Activities Permitted and Forbidden on Yom Tov: C


Children and Melacha

As on Shabbat, you may not have a child, even younger than gil chinuch, do melacha for you on a Jewish festival.


Ball Playing in Yard or Eruv

Playing ball is not forbidden on Jewish festivals, as long as the Jewish festival does not coincide with Shabbat (in which case, it is not forbidden to play ball in an enclosed private yard, but it is not in the spirit of Jewish festivals or Shabbat).

Retrieving Ball

You may retrieve a ball or other item that has fallen into a bush on a Jewish festival, but only if you can get it without moving the bush.

Cards If No Gambling or Melacha

Playing cards is not forbidden on Jewish festivals as long as you do not gamble or do melacha. As on Shabbat, you may sort a deck of cards into suits.

NOTE: However, playing cards is not in the spirit of Jewish festivals (or Shabbat).

Removing Unwanted Cards

Unlike on Shabbat, on a Jewish festival you may select (boreir) and remove unwanted cards (such as Jokers).


Children may apply or remove stickers for decoration or “jewelry” if the stickers and earrings are likely to come off in less than 24 hours.


Removing Non-Embedded Dirt

You may remove non-embedded dirt or hair from the surface of clothing on Jewish festivals. You may not remove dust or burrs and anything that penetrates the surface of the garment.

Folding Clothes on Existing Crease

Don't fold clothes (including a talit) on an existing crease on Jewish festivals.

Folding Clothes on New Crease

You may fold clothes on Jewish festivals by making a new crease, but only if there is already an existing one on the garment. If there is not a crease from before you used the garment, you may not make one.

REASON: This avoids smoothing out clothing (a forbidden action on Jewish festivals and Shabbat).

Removing Tags from Clothing

You may not cut a tag off clothes on Jewish festivals.



Since wool and/or leather was dyed for the Tabernacle in the desert, similar actions are forbidden today on Jewish festivals (and Shabbat). Any action that causes one item or substance to change its color may be forbidden, even if it is not related to dyeing wool or leather.


You may not add a substance, whether food or other, in order to color food on Jewish festivals (and Shabbat). You may add food to other food even if it will cause the other food to become colored as long as that is not your intention.


You may wipe a stain off of your face or hands onto a cloth or piece of paper if you do it to clean your face or hands on Jewish festivals (and Shabbat), but not if you want to color the cloth or paper.


Shipment that Arrives on Festival

You may not send a shipment--such as Fedex or another express delivery service--to arrive on Jewish festivals.  However, you may tell the shipper that it is OK with you if it is delivered at night after the festival.


Putting Cut Flowers in Water

You may not put cut flowers in a vase or other utensil (with water in it) on Jewish festivals.

Adding Water to Cut Flowers

You may add water to cut flowers in a utensil on Jewish festivals as long as there are no unopened buds that will open on the Jewish festival.

Moving Cut Flowers

You may move cut flowers in a vase or other utensil on Jewish festivals if they were in the vase or utensil since before the Jewish festival started.

NOTE: If there are still some unopened buds on the stems, you may not put the cut flowers into direct sunlight.

Copyright 2015 Richard B. Aiken. Halacha L’Maaseh appears courtesy of Visit their website for more information.