Can you please summarize the main points of
In the previous
sheet we attempted to familiarize ourselves with the concept of temporary stitching or
knotting. Towards the end of the sheet we mentioned the following: The Mechaber
says that launderers would fasten a shirts neckline, which would require untying
before use. The Mechaber says that this knot may be untied on Shabbos in view of
the fact that it is not a permanent knot and the MB explains (according to
the Levush) that the knots are kept tied until the owner takes the clothes back.
The reason for this
omission is because Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach says that we see from the Poskim
that the halacha is like the Levush.
(one time) adhesion or stitching,
which by nature of its intended use must be separated or untied at some stage, is called
temporary and may be separated or untied on Shabbos.
How does the above apply to a Band-Aid
The following is a
free translation of what Rav Shlomo Zalman wrote on the
matter: the paper is stuck to the band-aid in order to preserve the glue and is removed
when the band-aid is needed.
From this we see
that since the paper is to be removed when needed and is not stuck for its own objective
but rather as a means to preserve the band-aid, it is not called ??
permanent, and may be separated on Shabbos.
What is the halacha with regards to
opening and taping a babys diaper?
The same logic and
motives apply to the adhesives on the babys diapers. Two stages are relevant to us
regarding the taping and opening of diapers.
The first is opening the tab stuck to the
diaper: even though the tab had been taped to the diaper in the factory weeks before being
used, nevertheless, since the final objective is to open and use the tab it is a temporary
sticking and may be separated. 4
The second stage is fastening or taping it to
the diaper for a required period. Here too we will present a free translation of Rav
Shlomo Zalman: The taping of the diaper on to the baby is only seen as sticking for a
few hours, being that the intention is to remove it from the baby and discard the diaper.
In other words, we may open the tab on
Shabbos because it was only stuck in a temporary manner pending its use, and we may stick
the tab onto the diaper being that it too is only a temporary sticking, until removed from
the baby a few hours later.
After I am finished with the diaper, am I
permitted to stick the tabs to the diaper to seal it?
On a weekday one usually rolls the diaper
into a ball shape and tapes the tabs to the diaper to prevent its unraveling and then
This type of taping seems to be a permanent
one being that the taping will not knowingly be opened once discarded. We even find a
seemingly similar idea regarding the binding of the lulav.
Rashi in Sukkah says that the knot binding
the 3 species of a lulav is a permanent one seeing that one does not ever intend
opening it. Obviously one has no need for the binding after Sukkos and
nevertheless Rashi says that since there is no intention to open it is called?? ?????
a permanent knot.
Here too Rav Shlomo Zalman says that the two
cases are incomparable and taping something merely in order to discard it is not called
permanent. Nevertheless there is
room to be stringent, especially seeing that it is fairly easy to discard the diaper
without taping the tabs to the diaper, see the footnote.
As mentioned in the previous sheet, there are
many opinions amongst the poskim regarding this issue and this sheet does not
intend to render a psak halacha, being that each community must follow
its own rav.