shabbos candles

The Shabbos Weekly
Halachos Series on Hilchos Shabbos

shabbos candles

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 Shulchan Aruch Project

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


Questions for the Week of Parshas Ki Sisasubscribe


Is one really not allowed to fold one’s tallis on Shabbos?

Rashi tells us in the Mishna in Shabbos 113a, that the reason one is forbidden to fold clothes is because it is as if one is repairing them. Either the folding into their creases ‘repairs’ them 1 by accenting the folds, or the folding irons out 2 the creases.

Based on the gemora, the Mechaber 3 teaches us that when certain conditions are complied with, one may fold one’s clothes. The conditions are:

One needs to wear these clothes again that Shabbos, and is folding them to keep them in good condition.

One must fold them by himself, without the aid of a second person. The Mishna Berura 4 says that it needs to be folded in the air and not on a bench etc.

The clothes have not yet been laundered. The M”B explains that before laundering they are still a bit stiff and do not crease easily, hence folding them does not appear to be much of an improvement.

Only white clothes may be folded. It is more of an improvement to fold colored clothes.

One does not have other clothes to wear besides these ones.

Accordingly, one is forbidden to fold one’s tallis, as some of the conditions are not applicable. The first one being that the tallis is only worn for shacharis. Also, the tallis may have been dry-cleaned or washed.

However, the Mechaber quotes a Mordechai who holds that one may fold any garment not according to its original folds. Hence one is allowed to fold a tallis in a different manner than he usually does.

Does everyone agree to this opinion?

The M”B 5 quotes an opinion saying that if one prefers to be stringent in this matter, and not fold clothes at all, it is definitely preferred to do so. However, many Sephardi poskim 6 say that even if there is room for stringency, with a tallis – being a holy article – one should at least fold it opposite its original folds, and not leave it lying around. On the other hand, the Tosefos Shabbos 7 says that we see from another se’if that the Mechaber did not agree completely with this Mordechai, and therefore there is room to be stringent, and not fold one’s tallis at all.

The bottom line is

One should not fold one’s tallis on Shabbos in the regular manner.

One may fold it not on its original creases, and some poskim say that one should.

There is room for stringency and not fold the tallis at all.

This does not mean that the tallis must be rolled up into a tight ball; one is permitted, of course, to fold it haphazardly and place it over a chair.

What is all the talk about not making beds on Shabbos?

It is forbidden to prepare on Shabbos for after Shabbos. Therefore making beds on Shabbos in order to sleep in them after Shabbos is forbidden. 8 Accordingly, it is forbidden to change old linen with fresh ones, or to prepare a bed for sleeping in after Shabbos. On the other hand, one is permitted to tidy one’s house for the sake of Shabbos itself. Therefore, if one makes the beds, straightens out a carpet etc. so that the house will not be untidy, it is permitted. 9

Therefore, if after a nap on Shabbos afternoon, one wishes only to straighten out the bed sheets so that the room will look neat and tidy for Shabbos itself, it is permitted.

[1] Rashi in the Mishna.
[2] Kol Bo brought down in the Bais Yosef
[3] Simon 302:3
[4] Simon 302:14
[5] Simon 302:19
[6] Kaf HaChayim 14:21-25, Ohr LeTsion vol.2 24:3.
[7] Simon 302:14.
[8] M”B simon 302:19.
[9] K’tsos Hashulchan 117:9.

Food For Thought

Is there a problem scraping mud off one’s shoes on Shabbos?

Cholent splashed onto my shirt, what am I supposed to do?

May one pour salt on a stained tablecloth, so as to prevent it from staining permanently?

Is it permitted to remove a stain with one’s fingernail?

Answers coming next week.

Vort On The Parsha

B’nei Yisrael were ordered to give half a shekel as a means to know their numbers. The commentators ask why were they not told to give a whole shekel, why a half?

One answer is that there are two elements to a mitzvah, one is the actual doing of the mitzvah, the physical act, and the other is the spirituality one invests into it. Contrary to common belief, the joy and happiness one invests in a mitzvah comprises a major portion of the mitzvah, as it says in the parsha of the curses “…because you did not serve Hashem with happiness and a good heart”.

Therefore, they were commanded to bring half a shekel, to demonstrate that the other half must be fulfilled with one’s heart and feelings.

On these lines, our wives must think to themselves, while cleaning the house for Pesach, that they are not being punished with hard, tedious work, rather they are toiling to polish a diamond, and as a consequence will instill happiness and joy in their daily work.

For a printed version, click here.

In memory of R' Moshe Feinstein zt"l.

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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.