tear toilet paper on Chol Hamoed?
permitted to look after one’s physical necessities on
Chol Hamoed and that includes tearing toilet paper. This
falls into the category of öøëé
äâåó – necessities of the body.
What else falls into this category?
compared physical necessities to food and almost all that is
permitted to be done to food may be done for physical
necessities, as will be explained.
For the ill:
anything may be done for an ill person, even when life is
not endangered and even for slight discomfort and aches.
administer any type of medication even when its purpose is
to sustain health.
spread cream on hands and face, even when not chapped, to
prevent chapping and peeling.
Must cream be applied b’shinui?
anything administered for body care may be done in the
regular manner, without need of a shinui,
because it is compared to ochel nefesh. This includes
applying cream, administering medication, cutting bandages
to size, driving to the pharmacy, writing prescriptions,
preparing and grinding various medications.
May one pay a visit to a dentist on
visit a dentist to treat toothache or any other discomfort,
similar to taking any other medication.
not visit an orthodontist on Chol Hamoed because one
does not reap immediate relief or benefit on Chol Hamoed
from this treatment. Obviously if harm or damage might
result from not repairing teeth braces etc. on Chol
Hamoed one may attend.
Feinstein ztz”l writes that one may visit a dentist
for treatment of even slight ailments, but not for anything
May one visit a doctor for an
annual checkup on Chol Hamoed?
Feinstein ztz”l writes
that it is a zilzul – degrades the Mo’ed and
must be avoided. This is true even if the doctor will not
perform any melachos.
What else is included in body
heat water to wash one’s entire body,
unlike Yom Tov.
brush teeth, use all soaps – bar and liquid.
brush hair even though hairs will be extracted in the
process; make braids and plats.
A woman may
apply makeup and lipstick, even though it involves the
melacha of memareach –
May one repair glasses on Chol
be repaired on Chol Hamoed, just like any other
physical necessity. However, one should not exchange frames
on Chol Hamoed because it is a m’leches uman
(craftsman’s work) not necessary for the mo’ed.
Feinstein writes that one may not repair sunglasses on
Chol Hamoed and yet if one is medically required to wear
sunglasses they may be repaired.
Shlomo Zalman Auerbach writes
that one may repair a hearing aid because it is also a
necessity but a telephone should
not be repaired, unless needed by the elderly or the sick.
He explains that a telephone is not that necessary and does
not warrant repair on Chol Hamoed.
May one take a haircut on Chol
haircut is definitely one of öøëé
äâåó and yet Chazal prohibited taking a
haircut, other than in extenuating circumstances. The reason
for this is because people are extremely busy erev
Yom Tov and one is tempted to say that there is ample time
to take a haircut during Chol Hamoed and not take one
before Yom Tov.
So what’s wrong with that?
not begin Yom Tov in a disheveled manner; it shows
disrespect to Yom Tov.
Consequently the halacha is that it is a mitzvah to
take a haircut before Yom Tov.
Even if one took a haircut prior to Yom Tov, one may not
take another haircut on Yom Tov, because not everyone knows
that one took a haircut before and people will mistakenly
think that one may take a haircut on Yom Tov.
May one shave on Chol Hamoed?
Shulchan Aruch prohibits shaving
and it is the prevalent custom. Rav Moshe Feinstein
discusses this issue at length and many are accustomed to be
lenient based on the Nodah Biyhuda. Rav Moshe
Feinstein concludes that he is not accustomed to be lenient
unless in certain cases or for someone who suffers to an
extreme from not shaving. One should ask one’s Rav.