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

The Laws of Mentioning “Mashiv Ha’Ruach”

We Begin Reciting “Mashiv Ha’Ruach” “Mashiv Ha’Ruach U’Morid Ha’Geshem” is a praise we recite to Hashem during the winter months within the “Mechayeh Ha’Metim” blessing of the Amidah as is printed in all Siddurim. We begin recitin......

Read Halacha

A Rainbow

One Who Looks at a Rainbow Our Sages (Chagiga 16a) state: “The eyes of one who gazes at a rainbow are dimmed, as the verse (Yechezkel 1) states, ‘Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so is the radiance around and this is the appearance of the glory of Hashem.&r......

Read Halacha

Things Which Cause Forgetfulness

Five Things Which Cause One to Forget What He Has Learned The Gemara (Horayot 13b) states: “Our Sages taught: Five things cause one to forget the Torah one has learned: One who eats food which a cat or mouse have eaten from, one who eats the heart of an animal, one who eats olives regularly, ......

Read Halacha

Must One Recite a Blessing Before Merely Tasting a Food?

We have already discussed several times that regarding the laws of Blessings of Enjoyment recited before eating that there is no limit for reciting a blessing before eating, meaning that no matter what amount of food or beverage one eats or drinks, one must still recite a blessing. The reason for th......

Read Halacha


Question: At what point does it become permissible to speak after reciting a blessing on food? Is one permitted to speak immediately after placing the food in one’s mouth and tasting the food’s flavor or must one wait until one swallows the food?

Answer: The Gemara in Masechet Berachot (40a) and Rashi ibid. state that one may not speak in between reciting a blessing on food and eating it because this constitutes an interruption between the blessing and the eating and there is no longer any connection between them, as we have discussed severa......

Read Halacha

The Laws of One Who Forgets to Mention “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar” in the “Blessing of the Years”

In the previous Halacha, we have discussed in a general manner that our Sages enacted that beginning from the Seventh of Marcheshvan (outside of Israel from the Fourth or Fifth of December), one begins reciting “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar” (a request for dew and rain) in the “B......

Read Halacha

When the Sanctity of Shevi’it Will Apply to Fruits and Vegetables and More on “Heter Mechira”

In the previous Halachot we have explained that any produce grown in Jewish-owned fields in the Land of Israel this year (5782) retain the sanctity of Shevi’it. We have likewise discussed the ramifications of this sanctity and the proper way to treat such produce. This sanctity rests even on f......

Read Halacha

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