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List OfDrum References In Talmud and Tanach

Complied by Steven Lipton.  (Socino translation.)

To read a Shlomos Drash on my thoughts about drum cirlces from last year, click here

Genesis 31

26. And Laban said to Jacob, What have you done, that you have stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword?
27. Why did you flee away secretly, and steal away from me; and did not tell me, that I might have sent you away with mirth, and with songs, with tambourine, and with harp?
28. And why did you not let me kiss my sons and my daughters? Now you have done foolishly in so doing.

Exodus 15

20. And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines, dancing.
21. And Miriam answered them, Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider has he thrown into the sea.

Judges 11

34. And Jephthah came to Mizpah to his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with tambourines and with dances; and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.

I Samuel 10

5. After that you shall come to the hill of God, where the garrisons of the Philistines are; and it shall come to pass, when you have come there to the city, that you shall meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a lute, and a tambourine, and a pipe, and a lyre, before them; and they shall prophesy;
6. And the spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you shall prophesy with them, and shall be turned into another man.

I Samuel 18

6. (K) And it came to pass as they came, when David returned from slaying the Philistine, that the women came from all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tambourines, with joyful song, and with lutes.
7. And the women answered one another as they danced, and said, Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands.

II Samuel 6

5. And David and all the house of Israel played before the Lord on all manner of instruments made of cypress wood, on lyres, and on lutes, and on tambourines, and on rattles, and on cymbals.

Isaiah 5:12

11. Woe to those who rise up early in the morning, that they may go after strong drink; and continue until night, till wine inflames them!
12. And the lyre, and the lute, the tambourine, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts; but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands.

Isaiah 24

8. The mirth of tambourines ceases, the noise of those who rejoice ends, the joy of the lyre ceases.
9. They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to those who drink it.
10. The city of confusion is broken down; every house is shut up, and no man may come in.

Isaiah 30:31

31. For through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down, with a rod will he strike him.
32. And in every place where the appointed staff shall pass, which the Lord shall lay upon him, it shall be with tambourines and lyres; and in battles of shaking will he fight with it.

Jeremiah 31

2. The Lord has appeared to me, far away, saying, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have remained true to you.
3. Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin of Israel; you shall again be adorned with your tambourines, and shall go out dancing with those who make merry.

Job 21

11. They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance.
12. They take the tambourine and lyre, and rejoice at the sound of the pipe.
13. They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to Sheol.

Psalm 68

25. They have seen your processions, O God; the processions of my God, my King, in the sanctuary.
26. The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; among them were the young women beating tambourines

Psalm 81

2. Sing aloud to God our strength; make a joyful noise to the God of Jacob.
3. Raise a song, and beat the tambourine, the sweet lyre with the harp.
4. Blow a shofar at the new moon, at the full moon on our feast day.

Psalms 149

1. Hallelujah! Sing to the Lord a new song, and his praise is sounded in the congregation of the pious.
2. Let Israel rejoice in him who made him; let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
3. Let them praise his name in the dance; let them sing praises to him with the tambourine and lyre.
4. For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he will beautify the humble with salvation.

Psalms 150

3. Praise him with the sound of the shofar! Praise him with the harp and the lyre!
4. Praise him with the tambourine and dance! Praise him with stringed instruments and the pipe!
5. Praise him with sounding cymbals! Praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6. Let every thing that breathes praise the Lord! Hallelujah!

I Chronicles 2

7. And they carried the ark of God in a new cart from the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drove the cart.
8. And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with lyres, and with tambourines, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.

Talmudic quotes

Mishnah Kelim 15:6

6.Ordinary harps are susceptible to uncleanness, but the harps of the Levites are clean. all liquids are susceptible to uncleanness, but the liquids in the shambles are clean. All books convey uncleanness to the hands, excepting the scroll of the temple court. a wooden toy horse is clean. the lute, the niktimon and the drum are susceptible to uncleanness. R. Judah ruled: the drum is unclean as a seat since the wailing woman sits on it. A weasel-trap is susceptible to uncleanness, but a mouse- trap is clean. 

Mishnah Kinim 3:6

R. Joshua said: to this applies what [the sages] have said: ‘When [the beast] is alive it possesses one sound, but when it is dead its sound is sevenfold’. in what way is its sound sevenfold? Its two horns [are made into] two trumpets, its two leg-bones into two flutes, its hide into a drum, its entrails for lyres and its large intestines for harp strings; and there are some who add that its wool is used for the blue [pomegranates.

Sota 49a -b

During the war with Vespasian they [the rabbis] decreed against [the use of] crowns worn by bridegrooms and against [the use of] the drum.
AND AGAINST [THE USE OF] THE DRUM [IRUS]. What means IRUS? — R. Eleazar said: A drum with a single bell. Rabbah b. R. Huna made a tambourine for his son; his father came and broke it, saying to him, ‘It might be substituted for a drum with a single bell. Go, make for him [an instrument by stretching the skin] over the mouth of a pitcher or over the mouth of a kefiz’.


Yes, for we have learnt: At the time of the Vespasian invasion they prohibited the wearing of garlands by bridegrooms and the beating of drums at weddings.

Gittin 7a

The Exilarch said to R. Huna: On what ground is based the prohibition of garlands? — He replied: This was imposed by the Rabbis on their own authority. For so we have learnt: At the time of the invasion of Vespasian they prohibited the wearing of garlands by bridegrooms and the [beating of] drums [at weddings].

Brachot 57a

R. Papa and R. Huna the son of Joshua both had dreams. R. Papa dreamt that he went into a marsh and he became head of an academy. R. Huna the son of R. Joshua dreamt that he went into a forest and he became head of the collegiates. Some say that both dreamt they went into a marsh, but R. Papa who was carrying a drum became head of the academy, while R. Huna the son of R. Joshua who did not carry a drum became only the head of the collegiates. R. Ashi said: I dreamt that I went into a marsh and carried a drum and made a loud noise with it.

Baba Batra 145b

R. Kahana said, [This is] the rule of groomsmanship: [If] he was In town, he should have come. [If] he [could] hear the sound of the [wedding] bells, he should have come. [If] he [could] not hear the sound of the bells, the [other] should have informed him.