- Shabbat and Holidays
- Music and Musical Instruments
Last night I was invited to a Shabat meal, and I asked a Rabbi about what does he think about playing guitar on shabbat, he told me that it is forbidden. But in my understanding David used to call musicians to sing, and we see in Psalm 92 that says: 1 A Psalm, a Song. For the shabbat day. 2 It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O Most High; 3 To declare Thy loving-kindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness in the night seasons, 4 With an instrument of ten strings, and with the psaltery; with a solemn sound upon the harp. 5 For Thou, LORD, hast made me glad through Thy work; I will exult in the works of Thy hands So David played music on Shabbat, why do people observe modern traditions rather than the Torah.
This question is troubling too many people. I will try to answer on more than one level. 1. All of the verses you quoted presumably refer to music in the holy temple. In the temple instruments were played as part of the service even on Shabbat. Rabbinic prohibitions generally do not apply in the temple, and certainly do not interfere with the temple service. Outside of the temple, the rabbinic prohibitions, such as playing instruments on Shabbat, apply. 2. On Shabbat we aspire to relate to G-d on the natural plane, without artificiality and without artifacts. Although music enhances our mood and certainly is enjoyable, it may not be the most proper form of expressing the special relationship with G-d that Shabbat should bring. 3. The more we use tools and implements on Shabbat, the more we become involved in the technicalities of the physical world. Tuning the guitar, changing a broken string, become another part of the musical experience, but these contradict the essence of the Shabbat "rest" - that is satisfaction with the world as it is.