Introduction to Shabbat
Goal of Creation
Shabbat was the goal of Creation. Just as God completed the world's creation on the sixth day and ceased His work on the seventh, so Jews are supposed to imitate God and not do any creative work on the seventh day. Everything we need for living through Shabbat must be prepared ahead so that we do not do any creative activities on Shabbat.
Our observance of Shabbat thus testifies that God created the world. In the Shabbat kiddush, we mention the Exodus from Egypt, too, to testify to the world that God is continuously involved in our lives.
By ceasing our normal efforts to dominate the physical world, we can appreciate the spiritual aspects of our existence.
On Shabbat, all observant (shomer Shabbat) Jews receive an extra “soul.”

Zachor and Shamor

Remember (Zachor) the Sabbath day to make it holyExodus/Shmot 20:8
Observe (Shamor) the Sabbath day to make it holyDeuteronomy/Devarim 5:12
Shabbat has two dimensions:
  • Zachor  “Remember,” encompassing positive (“to do”) commandments, and
  • Shamor  “Observe,” encompassing negative (“refrain from”) commandments.
Note Women, who are normally exempt from positive, time-dependent commandments, must do both positive and negative Shabbat commandments since, according to tradition, God said both words simultaneously. This is unlike Jewish festivals, when women are often exempt from positive, time-dependent commandments.

Zachor:  Positive Shabbat Commandments
What Are Positive Shabbat Commandments
Positive Shabbat commandments include:
  • Lighting candles,
  • Making kiddush evening and morning,
  • Making havdala,
  • Honoring Shabbat (Kivod Shabbat), and
  • Enjoying Shabbat (Oneg Shabbat), including eating three meals on Shabbat.
Honoring Shabbat: Special Food and Clothes
Honoring Shabbat includes eating tasty food and wearing nice clothes.

Shamor: Negative Shabbat Commandments
Shabbat Laws from the Torah (Shabbat D'Oraita)
What Are Melachot
On the Jewish day of rest, we refrain from 39 creative activities (melachot) that had been used to build the Tabernacle in the wilderness. These 39 melachot, prohibited by the Torah, are listed in the mishna of Shabbat and in later halacha books.

The word melacha is frequently mistranslated as “work,” but work has nothing to do with the Jewish concept of melacha. Some melachot are physically strenuous (plowing, grinding wheat, skinning an animal) and some are easy to do (drawing, baking). The defining point is whether the activity is one of the 39 creative, value-adding labors. Emptying your pockets before leaving an eruv (so you are not “carrying”) may seem confusing to someone who thinks that resting on Shabbat means refraining only from hard physical labor!

What Are Toldot
Toldot are variations of the 39 melachot. These types of melacha are also prohibited by the Torah.

Intention and Other Considerations
Most Torah (d'oraita) prohibitions of melacha on Shabbat are for cases in which you:
            1) Intend a permanent change.
                Often, actions that may be forbidden when they cause permanent change, will
                be permissible by Torah law if the result is only temporary. Or
            2) Intend or act for a specific purpose.
                Random or unintended actions are generally not prohibited by Torah law.
                (However, actions that are not prohibited by the Torah, may be prohibited
                by Chazal.)

Whether you may benefit from a melacha done on Shabbat depends on intention:
  • A Jew who intentionally does a melacha on Shabbat may never benefit from that melacha.
            Note Any other Jew may benefit from that melacha as soon as Shabbat is over.
  • A Jew who does melacha on Shabbat by mistake (shogeg) may benefit from that melacha immediately after Shabbat ends.
In order to violate a prohibited melacha d'oraita, the melacha must be done as follows. If any of these do not apply, then the melacha is forbidden d'rabanan but not d'oraita:
  • K'darko--The action must be done in a normal way.
  • Tzorech tikun—The action must be done for a constructive purpose.
  • Tzricha l'gufa--You must need the normal result of that action.
  • Asiya b'yachid—The action must be done by one individual (if commonly done by just one person).
  • Mit'aseik--You must realize that you are doing a melacha.
Shabbat Laws from Chazal (Shabbat D'Rabanan)
Chazal instituted additional restrictions, such as:
  • Activities that might lead directly to violating a Torah prohibition.
  • Use of items not designated for Shabbat use (muktza). For a good explanation of muktza from the TorahTots website, please click here.
  • Activities that might lead one to think that a prohibited activity is permissible (mar'it ayin--the appearance of the eye).
  • Activities that are not appropriate for Shabbat, even though they are technically permissible according to the Torah (“uvda d'chol”).
  • Tircha--Exerting a physical effort to accomplish a result that is not required for Shabbat.

