Parochet with bells



I went to a small community for shabbat the other week to visit my cousin. They gave me the Kavod of Ptichat Ha’Aron. When I started to open the Parochet I heard a ringing by the floor and I realized the Parochet had little bells at the bottom, I guess like the clothing of the Kohen Gadol. When I moved it made a ringing sound. I wasn’t’ sure what to do but since I did not want to make a scene, I opened it as carefully as possible making minimal sound. Was I correct?



There is no problem to open a Parochet which has bells hanging on it. They are not there to make music, just to beautify the mitzvah. Just to add there is nothing to worried about making a scene. If they are doing something against Halacha and you point it out to them and they get upset, they should be embarrassed not you.

The Gemara (Eiruvin 104a):Ula came to the Rav Menashe’s house. Someone came and pounded on the door. Ula said whoever is doing this is causing his body to do chillul Shabbat. Rabbah said to him only music is forbidden no other noise.

The Gemara quotes a Machloket between Ula Rabbah whether noisemaking on Shabbat is permitted. Ula forbade any noisemaking at all because of Nolad, creating something new. Rabbah understood that only music is forbidden since one may come to fix the instrument if doesn’t work well.
The poskim disagree as to how we rule.

Tosfot quotes Rabbeinu Chananel who rules like Ula that any noisemaking is forbidden since thrower numerous questions on Rabbah.
The Rif rules like Rabbah since Rav Acha bar Yaakov answers question for him and Ameimar also follows his opinion.
The Shulchan Aruch (OH 338:1)rules like the Rif: Making sounds on an instrument is forbidden but to knock no a door not usually is permitted.”

Poskim quote the Agur the it is forbidden to use  a door knocker even if he has no intent to make music. The Bet Yosef asks what does he men. If he ruled like Ula that all noisemaking s forbidden then any knocking is forbidden. If he rules like Rabbah this is not music even if is a special noisemaking object.
He answers is that he is worried one may try to make a musical beat with it.
The Levush says he is also concerned maybe one may fix it if it breaks.
 The Biur Halacha explains that the issue here is Uvda DChol, doing things which are very weekday, so says the Aruch Hashulchan.

The Rambam (Shabbat 23:4) seems to argue with Agur: It is forbidden to make musical sounds on Shabbat whether with a musical instrument like harps or other things . Even to beat your finger on the ground on board, or snapping like singers do, or to rattle nuts for baby or to play with a bell for him so he will quiet down is all forbidden maybe you will come to fix the instrument.

So ruled the Shulchan Aruch like the Rambam, not like the Agur. The Rema however does follow the Agur opinion.
The Poskim disagree about a Parochet which has bells.
The Magen Avraham write that is permitted for two reasons. 1. He has no intent to make any noise at all, 2. Just as we permitted a sick person to hear soothing sounds, so too for a Mitzvah.
The Taz sys it forbidden to use a Parochet like that on Shabbat like the Rema ruled that is it forbidden to use  an instrument made especially for making sounds. The Pri Megadim questioned how the Taz permitted dancing and singing and clapping for Simchat Torah for  a Mitzvah but yet forbade it here? He answered since the bells are special objects sues for sound making it is forbidden.

The Machatzit Hashekel explains why the Magen Avraham need two reasons. That is because he also wanted to permit it according to everyone. The Rif held it’s permitted to make nonmusical sounds, and therefore he writes that one does not have the intent to make musical sounds. The second reason that or a mitzvah it is permitted to move the parochet even according to the Agur and the Rema since it is a mitzvah.

the Shemirat Shabbat (28:[94]) that nowadays we only put the bells there to honor the mitzvah, in order to remind people to stand up nad he is unsure if that is really a mitzvah. According to the Shulchan Aruch however, it is definitely permitted and so rules the Yalkut Yosef. Since the are make for  a mitzvah not for musical instruments.
To add one thing the Rema (OH 1:1) writes: One should not be embarrassed if other make fun of him doing Avodat hashem. One should not be embarrassed when someone does what Hashem wants. Those who don’t follow Hashem should be embarrassed.