Yom Tov Activities: R-W


Opening Refrigerator Door with LEDs

As on Shabbat, do not open a refrigerator door that has LEDs that illuminate when the door is opened on Jewish festivals.


Covering Motion Detectors

SITUATION: A motion detector will light up when you move.

WHAT TO DO: You must cover the detector or turn off the device before the Jewish festival begins.

Walking Past Motion Detectors/Microwave Sensors Situation

SITUATION: You enter a room on a Jewish festival and then find that there is a motion detector that will turn on a light or an LED.

WHAT TO DO: You should not move until someone else has entered the room and the light has turned on. You may then leave while the light is still on.


Studying secular subjects on Jewish festivals is not in the spirit of the Jewish festival, but you may do so.


Hard Soap

You may not use hard soap on Jewish festivals.

Soap Bubbles

Causing soap bubbles from lather is not a problem on Jewish festivals.


You may not wash dishes on Jewish festivals with a

Sponge (even if it is on a handle),

Dish rag, or

Scrubbing pad (pad that holds water and, when used, the water gets squeezed out).

You may use wide mesh or other items that do not normally hold water.


To use a fluid on skin on Jewish festivals, even sunscreen that may be needed to protect damaged skin, the fluid must flow without lumps and not be more viscous than honey at room temperature. Therefore, apply sunscreen only if fluid (but not a cream or thick liquid).

Diluting Sunscreens before Festival

You may dilute sunscreen before Jewish festivals with water or alcohol, but some sunscreens may not become more fluid even with added water or alcohol.


Talking about Weekday Subjects

You may talk about weekday subjects on Jewish festivals if what you are discussing already happened, but you may not discuss plans to do activities that involve any type of melacha, even d'rabanan.


Taping Items Together

You may not tape items together, on Jewish festivals, if you intend for them to stay attached for more than 24 hours.

Taping Card to Hotel Door

You may tape a card to a hotel room door on Jewish festivals in order to prevent it from locking you out.


Tearing Paper and Plastic Wrap

You may tear paper, plastic, foil, or other wrappers around food in order to eat that food on a Jewish festival.

You may tear plastic and foil (but not paper) around napkins, plasticware, etc., that you need on Jewish festival.

But you may not:

Do so if you will inevitably tear through any words or pictures on the package.

Use scissors.

Except for wrappers for food or eating utensils, do not tear paper, foil, toilet paper, parchment paper, plastic wrap, paper towels, etc., on a Jewish festival.

NOTE: If there is a perforation, that makes the tearing worse.

NOTE: If you do not have any torn toilet paper, tear it is an unusual way:


Tear using the back of your hand.

Spread the toilet paper across your knees and then spread your knees apart.


Item from outside Techum Shabbat

You may not use, on a Jewish festival, any item that was outside the techum Shabbat when the Jewish festival began--even if a non-Jew brought it to you.

SITUATION: You arrive on a flight but your luggage is delayed and delivered on Shabbat or a Jewish festival. Or, a package is delivered to you then.

WHAT TO DO: If the airport or delivery warehouse is within techum Shabbat, you may use whatever is brought to you. If the airport or warehouse is outside techum Shabbat, you may not use the items until enough time has passed after Shabbat (or the Jewish festival) for them to have been delivered from the airport or warehouse.


Telephones and Time Zones

If a Jewish festival is over where you are, you may speak by phone to non-Jews in a place that is still observing the Jewish festival.


Flushing a toilet on a Jewish festival is not a violation of transferring from domains.

REASON: The pipe is considered too small a space to be a domain.

NOTE: If the water comes from a pump-operated well, such as in rural or remote areas, consult a rabbi.


Walking between Trees/Bushes

You may walk between bushes or trees on Jewish festivals, even if they are close to each other, and you may use your body to make space for yourself to walk. But you may not push the trunks or branches away using your hand.

REASON: The trees are muktza.


Dangling Legs

On Jewish festivals (and Shabbat), you may dangle your feet or legs into a pool (or other body) of water up to whatever garment you are wearing. However, you may not let the garment get wet.


Filtering Potable Water

You may filter plain water using a non-electrical water filter on Jewish Festivals.

NOTE: The water must be potable before filtering.

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