Halacha for Monday 14 Iyar 5781 April 26 2021

Removing a Thread from a Garment and Unclogging a Drain on Shabbat

Question: I was wearing a new suit on Shabbat and I noticed a random thread hanging from it. Is it permissible to remove this thread on Shabbat?

Answer: The Gemara (Shabbat 75b) states that one who removes the heads of threads hanging from a new garment on Shabbat is liable for the biblical forbidden work of “the final hammer’s blow,” i.e. putting the finishing touches on a vessel or garment. Thus, since tailors and clothing manufacturers usually remove such hanging threads from the garment after it is sewn and they had probably just forgotten to do so, it would therefore be forbidden for anyone to do so.

It would therefore be forbidden to remove this thread on Shabbat. Only if this was done unintentionally while merely handling the garment would this not have constituted a Torah prohibition.

An Additional Question: May one unclog a sink on Shabbat?

Answer: The Acharonim discuss the matter of whether or not it is permissible to unclog a sink or toilet using a plunger on Shabbat lengthily. Hagaon Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l rules leniently on this matter, however, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l rules stringently (and he repeated this discussion in his Chazon Ovadia- Shabbat, Volume 5, page 331) and writes that this constitutes a Torah prohibition of repairing a vessel on Shabbat. He proceeds to support this with many proofs.

Hagaon Harav Menashe Klein zt”l writes in his Responsa Mishneh Halachot that when he visited Israel, he visited the home of Hagaon Harav Auerbach and discussed this matter with him. Harav Auerbach told him that he ruled leniently on this matter but that his dear friend, Harav Ovadia Yosef, ruled that this constitutes an actual Torah prohibition, and thus, even Harav Auerbach zt”l was concerned about a possible prohibition in this regard.

Nevertheless, Maran zt”l writes that if the drain is not completely clogged and the water is going down, albeit very slowly, in this case, it will be permissible to unclog the sink in a regular, unprofessional manner on Shabbat (such as by using a plunger).

Summary: It is forbidden to remove an extra hanging thread from a new garment on Shabbat. It is forbidden to unclog a clogged drain on Shabbat. (In cases of great need, one may instruct a non-Jew to unclog such a drain or toilet on Shabbat.)

Ask the Rabbi


ספר אביר הרועים - בית מידות
ספר אביר הרועים
לפרטים לחץ כאן

הלכה יומית מפי הראש"ל הגאון רבי יצחק יוסף שליט"א

דין ברכת שפטרנו מעונשו של זה
לחץ כאן לצפייה בשיעורים נוספים

Recent Halachot

"תנא דבי אליהו כל השונה הלכות בכל יום מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא"

נדה ע"ג א'

8 Halachot Most Popular

Eating and Washing One’s Self Yom Kippur

Some Laws of Yom Kippur All are obligated to fast on Yom Kippur, including pregnant and nursing women. Any woman whose health is at risk due to the fast should consult a prominent Torah scholar who is well-versed in these laws and he should render his ruling whether or not she must fast. One whose ......

Read Halacha

Motza’ei Yom Kippur

Adding From the Mundane Onto the Holiness One must add some of the mundane weekday onto the holiness of Yom Kippur upon its exit, i.e. one should not end this holy day immediately with nightfall; rather, one should wait another few minutes. Thus, it is prohibited to eat or perform work on Motza&rsq......

Read Halacha

The Obligation to Eat in the Sukkah

Since there is not so much time left to discuss the laws of Sukkot, let us now spend the next few Halachot discussing some pertinent Halachot for the upcoming Sukkot holiday. A Meal of an Established Character Throughout the entire Sukkot holiday, both during the night and day, it is prohibited ......

Read Halacha

Reciting Selichot Alone, Without a Minyan

Question: If one is unable to recite Selichot with a Minyan (quorum of at least ten Jewish men) for whatever reason or if a woman wishes to recite Selichot and she cannot do so with a Minyan, may one recite the Selichot texts alone or should one abstain from doing so? Answer: If one wishes to rec......

Read Halacha


The Laws of Eating a Kezayit of Bread in the Sukkah on the First Night of Sukkot and One who is Uncomfortable in the Sukkah

In the previous Halacha we have discussed that one may not eat an established meal outside of the Sukkah anytime during the Sukkot holiday. One must be aware that the reward for the Mitzvah of Sukkah is that it protects one during turbulent times (see Zohar, Parashat Tetzaveh). The Mitzvah of......

Read Halacha

The Custom of “Tashlich”

Following Mincha services of the first day of Rosh Hashanah, it is customary to go to a seashore, river, well, or pit in order to recite the order of “Tashlich.” If there is no river, lake, or pond in close proximity of one’s vicinity, it is likewise perfectly acceptable to recite ......

Read Halacha

The Proper Behavior for the Days of Rosh Hashanah-The Custom of Maran zt”l

It is customary to eat red meat and sweet foods on the days of Rosh Hashanah, as the verse in Nechemia states, “Go eat fatty foods and drink sweet beverages and sent gifts of food to those who do not have, for the day is sanctified to our Lord.” One may not fast at all on Rosh Hashana......

Read Halacha

Blowing the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah

It is a positive Torah commandment to hear the Shofar blasts on the day of Rosh Hashanah, as the verse states, “It shall be a day of [Shofar] blasts for you.” One may not speak between the various sets of Shofar blasts and certainly not during the blasts themselves. The Poskim disagree r......

Read Halacha