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The Shabbos Weekly
Halachos Series on Hilchos Shabbos

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Published by
Pirchei Shoshanim

A Project of
The Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Based on the Shiurim Given by

Rabbi Dovid
Ostroff, shlita

developed from the Chabura of the
Pirchei Shoshanim Semicha Program

These Halachos were shown by Rabbi Ostroff to
HaGaon HaRav Moshe Sternbuch, shlita


Questions for the Week of Parshas Terumahsubscribe


May one hang a wet raincoat on a washing line?

It is known that Chazal instituted certain decrees in order to prevent people from doing mistakes. 1 They envisioned that if people would see someone hanging wet clothes on a washing line on Shabbos, they might think that the clothes were also laundered on Shabbos, and may come themselves to wash clothing. They therefore forbade hanging wet clothes on washing lines. Another common rule is, that when the decree was to prevent a Torah violation, the decree applies itself even to the darkest of rooms, where no outside individual could possibly see.

Therefore, wet clothing may not be hung to dry on outside washing lines or inside lines, like the ones over a bath. Even a raincoat, wet from the rain, may not be hung up over the bath. However, one is permitted to put it in its normal place, for example, drape it over a chair, or place it on a hanger and hang it on a door. 2

Does it make a difference whether it got wet from the rain or if it fell into a puddle?

It is irrelevant whether it got wet from the rain or because it fell into a puddle. So much so, the halacha is that even clothes moist from sweat may not be hung up on the line, for the same reason. 3 It does not mean that wet clothing must be bunched up and thrown in the corner. As mentioned before, it may be draped over a chair etc, something one would normally do even if the clothes were not wet.

If a sock landed inside a washing bowl, what is its status?

The Rama 4 teaches us that wet clothing is muktze, lest one will wring out the water. So if one’s sock or shirt lands into a bowl of water, the sock is muktze. The Rama continues that this is only with clothes one is particular about it being wet, but clothes that are normally wet, or clothes one is not bothered by the fact that they are wet, are not muktze, since there is no reason to suspect that one will squeeze out the water.

Therefore, a floor rag is not muktze when wet, because one does not mind it being wet. It would seem that the same would apply to a wet towel. 5

How is one supposed to put wet clothing on a chair etc, if the clothing is muktze?

The Chofetz Chayim 6 says that as one is removing his wet clothing, he may put them in the permitted places, but once he has let go of them, they are muktze. So when coming in from the rain, make sure to put your drenched socks, trousers over a chair from the onset, and not on the floor, because if you did, there is not much you can do.

How is one supposed to wipe up a mess on the floor on Shabbos?

We have two problems here, one, not to use something that makes it muktze, because of mevatel k’li meheichano as mentioned in sheet # 10. The second is that one may not use cloth one would squeeze. Therefore one should use either paper napkins or rags which one does not usually squeeze out, and thereby avoid the two problems mentioned.

[1] Simon 301:45
[2] Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach Ztz”l says that a wet raincoat that is never washed with water (only dry cleaned) may be hung up, because no one will suspect that it was laundered.
[3] Simon 301:47
[4] Simon 301:46.
[5] See Sha’ar Ha’tsiun 301:114 who brings the G’ra who says that a towel is something one does not mind being wet.
[6] Sha’ar Ha’tsiun 301:112

Food For Thought

If someone carelessly scraped his shoe on my Shabbos trousers, may I dust it off?

Is there a difference whether they are Shabbos trousers or regular trousers?

Is one permitted to shake out a wet raincoat or a wet sweater?

Shaking off dandruff, feathers?

Answers coming next week.

Vort On The Parsha

The beautiful gems and precious stones were mentioned last in the long list of items used for the construction of the Mishkan. (25-7). This requires an explanation, being that they were more valuable than any other contribution.

The Ohr Hachayim says, that according to the Midrash the stones were delivered by the clouds (nesi’im = clouds), and as such it generated no costs for anyone and did not involve any self-sacrifice. We learn from his precious words, that the harder it is for one to perform a mitzvah the more worthy and praiseworthy it is in the eyes of Hashem.

The Ohr Hachayim presents another answer: The nesi’im = leaders offered to bring to the Mishkan whatever was lacking from the general public’s contributions. This in itself is a very grand offer, but Chazal tell us that this type of an offer is deficient in itself, and was slightly tinged with laziness. Rav Chayim Shmuelevitz says that a person must jump to perform a mitzvah and not sit back waiting for it to come his way, even if there are valid reasons behind his reserves.

For a printed version, click here.

In honor of the Bar Mitzvah of Mordechai Ostroff of Yerushalayim.

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Note:  The purpose of this series is intended solely for the clarification of the topics discussed and not to render halachic decisions. It is intended to heighten everyone's awareness of important practical questions which do arise on this topic.  One must consult with a proper halachic authority in order to receive p'sak.