Would there be a problem with leaving my MP3 player on speaker for Shabbos so I can enjoy listening to some sweet Jewish tunes throughout the day?

  • 2
    Sounds similar to leaving a TV on.
    – ezra
    Sep 18, 2018 at 19:28
  • 2
    @ezra sounds worse. Pretty clear problem of משמיע קול and שמא יתקן כלי שיר
    – Double AA
    Sep 18, 2018 at 19:52
  • @ShmuelBrin in this case it could mean adjusting the volume
    – larry909
    Sep 18, 2018 at 22:16
  • @larry that's not building though, which is what שמא יתקן is really about. Plus isn't שמע יתקן by actually playing the instruments? Here you're not actually playing them, so one can argue there were not worried you'll forget.
    – Orion
    Oct 21, 2018 at 13:51

2 Answers 2


It is forbidden because of zilzul shabbat, in that listening to music on shabbat lessens the respect for the holiness of the day. See Yalkut Yosef Shabbat 252:9 below.

ט אין לשמוע שירים או חדשות מהרדיו בשבת, אף אם הרדיו הוכן מערב שבת על ידי שעון אוטומטי שמדליק ומכבה את הרדיו מאליו. ואם תחנת הרדיו מופעלת על ידי גויים, גם כן יש להורות להחמיר בזה, משום זילותא דשבת, ועוד טעמים, אפילו אם מודיע בפתח ביתו שהרדיו ערוך מערב שבת על ידי שעון שבת. וכן אין להפעיל טייפ מער''ש על ידי שעון שבת לשמוע שירים בשבת, משום זלזול בכבוד השבת, ועוד טעמים. ובארץ ישראל שהעובדים בתחנת השידור הם יהודים, הרי הוא נהנה ממלאכת שבת. ולכן אם יש לו שכן חילוני השומע רדיו בשבת, אסור לו להטות אוזן ולהקשיב לחדשות. וכן חייל דתי שנמצא עם עוד חיילים בחדר אחד, וחייל חילוני הדליק רדיו לשמוע חדשות או שירים, אין החייל הדתי מחוייב לצאת ולעזוב את החדר, כדי שלא יהנה מאיסור מלאכת שבת, אלא יעשה מאמץ להסיח דעתו על ידי קריאה בספר קדוש באופן שלא יהנה מקול הנגינה. [ילקוט יוסף שבת כרך א' עמוד פה, ועמוד תקלד. שארית יוסף ח''ג עמוד שעא. ובירחון קול תורה תמוז תשס''ג עמוד יז].

  • What if you increase the respect for the holiness with binaural beats and the like? Apr 11, 2023 at 11:44

As you probably already know, there are 4 different levels of prohibitions on Shabbat:

  1. Av Melacha (one of the 39 prohibited works)
  2. Tolada - a branch of #1. Both are DeOraytah
  3. Estrangements of #1&2 - lest you can end up performing a prohibition, or can lead to prohibition, e.g. riding a horse or a bike or playing the piano.
  4. Look-alikes activities - things that look like #1-3. It's an indirect prohibition and is very disputable. E.g. the Shabbas clock was such a prohibition when it was invented, as people thought "as the lights go on and off somebody's violating Shabbos". Eventually, it became a standard and nobody thinks of a violation.

Leaving a player, the radio, a TV, a computer etc on is not a #1 or #2 prohibition, however, it MIGHT fit #3 if there's a chance that as you will hear a song you don't like you'll come to change it and boom - violate the Shabbat.

Another consideration is #4 as your neighbors might suspect you're using all those on Shabbos and disrespect you for that. BTW it does not matter what music you hear, and listening to Kosher music does not help in this case.

  • Number 3 can be avoided by tying the laptop closed so there’s no chance of accidentally changing the song. #4 might be mitigated if you are listening to jewish music bec who in their right mind would be mechalel Shabbos in such a manner?
    – Lages
    Sep 20, 2018 at 16:52
  • @Al 1) Number 3 is Rabbinic. But you equated it by with דרייתה by not differentiating it from the first one. Also that's not in every case only the ones that are specifically forbidden. 2) Source for number 4 at least? 3)i dont see why you're neighbors opinion of you matters. 4) it's more than possible that you're neighbor can't hear, ether because the volume is too low, or because the walls are too thick, or you left earbuds in the mp3 and you're using those.
    – Orion
    Oct 21, 2018 at 13:54
  • @Lages i have met a person who likes listening to Jewish music, but is non religious. Apr 21, 2019 at 9:15

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