Yom Tov Activities: G-L

GLASSES (i.e., eye glasses)

You may wash reading glasses or sunglasses using liquid soap on Jewish festivals.


On Jewish festivals, “grama” (indirect action) is permissible.



You may brush your hair on a Jewish festival, but only if the brush bristles bend easily. You may not use stiff bristles or combs since they might pull out some hair.

NOTE: Using a special brush for Jewish festivals (and Shabbat) is recommended but not required.

Hair Cuts/Shaving

You may not have your hair cut and you may not shave on Jewish festivals (and Shabbat).


Adjusting Heater

On Jewish festivals, you may adjust a heater with an analog thermostat:

UP when running, and

DOWN or OFF when not running.

REASON: This is due to grama, which is permissible on Jewish festivals (but not on Shabbat).

NOTE: You may not adjust a digital thermostat.

Moving Electric Heater

You may pick up and move an electric heater that is ON on Jewish festivals (and Shabbat) only if:

You need the heat elsewhere, or

You need to use the space where the heater is standing.

NOTE: You may not unplug it.

Moving Flame Heater

Unlike on Shabbat, you may move a kerosene or other heater that has a flame burning on Jewish festivals.


Insects that May Carry Diseases

You may kill mosquitoes and other insects on Jewish festivals if they carry deadly diseases, which makes the insects a danger (sakana). You may kill insects that might carry diseases even if you do not know for certain.

Biting or Stinging Insects

If insects such as bees or non-diseased mosquitoes don't carry diseases but they bite or sting you, you may kill them on Jewish festivals, as well as trapping them or chasing them away with bug spray. Unlike on Shabbat, on a Jewish festival you may kill insects that are a nuisance, such as gnats or flies. These halachot apply to all Jewish festivals unless they fall on Shabbat (or are Yom Kippur).


Permanent Knots

You may not tie permanent knots on Jewish festivals (and Shabbat).

NOTE: A permanent knot is a knot intended to remain tied for at least 24 hours. Any strings you connect on Jewish festivals must be able to easily come undone, such as a bow.

NOTE: Since opinions differ on what constitutes a permanent knot, we do not even tie knots that are intended to be untied, such as a double figure-eight knot.

Double Bows

You may not tie a double bow on Jewish festivals.


Changing LCD/LED

As on Shabbat, you may not use any item on a Jewish festival that will cause an LCD or LED to form letters or change an LCD display.



You may not wash or hang up wet laundry on Jewish festivals (or Shabbat).  The halachot for drying laundry depend on whether you use a clothesline or a dryer:


You may only take down laundry on Jewish festivals if it was dry before sunset at the start of the festival, and only if you don't:

Transfer the laundry from one halachic domain to another (hotza'a), or

Give the impression that the laundry had been washed on the Jewish festival (mar'it ayin).

If laundry on a clothesline is still wet at sunset before the festival, the laundry is muktza and you may not take it down or use it during the festival. This is different from the case of a dryer.

REASON: On the clothes line, there is no certainty that the laundry will dry during the festival (it might rain, it might be cold or cloudy...), so the person may not have in mind that it will dry during the festival.


Laundry in a dryer (even if it was wet at sunset) that was turned on before sunset beginning the Jewish festival (or Shabbat) is not muktza, even if you do not intend to wear it.  You may remove the dry laundry from the dryer on the Jewish festival as long as no light goes on.


Redirecting Lighting Fixture

You may redirect a light fixture on Jewish festivals, but only by moving it with a stick or other object, not directly with your hand.

NOTE: During Jewish festivals, you may not:

Turn this light on or off, or

Disconnect its plug or light bulb.

Moving Lighting Fixture

You may directly move a lamp or other light fixture to where you need the light but you may not:

Plug or unplug the plug from the wall.

Turn the light on or off.

Unplugging Turned-Off Light

You may unplug a turned-off light on Jewish festivals if:

You need the space where the lamp is situated, or

The cord is in the way and you want to remove it so someone doesn't trip.

NOTE: You may not turn off the light on Jewish festivals.

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