Halacha for Tuesday 28 Tevet 5781 January 12 2021

Washing Dishes On Shabbat When Other Dishes Are Available

Question: May one wash dishes which are necessary for use on Shabbat even if one has other dishes to be used for the remaining Shabbat meals?

Answer: Nowadays, most people own enough dishes to use for at least two meals, if not more. Based on this the above question arises: Will it be permissible to wash the dishes that were used during the Shabbat night meal for use during the Shabbat day meal in this scenario as well or should one not act leniently since one can take out other clean dishes form the china closet?

This is indeed subject to a disagreement among the Poskim. The Sefer Ohel Mo’ed (page 35a) seems to rule that if one has other dishes, one may not wash the soiled ones, for this no longer constitutes a necessity for Shabbat. On the other hand, it is written in the Sefer Minhagei Ha’Maharash (end of Chapter 394) that one may wash even twenty bowls on Shabbat even if one only needs one of them.

Halachically speaking, those who act leniently in this regard have on whom to rely. Indeed, the prevalent custom seems to be to wash the dirty dishes even if one owns other dishes since one’s intention is to use the dishes currently being washed and not to use the other dishes in the china closet at the moment. Hagaon Harav Shmuel Ha’Levi Wosner zt”l (in his Responsa Shevet Ha’Levi, Volume 5, Chapter 39) and Hagaon Harav Menashe Klein zt”l (in his Responsa Mishneh Halachot, Volume 3, Chapter 41) attest to the validity of this custom.

Indeed, when one has an actual necessity for one of the dishes and together with it, one washes the other dishes, there is certainly even greater room for leniency, for some say that even according to the opinion of the Ohel Mo’ed, as long as one is permitted to wash some of the dishes, one will likewise be permitted to wash the remaining dishes for Shabbat use.

Summary: Those who act leniently and wash soiled dishes for use during another Shabbat meal although they own other clean dishes have on whom to rely. This is indeed the prevalent custom.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The Mitzvah of Counting the Omer

The Torah states (Vayikra 21, 15): “And you shall count for yourselves, from the day following the Shabbat, from the day the waved Omer offering is brought, seven complete weeks shall they be.” Our Sages (Menachot 65b) have a tradition that the “day following the Shabbat” ref......

Read Halacha

Question: How many “Kezayit”s (olive’s volume) of Matzah must one consume during the Pesach Seder?

Answer: One is obligated to eat altogether three “Kezayit”s of Matzah during the Pesach Seder. Every Kezayit amounts to approx. 30 grams of Matzah. Nevertheless, there is room for stringency to eat four or even five “Kezayit”s of Matzah, as we shall now explain. The Order......

Read Halacha

Chol Ha’Mo’ed

The days between the first and seventh days (outside of Israel between the second and eighth days) of the Pesach holiday and the days between the first day of Sukkot and the holiday of Shemini Atzeret (outside of Israel between the second day of Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret) are called “Chol Ha&......

Read Halacha

The Pesach Seder-Kadesh

The Pesach Seder-Kadesh The famous order of the Seder of the eve of Pesach, Kadesh, Urchatz, Karpas, Yachatz, Magid, Rochtza, Motzi, Matzah, Maror, Korech, Shulchan Orech, Tzafun, Barech, Hallel, Nirtzah, was established by the leader of the entire Jewish nation, Rashi. The entire Jewish nation cus......

Read Halacha


Everything is Foreseen and Permission is Granted

Israeli Independence Day is celebrated today. Since we have discussed this topic several times in the past, we will not delve into this matter lengthily at this point. Let us just note that according to Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l, although one must show thanks to Hashem for removing the ......

Read Halacha

Megillah Reading- Coronavirus

Every member of the Jewish nation is obligated to read the Megillah on the day of Purim. One must read it during the night and once again the next day, as the verse states, “My G-d, I call out to you during the day and you do not answer; during the night I have no rest.” This verse is wr......

Read Halacha

One Who is Unsure Whether or Not One Has Counted the Omer

We have already explained that one who has forgotten to count the Omer one day during the counting period may no longer count with a blessing on the subsequent days. The reason for this is because the Rishonim disagree as to whether the Mitzvah of counting the Omer is one long Mitzvah that span......

Read Halacha

Anyone Who Brings Merit to the Public, No Sin Shall Come Through His Hand

Our Sages teach us in Pirkei Avot (Chapter 5, Mishnah 18): “Anyone who brings merit to the public, no sin shall come through his hand.” The Tosafot (Yevamot 109b) question this, for Elisha ben Avuya taught Torah to Rabbi Meir and nevertheless, he strayed from the path, became a heretic, ......

Read Halacha