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 Vaera

If I need five dishes for Shabbos day, may I rinse all ten that were used on Friday night?

This ha­lacha engages in the problems of hachana – preparing on Shabbos for after Shabbos.

It is imperative to know that several poskim [1] explain that the basis of hachana is ‘toiling’ on Shabbos for after Shabbos. One may not perform an action when the total benefit is for after Shabbos (or on Yom Tov for after Yom Tov).

The Mechaber writes [2] that one may not bake or cook on Yom Tov for after Yom Tov, even if the next day is Shabbos. The Magen Avraham adds [3] that even an action that does not involve performing a melacha is prohibited: e.g. one may not wash dishes or fetch wine [4]  from the cellar on Yom Tov for the next day.

So to answer the question…

First we will examine the halacha of washing dishes. The Shulchan Aruch writes [5] “one may wash dishes that are needed for Shabbos, for example, if needed for another meal. However, after seudah sh’lishis they may not be washed. Drinking vessels may be washed all day because one drinks the entire day”. [6]

We see from the last sentence that it is not necessary to definitely know that glasses will be needed; a probability suffices. The understanding being that if an action is not categorized as being done for after Shabbos or Yom Tov it is permitted. Indeed the Mishna Berura [7] writes that if one knows that glasses will not be used later in the day, they may not be washed.

It would therefore seem that if one needs five plates for the Shabbos meal and ten dishes were used during the Friday night meal, one may only wash five.

However, the Magen Avraham writes [8] that if one cup or glass is needed one may wash ten cups.

What is the reason for this?

The Magen Avraham explains [9] that since a glass is needed and in principle any one can be used, one may wash them all. Similarly, beds may not be made for sleeping on Shabbos if they are not going to be slept in on Shabbos. One may prepare ten beds on Shabbos if one of the beds is going to be used. [10] This is true even if one does not need more than a single bed. [11]

As stated, hachana does not necessarily involve a melacha. The fact that one is ‘working’ or occupied for after Shabbos is what is prohibited.

Does that mean that one may not make beds on Shabbos morning?

If the purpose is to make the room tidy it is permitted. The Magen Avraham [12] writes that if one uses the bedroom one may make the beds because a messy state is disturbing. This is considered a Shabbos necessity and not preparing for after Shabbos.

On a similar note, one may not remove dishes and food from the seudah sh’lishis table because it is preparing for after Shabbos. If however people continue sitting around the table after eating and the sight of dirty plates or food is disturbing, they may be removed and placed in the kitchen. This too is ‘for Shabbos’ and not for after Shabbos.

What if dishes in the sink are disturbing?

By the same token one might argue that a housewife who “can’t stand” dirty dishes in the sink should be permitted to wash them for her state of mind and it is not preparing for after Shabbos.

We must say that it is an invalid argument. For example, we mentioned that one may not bring wine from the cellar on Shabbos for havdalah [13] on account of hachana (or working on Shabbos for after Shabbos). What if the lord of the manor is very meticulous and for his peace of mind he wants to know that havdalah will be ready when he comes home from shul after ma’ariv and bringing the wine from the cellar will provide him with peace of mind? It is obvious that it cannot be allowed because he really is preparing for after Shabbos.

We can say that making beds is accepted to be necessary to tidy the room but washing dishes is not accepted as being necessary for Shabbos, even though some individuals might regard it as necessary for them.

Actions may be taken to avoid a mess, such as placing dirty pots in the oven or in the pantry or placing a sink cover over the used dishes.

May the gabai roll the sefer torah on Shabbos for reading after Shabbos?

This is forbidden even if it is for Yom Tov after Shabbos, on account of hachana on Shabbos for after Shabbos. [14] The ba’al koreh (person who reads the torah) may learn and rehearse on Shabbos for the Yom Tov leining because he is learning torah, which is an immediate benefit. The Oruch haShulchan says [15] that if the gabai reads several pesukim in the sefer torah it is permitted to roll it to the required place because he is learning and not ‘preparing’.

[1] See M”B simon 323:28.

[2] Simon 403:1.

[3] Cited in M”B simon 403:1.

[4] The Sha’ar Hatsiun 403:2 cites the Chayei Adam saying that when very necessary, one may fetch the wine early in the day in a way that it will not be noticeable that it is done for the next day.

[5] Simon 323:6.

[6] One does not usually use dishes after a meal whereas unlike glasses that are used for drinking the entire day.

[7] Simon 323:29.

[8] Cited in M”B simon 323:26.

[9] Cited in M”B ibid.

[10] The latter case requires explaining, because washing dishes might be seen as a single action but beds are entirely separate entities. The single similarity is ‘making beds’. See also SS”K 12:4.

[11] Machtsis haShekel simon 323:8.

[12] Simon 302:6.

[13] M”B simon 667:5, SS”K 28:73.

[14] M”B simon 667:5.

[15]  Oruch haShulchan simon 667:2.


Food For Thought

My hotel room door is opened with a card, what may I do on Shabbos?

There is a video camera for security in a hotel lobby; may I walk in front of it?

What’s with motion detectors on Shabbos?

May I walk past a detector that turns on a security light in the street?

Answers coming be"H next week.

Vort on the Parsha

Knowledge is not always the key to the heart.

The possuk states that Pharoah's heart was 'kaveid', which Rashi explains to mean heavy. However, the Midrash explains that his heart was hard. Pharoah by now realized that Hashem had total control over the elements and that He was all powerful. This did not alter his actions and attitude. There was a mental blockage between what he knew and what he felt. His heart remained hard. [1]


[1] çëîä ĺăňú.

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.