Halacha for Thursday 15 Tammuz 5778 June 28 2018

Clothing Which Dried on Shabbat

Question: If garments were hung to dry on a clothesline or placed in the dryer before Shabbat, may one take them off the clothesline or out of the dryer on Shabbat in order to wear the garments on Shabbat?

Answer: We have already explained that one may not move a very wet garment on Shabbat lest one come to wring it out, transgressing the Torah prohibition of squeezing on Shabbat. However, this prohibition to move a wet garment only applies to a garment that is very wet; however, if the garment is only slightly wet, such as if only a small portion of the garment is wet, there is no concern that one will squeeze the garment, for it is uncommon to wring out a slightly wet garment and our Sages never banned this.

The Opinion of the Mishnah Berura
Hagaon Mishnah Berura (Chapter 308, Subsection 63) writes that a garment that was wet at the onset of Shabbat may not be moved for the duration of that entire Shabbat as we find in the Gemara that “anything that is Muktzeh at the onset of Shabbat remains Muktzeh for the entire Shabbat.” It is not possible for an item to be Muktzeh at the onset of Shabbat and then sometime during Shabbat to change into a permissible status.

Nevertheless, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l (in his Halichot Olam, Volume 3) rebuffs the Mishnah Berura’s opinion based on the words of Maran Ha’Bet Yosef (Chapter 310) quoting the Orchot Chaim: “If one poured water over dates on Erev Shabbat in order for the water to absorb the dates’ flavor with the intention of drinking it later on, although at the onset of Shabbat these dates are not designated for eating and the water is not yet designated for drinking, nevertheless, since one knows that the next morning the water will already have absorbed the flavor of the dates and will be ready for drinking, the water is not Muktzeh and it may be drunk on Shabbat morning.”

This means that when knows for certain at the onset of Shabbat that a given item will be ready or worthy for Shabbat use in a matter of several hours, its Muktzeh status will no longer apply after this point. Thus, dates which are currently inedible at the onset of Shabbat but one knows that in several hours it will be edible, they will be permissible for consumption on Shabbat once they become edible.

The same applies to clothes which were wet at the onset of Shabbat but one knows that they will be dry in several hours. Since one knows ahead of time that that garments will be dry sometime during Shabbat and they will be fitting and wearable without any concern of wringing them out, they may be moved and worn after they have dried and we do not say since they were forbidden to be moved at the onset of Shabbat, they remain this way for the entire Shabbat.

Maran zt”l proceeds to further question the Mishnah Berura’s opinion: Indeed, even when the garments are wet, it is not actually considered Muktzeh, for several people may move these garments together since in this way, there is no concern that one will wring out the garment, for they will remind one another of the prohibition. Thus, even at the onset of Shabbat, these wet garments were not actual Muktzeh. Hagaon Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l adds that the Magen Avraham (Chapter 305, Subsection 11) writes that wet clothing is considered wearable; thus, although there is a prohibition to move wet clothing on Shabbat because of a side reason lest one come to wring it out, it can nevertheless not be considered Muktzeh for the entire Shabbat.

Thus, a garment that was wet before Shabbat and was hung on a clothesline or placed in a dryer may be moved and worn on Shabbat once it is dry.

Summary: A garment that was wet at the onset of Shabbat and it dried during the course of Shabbat, if it was known ahead of time that the garment would dry completely during Shabbat, it may be moved and worn on Shabbat and the prohibition of Muktzeh does not apply here.

We must add that a wet garment retains a Muktzeh status on Shabbat only when it is wet to an extent that if one touches the garment, one’s finger would become wet to a degree that were one to touch another object, that object would become wet as well.

Ask the Rabbi

8 Halachot Most Popular

Scheduling a Medical Procedure for the Days Preceding Shabbat

Question: Is one permitted to schedule an operation for a broken bone or a C-section for one of the days preceding Shabbat? Answer: In the previous Halachot we have discussed that one may not begin a sea voyage on the days immediately preceding Shabbat, for one will not be able to adequately enjo......

Read Halacha

Question: May one discard of a Tzitzit garment or Tzitzit strings in the trash after they have been worn out and there is no longer any use for them?

Answer: Our Sages taught us in the Baraita in Masechet Megillah (26b) that articles which have innate sanctity may not be thrown out in the trash; rather, they must be buried respectfully with other articles of holiness. However, an item which has no innate holiness (and was used for a Mitzvah) need......

Read Halacha

Beginning a Journey Before Shabbat

Question: Is one permitted to begin a journey before Shabbat when one knows that he will be forced to desecrate Shabbat due to a life-threatening circumstance? Answer: In the previous Halacha, we have discussed the prohibition of setting sail on a ship (for a non-Mitzvah purpose) within three day......

Read Halacha

The Danger Regarding Removing Mezuzot from One’s Home

Question: Is it correct that there is a danger involved in removing the Mezuzot from the doorposts of one’s home when moving to another home and if so, what can be done for one who invested a hefty sum in purchasing beautiful Mezuzot? Answer: The Gemara (Baba Metzia 102a) states: “Our......

Read Halacha

The Attribute of Trust in Hashem-The Marriage of the Maharal of Prague

Question: Does trust in Hashem help even an individual who is not worthy of Hashem’s kindness? Answer: The Gemara in Masechet Menachot (29b) inquires regarding the meaning of the verse in Yeshaya (Chapter 26), “Trust in Hashem forever, for in Hashem is an eternal rock.” The Gema......

Read Halacha

Refusal to Appear Before a Bet Din (Rabbinical Court)

In the previous Halachot we have discussed that it is forbidden to go before either non-Jewish or secular Jewish courts to be judged. A very common question is: Since nowadays the rabbinical courts have no authority to obligate litigants to bring their cases before them, it happens that one may summ......

Read Halacha

The Status of the Secular Court System in the State of Israel

In the previous Halacha we have explained that there is a very grave prohibition for one to have a dispute adjudicated before non-Jewish courts. This is true even when their judges rule based on the laws of the Torah. This is also true even when both litigants agree to go to civil court. One who doe......

Read Halacha

Civil Courts

The Baraita in Masechet Gittin (88b) states: “Rabbi Tarfon says: Wherever non-Jewish secular courts are found, although their laws may be similar to Jewish law, one may not go before them to be judged, for the Torah states, ‘These are the laws that you shall place before them’- bef......

Read Halacha