Halacha for Monday 13 Cheshvan 5780 November 11 2019

Bandages on Shabbat

Question: May one stick an adhesive bandage onto a wound on Shabbat?

Answer: Regarding using adhesive bandages on Shabbat, there are three issues we must discuss:

The first issue is healing on Shabbat, for as we have already explained in previous Halachot, our Sages have forbidden performing any sort of healing on Shabbat (unless one is truly ill as we have discussed) and a bandage is meant to heal a wound.

The second issue is the prohibition of sewing on Shabbat. Sticking a bandage on a wound is similar to the Torah prohibition of sewing.

The third issue is the prohibition of tearing on Shabbat. Before removing the bandage, one must separate the two pieces of paper stuck to the bandage which cover the sticky part and it would seem that this should constitute the prohibition of tearing.

If Sticking On a Bandage Can Be Considered “Healing”
In terms of healing on Shabbat, there is no prohibition to stick a bandage onto a wound, for this is not considered something which heals the wound and the primary purpose of the bandage is to protect the wound from being aggravated further and from becoming infected. Indeed, Maran Ha’Bet Yosef (Chapter 328) quotes the Yerushalmi which states that it is permissible to place a bandage on a wound (which has already healed), for the dressing is not meant to heal the wound and is only meant to protect it from external threats.

All that is left then is to discuss whether or not the prohibitions of sewing and tearing on Shabbat apply here.

Sewing and Tearing Regarding a Bandage
As we have written, separating the paper covering the sticky part of the bandage seems to constitute the prohibition of tearing and sticking it onto a wound seems to constitute the prohibition of sewing on Shabbat.

Nevertheless, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes that in actuality, none of the above prohibitions apply here. The reason for this is because the papers stuck to the bandage are not meant to remain that way since they are intended to be removed in order to be able to stick on the bandage. Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch and the Poskim forbid separating papers which are stuck together only when they were meant to remain together when they were stuck together; however, if they were stuck together with the intention of later separating them, it is permissible to remove them.

Furthermore, with regards to sticking the bandage onto the wound, this does not constitute the prohibition of sewing, for sewing does not apply to the human body in addition to the fact that the prohibition of sewing does not apply when one is doing so for a temporary purpose. Applying a bandage is only forbidden when one sticks it on with the intention of it remaining always. He proceeds to support this with sources and reasons for this lenient ruling.

Thus, halachically speaking, if one is injured on Shabbat, one may stick a bandage onto the wound. One may likewise remove the papers stuck to the bandage before applying it (Chazon Ovadia-Shabbat, Volume 3, page 403).

8 Halachot Most Popular

The Laws of Fire on Yom Tov

In previous Halachot we have explained that Yom Tov and Shabbat are equal regarding all prohibitions besides for certain works associated with food preparation, such as cooking, which are permitted on Yom Tov. Igniting a Flame One may not produce a new fire on Yom Tov, for instance by strik......

Read Halacha

The Holiday of Shavuot- Teachings of Kindness

The Torah introduces the momentous event of the giving of the Torah to the Jewish nation with the verse (Shemot 19), “On the third month from when the children of Israel left Egypt, on this day they arrived at the Sinai desert.” Our Sages in the Pesikta ask: Why is it that the Torah w......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Cooking on Yom Tov

In the previous Halachot we have explained that although Shabbat and Yom Tov are equal in their prohibition to perform work on them and it is therefore a Torah prohibition to drive a car on Yom Tov, nevertheless, certain works associated with food preparation, such as cooking and frying, are permitt......

Read Halacha

The Holiday of Shavuot- Coronavirus

The holiday of Shavuot will be celebrated, G-d willing, at the conclusion of the period of the counting of the Omer this coming Friday (beginning from Thursday night), the 6th of Sivan (and outside of Israel on Shabbat, the 7th of Sivan as well). Let us, therefore, begin to discuss some of the perti......

Read Halacha


Reciting Kaddish

Question: What is the significance of reciting Kaddish for a deceased individual? Answer: When an individual departs from this world, his surviving children must make a concerted effort to pray with a Minyan three times a day in order to be able to recite Kaddish for their father or mother. Simil......

Read Halacha

Using an Electric Hotplate (Plata) For Both Meat and Dairy

If one uses an electric hotplate to warm meat pots and the like, it is quite common that some of the meat food inside these pots will sometime fall onto the hotplate thus causing the hotplate to absorb this meat flavor. As such, if one then wishes to place dairy foods onto the hotplate, if one does ......

Read Halacha

An After-Blessing After Drinking Tea or Coffee-An Incident Involving Hagaon Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l

In the previous Halacha we have discussed the basic laws of reciting an after-blessing after drinking a beverage in that as long as has drunk a Revi’it (approximately 81 cc or 2.8 fluid ounces) of the beverage in one shot (in a continuous manner without interruption between gulps), one recites......

Read Halacha

Question: Must one recite the “Boreh Nefashot Rabbot” blessing after drinking hot tea or coffee?

Answer: We have already discussed on several occasions that after drinking any beverage, one must recite the “Boreh Nefashot” after-blessing. The amount one must drink in order to become obligated to recite this blessing is a Revi’it in one shot, i.e. approximately 81 cc or 2.8 flu......

Read Halacha