How should one mix hot water and cold in order
to wash ones hands or face?
We learned in the
previous shiur that one may wash limited areas of ones body with hot water on
Shabbos provided that a) one does not wash the majority of ones body and b) that the
water was heated before Shabbos. One of the methods is to take hot water from an electric
Shabbos urn or to use some water from the kettle that is on the Shabbos hot plate or
blech. This water is heated before Shabbos and may therefore be used for this purpose.
The problem is that
this water is too hot to bathe with, and for practical reasons it must be mixed with cold
water. Mixing hot and cold water can result in the cooking of the cold water
and therefore must be mixed in a permitted manner.
Two methods are
feasible and permitted:
Pour hot water from the urn
etc. into a dry vessel and add cold water to cool it. Since the vessel the hot water is
now in is called a kli sheini, one may add uncooked water to a kli
sheini and it does not cook in that kli.
Pour hot water from the urn
etc. onto cold water making sure that only a small amount of hot water is poured thus
ensuring that the mixture does not reach the temperature of yad soledes bo.
If a gentile heated water on Shabbos for an ill
person, may someone else wash with that water?
teaches us that if a gentile cooked for a sick person on Shabbos, a healthy person may not
partake of that food on Shabbos. The reason is because Chazal
were afraid that the gentile would purposely add food to the pot for the healthy person.
The same reasoning
is applied to our case. Were it permitted for a healthy person to bathe in the hot water
heated for a sick person there is fear that the gentile would heat water specifically for
the healthy person. Accordingly a healthy person may not wash with that water.
Is one permitted to take a cold shower on
problems pertaining to hot water do not apply to bathing in cold water. However there are
other problems. The Shulchan Aruch teaches us that when one
washes in a river on Shabbos, when coming out of the river one must take care to dry
himself before walking four amos, because he will be carrying the water
in a carmelis.
The Mishna Berura,
quoting the poskim, says that the custom is not to
bathe in a river on Shabbos at all because of the various pitfalls involved with such
Just to mention two:
carrying the water more than four amos on the river banks and drying hair, which is
a problem of squeezing.
Many poskim are of
the opinion that there is no difference between taking a cold shower and bathing in the
river. Accordingly one must refrain from taking a cold shower or bath on Shabbos.
Feinstein ztzl writes that although one ideally
could make a distinction between a shower and bathing in the river, nevertheless one
should not take a cold shower on Shabbos.
Does that mean that there is no heter whatsoever to take a cold
shower even when necessary?
Rav Moshe writes
that when necessary, such as during a heat wave etc. and one feels that a shower is of
paramount importance, one may take a cold shower. One should refer to a rav
How is one to dry oneself after a cold shower?
The main problem is
squeezing water from wet hair. This is an issur drabanan
and therefore when drying a beard or drying hair on Shabbos, care must be taken not to
squeeze water from the hair.
Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach writes that when squeezed directly
into a towel, it is permitted, i.e. by placing the towel over ones hair or beard and
gently rubbing the hair into the towel, thus ensuring that the water is not squeezed onto