Enjoying Shabbat/Oneg Shabbat
Chazal instituted laws to engender a positive Shabbat atmosphere and experience.  Beyond the actual halachot of shamor and zachor, we have a concept of enjoying Shabbat (oneg Shabbat)—of enhancing our experience of Shabbat by doing whatever each person finds to be enjoyable and relaxing--as long as it is neither destructive nor violates the laws of Shabbat. The criteria are subjective. To fulfill the idea of honoring Shabbat, do things you would not do just for yourself if it were not Shabbat. Take essential life activities such as eating and sleeping and do them more and better and make them especially enjoyable.

Meals as Oneg
On Shabbat, we eat better foods and more types of food than we would normally do on weekdays.
The main idea behind meals for Shabbat is enjoyment (oneg; by contrast, the main idea for Jewish festivals is joy--simcha), so on Shabbat you should eat bread and either fish, poultry, or meat (but only if you enjoy them).
In order to have a special appetite for our Shabbat evening meal, we don't eat a full meal with bread on Friday afternoon.

Special Shabbat Songs (Zmirot)
Special songs (zmirot) are sung at the various Shabbat meals. Some zmirot have an aspect of prayer to them.

Studying Torah
Studying Torah on Shabbat is another way of increasing our spiritual experience. It honors the Shabbat and should bring about enjoyment of Shabbat.

Shabbat and Muktza
For information on Shabbat and muktza, see section below, Shabbat: Muktza.

Weekday Talk
Don't talk about subjects that are forbidden to do on Shabbat (weekday subjects); for example, don't talk about what you will do after Shabbat is over. There is no prohibition about discussing actions from the past as long as no planning is discussed.

