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Drumming on the Table on Shabbos

Can one drum on the table in rhythm to a song on shabbos? The aruch ha-shulchan seems to say that the restriction because of fixing musical instruments doesn’t apply nowadays.


The common custom is to be lenient concerning drumming on a table.

Sources: Tosafos, as ruled by Rema (339:3) write that the original decree, whereby it is forbidden to clap or to drum on the table on Shabbos, does not apply today, because nowadays we are not bekiim (expert) in musical instruments, and there is no concern that somebody will come to fashion or fix a musical instrument. Tosafos therefore permit the practice, and Rema rules the leniency.

This is the common custom.

Note, however, that this does not imply that it is permitted to drum a spoon against a bottle, because in this case the decree might still apply (a person might tie two spoons together, and so on). Yet, according to Aruch Hashulchan (339:9), it appears that this would also be permitted, because he writes that the entire manner in which we drun today is different from the way in which people used to drum to music in the past, and that therefore the decree does not apply today.

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