by R' Ari Enkin at
- Posted by KR at November 15, 2007 at 9:15pm

AS said...

Another nice blog post at MahRabu addresses this issue - see
- Posted by KR at January 3, 2008 at 7:12pm

AS said...

There is a further article on Hirhurim with more sources on this topic at What is particularly interesting here is some of the historical context he gives, and in particular the section discussing whether prayer is meant to be joyous (and thus whether using instruments to add joy is even desirable).
- Posted by KR at January 12, 2008 at 7:15pm

AS said...

I address some of these issues, in the context of pluralistic communities, in Hilchot Pluralism Part VII.
- Posted by BZ at January 29, 2008 at 11:06am

AS said...

In your quote from the Meiri, how do you know he is referring to the students of the Ramban? I didn't see him mention them anywhere.
- Posted by Ian at January 26, 2009 at 4:51am

AS said...

Who is the author of this paper, please? The version available on does not have any attribution.

- Posted by Len M. at February 15, 2010 at 5:42pm

farmping said...

I agree with you

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