Halacha for Sunday 26 Tevet 5781 January 10 2021

Washing Dishes on Shabbat Night and Pouring Water on Dirty Dishes

Question: Upon the conclusion of the Shabbat night meal, may one immediately wash the dishes for the Shabbat day meal or should this only be done during the day closer to the start of the meal? Also, is it permissible to pour water onto soiled dishes (which one no longer needs for Shabbat) so that it will be easier to wash them after Shabbat?

Answer: In the previous Halacha we have discusses the law that one may not wash dishes on Shabbat when they are not necessary for the day of Shabbat itself. The source of this law is that one may not prepare for a weekday on Shabbat. The reason for this prohibition is because one may not toil on Shabbat for something which is not necessary for the actual day of Shabbat.

Regarding the first question mentioned above, the Talmud Yerushalmi (Shabbat, end of Chapter 15) states: “Glasses and bowls may be washed on Shabbat night for the day meal.” It seems form the words of the Yerushalmi that one may do so immediately on Shabbat night following the Shabbat night meal. The Olat Shabbat, Eliyah Rabba, and others rule likewise. Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l rules likewise as well.

Regarding the second question, it would seem that it should be prohibited to do so, for by pouring the water onto the soiled dishes, one is preparing for a weekday on Shabbat. Nevertheless, Maran zt”l writes that it seems that merely washing the dishes with water without actually scrubbing them is not considered toiling at all and our Sages only prohibited washing which entails toil; however, merely washing dishes with some water does not seem to fall into the category of forbidden dishwashing. He therefore writes that it is permissible to pour some water into a pot which has some food residue stuck to it so that it will not be very difficult to clean it on Motza’ei Shabbat.

Summary: One may wash dishes immediately following the Shabbat night meal, for as long as this is being done for the purpose of Shabbat, this is permissible.

One may pour water onto soiled pots and dishes so that food residue does not stick to them. Although one is doing so in order for the dishes to be washed more easily on Motza’ei Shabbat, this is nevertheless permissible.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The “Asher Yatzar” Blessing vs. Birkat Hamazon

Question: In the previous Halacha, we have discussed if one becomes obligated to recite an after-blessing on food and before he does so, he uses the facilities and becomes obligated to recite the “Asher Yatzar” blessing, one should recite the “Asher Yatzar” blessing first and......

Read Halacha

Question: If one becomes obligated to recite an after-blessing after eating any food (for instance, by eating a Kezayit, approximately twenty-seven grams, of fruit) and before reciting the after-blessing, one used the facilities and becomes obligated to recite the “Asher Yatzar” blessing, which blessing must one recite first: Should one first recite the “Asher Yatzar” blessing or the after-blessing on the food one ate?

Answer: This question has already been discussed by the Maharshal (Rabbeinu Shlomo Luria, one of the foremost Acharonim who lived approximately five-hundred years ago in Eastern Poland and authored the Sefer Yam Shel Shlomo and others) in his responsa (Chapter 97) and writes that if one becomes obli......

Read Halacha

Reciting Birkat Hamazon in the Place One Has Eaten

Question: Is one obligated to recite Birkat Hamazon specifically where one has eaten bread or may one recite this blessing elsewhere? Answer: One who eats a bread meal must recite Birkat Hamazon in the place where one has eaten and one may not go to a different place and recite the blessing there......

Read Halacha

Havdala on Motza’ei Shabbat Which Coincides with Tisha Be’av and the Laws of an Ill Individual Who Must Eat on Tisha Be’av

On years during which Tisha Be’av falls out on Motza’ei Shabbat, such as this year, 5781, there are three opinions among the Rishonim regarding how Havdala should be recited on a cup of wine on Motza’ei Shabbat. The first opinion is that of the Geonim who write that one should r......

Read Halacha


The Laws of Motza’ei Tisha Be’av and the Tenth of Av

Following halachic nightfall on Tisha Be’av which is approximately twenty minutes after sunset (somewhat later in the United States), one is permitted to eat and drink. It is customary to recite Birkat Ha’Levana (blessing on the new moon) following Arvit prayers on Motza’ei Tisha B......

Read Halacha

When Av Begins, We Diminish Our Joy

Yesterday, Shabbat, we marked Rosh Chodesh Av. Next Sunday (beginning from Motza’ei Shabbat), will mark Tisha Be’av. May Hashem soon switch this month to one of joy and celebration. The Jewish Nation’s Fortune During the Month of Av Although we customarily implement some mourn......

Read Halacha

Tisha Be’av Falls Coincides With Motza’ei Shabbat- Clothing for Tisha Be’av

The Baraita in Masechet Ta’anit (30a) states that our Sages prohibited five things on Tisha Be’av: Eating and drinking, washing one’s self, rubbing one’s self with oils or lotions, wearing leather shoes, and marital relations. Our Sages said (Ta’anit 30b): “One......

Read Halacha

Reciting Birkat Hamazon While Travelling by Car

Question: If one is eating while travelling by car, may one recite Birkat Hamazon while continuing to travel? Answer: In the previous Halacha we have explained that our Sages have instituted that one must recite Birkat Hamazon while seated in order for one to have optimum concentration while bles......

Read Halacha