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 Learning Project

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


Questions for the Week of Parshas Bo


Can you please summarize the main points of temporary stitching?

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 shirt’s 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 M”B explains (according to the Levush) that the knots are kept tied until the owner takes the clothes back. 

We did not mention that the Mishna Berura [1] also mentions that there are those who are stringent (the Taz) who say that one is only permitted to untie the launderer’s knots when the intention was to open the knots the same day.

The reason for this omission is because Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach says [2] that we see from the Poskim that the halacha is like the Levush.

Accordingly, any (one time) [3] 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 adhesive?

The following is a free translation of what Rav Shlomo Zalman [4] 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 baby’s diaper?

The same logic and motives apply to the adhesives on the baby’s 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. 4

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. [5]

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 discards it.

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 [6] 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. [7] 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 p’sak halacha, being that each community must follow its own rav.

[1] Simon 317:21.

[2] SS”K chapter 9 footnote 55.

[3] We will explain later why we are saying that this only applies to ‘one-time’ stitching or sticking.

[4] SS”K vol. III page 58, ??? ?? ???? ?"?.

[5] As mentioned, not all poskim share the same view as Rav Shlomo Zalman and one’s rav must be consulted.

[6] Sukkah 33b ?"? ???? ?????.

[7] See the SS”K vol. III mentioned above and the Binyan Shabbos on Kore’ah page 70. Rav Shlomo Zalman once remarked “although I understand that one is permitted to tape the diaper after use, as explained, but everyone else disagrees with me”.

Food For Thought

May one open a bag of potato chips on Shabbos, and if the answer is yes, how?

What about the opening of tin cans?

What can you tell me about opening soda bottles or grape juice bottles?

Answers coming next week.

Vort on the Parsha

When Hashem performs miracles for His children, He does it in a way which leaves a sweet taste in the mouth. The Torah tells us that the miracles were exacted in a ridiculing manner – ??? ??????? ??????, which Rashi explains as He ridiculed them. This was obviously perpetrated as a morale booster after so many years of bitter slavery under the hands of the wicked Egyptians. It is one thing to be freed with one’s head lowered and another with one’s head uplifted.

B’ezras Hashem, we should all be speedily redeemed from all our pains and sorrows with our heads held high.

For a printed version, click here.


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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.