We know there is an Isur to play instruments on Shabbat (S"A 338 IIRC), to clap or dance. A few questions:

1) Is it is permissible to drum on tables with one's hands?

2) What about with forks or the like?

The Sefer Shabbat KaHalacha brings two opinons:

אין לתופף על שולחנות וסכו"ם משום שנחשב ככלי נגינה ויש נוהגים להקל בזה .

I remember seeing both ways for the practice of drumming with hands but I think with forks it's universal to prohibit.

Please CYLOR

  • At most you can say it's a machloket about clapping. The mishna forbids it, but it is permitted by many authorities now.
    – Daniel
    Aug 22, 2013 at 16:03
  • 1
    @Daniel I'd usually call that sort of situation Ta'ah beDevar Mishna not a Machloket. IAE who said this case is analogous to clapping?
    – Double AA
    Aug 22, 2013 at 18:42

1 Answer 1


In the next siman 339:3 the Mechaber himself writes that clapping on a לוח (board) with rhythm is forbidden because of the gezairah of tikkin kli. The Rema notes that there are those who permit (I believe that is Tosfos shittah in the gemarah).

It seems from the Mechaber any rhythmic tune is forbidden to do; even to knock on a door using a tune would be forbidden by many.

  • Not clear that the quoted heter applies to the tapping case. See Mishna Berura.
    – Double AA
    Aug 22, 2013 at 20:23
  • The Mishnah Brurah meant playing actual instruments
    – sam
    Aug 22, 2013 at 20:26
  • I could be wrong,but the Rema holds that shittah.
    – sam
    Aug 22, 2013 at 20:28
  • The MB says "the other things in this Seif". Playing actual musial instruments is not in that Seif.
    – Double AA
    Aug 22, 2013 at 20:28
  • Does he? What happened to סתם וי"א הלכה כסתם?
    – Double AA
    Aug 22, 2013 at 20:29

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