Shabbat: Zachor
When Is Shabbat
Where Does the Day Begin
Where the Day Begins: Three Opinions
There are three main opinions on where the day begins:
  1. 90 degrees east of Jerusalem;
  2. 180 degrees east of Jerusalem; and
  3. Eastern extent of land at Jerusalem latitude (in China, near Shanghai).
Which Day Is Shabbat
Shabbat: IDL and Region of Safek/Doubt
Introduction to Shabbat, IDL, and Region of Safek/Doubt
The International Dateline (IDL), which is 180 degrees away from Greenwich, England, crosses the Pacific ocean from north to south and divides a region of safek/doubt as to which day is Shabbat. This region's eastern boundary is a line 180 degrees east of Jerusalem, which lies between Hawaii and the US mainland; the western boundary is east of Shanghai. All countries in this region of IDL safek/doubt are island countries.
In a region of doubt, such as Tasmania, keep normal Shabbat (Shabbat d'rabanan) on local Saturday and keep Shabbat d'oraita on:
Friday if you are:
  • West of mainland USA, but
  • East of the IDL, and
  • Not attached to the mainland.
     In this category are some islands off the coast of Alaska, Cook Islands,
     Hawaii, French Polynesia (Tahiti, Bora-Bora, etc.), and most of the other
     islands in Polynesia.
Sunday if you are:
  • West of the IDL, but
  • East of Shanghai, and
  • Not attached to the mainland.
     In this category are Fiji, Japan, Kwajalein, Micronesia-Palau,  New
     Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomons,
     Tasmania, Tonga, Truk, Vanuatu, Yap. Also parts of Taiwan, the
     Philippines, and Indonesia.
Note In all cases, you must still observe regular Shabbat on Friday night/Saturday.
You are in a place near the International Dateline (IDL) in which you are not sure which day of the week it is halachically: Shabbat or, if you are east or west of the IDL, Friday or Sunday.
What To Do
On the Friday or Sunday in question, there is no shvut (d'rabanan prohibitions, including muktza), so you may do all melacha d'rabanan WITHOUT a shinui. You may:
  • Ask or tell a non-Jew to do anything, including a melacha d'rabanan or d'oraita.
  • Ride in a cab or car driven by a non-Jew.
Note You may not drive a vehicle yourself.
Note You may open the door yourself, even if a light will come on, as long as you do not need to use that light to see.
  • Use electricity--except for heat or light—including turning on a fan or air conditioner (heat and light are forbidden by the Torah).
  • Use the telephone. (Using a cellphone may be permissible--ask a rabbi).
  • Carry from a private domain (reshut ha'yachid) to another private domain, even through a public domain (reshut ha'rabim); but you may not stop walking in the public domain and you may not put the object down in the public domain unless you use a shinui.
  • There is no practical way to light candles, even using a shinui, but a non-Jew may light them for you and and you may say the blessing on the candles.
  • Swim, surf, scuba dive, climb, and play all games that do not use melacha. You may not wring out clothes and if you are swimming or scuba diving, your swimsuit or wetsuit must be clean.
  • Walk any distance (there is no techum Shabbat d'oraita).
  • Kinyan. You may acquire items.
  • Fly, including check in and getting on plane if:
    • The pilot is non-Jewish, and
    • You don't do any melacha d'oraita (including any writing) without a shinui.
  • Use a computer if it automatically goes to sleep after less than 24 hours of not being used.
  • Shower. However:
    • You may not use an “instant on” hot water system in which the water is heated as you use it; you may only use the hot water if it has a holding tank.
    • You may use only liquid soap; hard soap is forbidden.
  • Ingest medicine (but you may not smear it on skin).
  • Use some make up, such as rouge, mascara, eye shadow. You may not use lipstick.
  • Open a refrigerator with light (and all other psik reisha d'la neicha lei).
  • You may buy necessities on Friday or Sunday as long as:
    • The store owner is not Jewish (or if he/she is Jewish, does not write or print a receipt),
    • You do not write, and
    • There is no reshut ha'rabim.
You may also do melacha d'oraita if:
  • You use a shinui (non-normal way of doing that action--this is forbidden d'rabanan on Shabbat but is allowed on the Friday or Sunday in question), OR
  • Two or more people do the melacha together.
D'oraita, you may not:
  • Cook food.
  • Turn on lights (but you may turn them off).
  • Carry from domains.
  • Boneh – building any permanent structure.
  • Write two or more letters of the alphabet.
  • Drive--there is no practical way to drive using a shinui.
  • Shave--there is no practical way to shave using a shinui.
  • Use toothpaste (but you may use tooth-cleaning powder).
  • Use skin cream--you may dab it on without smearing it.
However, you may do these following actions with a shinui on the Friday or Sunday in question, as follows:
  • Cook food. You must put food in the cooking utensil first, then turn on the heat with shinui. You may turn off the heat even without a shinui.
  • Turn on lights (such as with your elbow).
  • Stop along the way when carrying from a private domain (reshut ha'yachid) to another private domain, even through a public domain (reshut ha'rabim). As a shinui, you may carry the object in your mouth (as long as it is not food), etc.
Note Carrying something in your pocket is NOT a shinui.
  • Tear paper (such as putting toilet paper across knees and moving the knees apart).
  • Write (such as with the opposite hand).
Flying East From Australia on Sunday
If you fly east from Australia on Sunday:
  • Do not do any melacha d'oraita from the time you are east of Australia's east coast.
  • Do not even do any melacha d'rabanan once you have crossed the international dateline (IDL).
Note Once you have crossed into local Saturday night after local dark, Shabbat ends a second time!
If You Cross IDL from Friday into Saturday
If you travel west and cross the international dateline (IDL) from Friday into Saturday, do not do any melacha (d'oraita or d'rabanan) while you are flying over the area of doubt (safek).
Note If you land after sunset Saturday night, you will have missed most of Shabbat that week.

Shabbat: How To Prepare
Introduction to Shabbat: How To Prepare
Introduction to Shabbat: How To Prepare
Taking care of many of our physical needs before Shabbat begins allows us to enhance our physical rest and emphasize our spiritual nature on Shabbat.
To prepare, we make or buy the food we will need for Shabbat, clean the house, and put it in order.  The custom is to shower or bath especially for Shabbat.
Before sunset on Friday, we turn on whatever lights we will need during Shabbat so that our homes are well lit. We leave the lights on until Shabbat is over (or we set timers to regulate when the lights go on and off since we cannot be involved with controlling them).
Shabbat: Leaving the World of Work
Distracting Work on Friday Afternoon
You may not do any work or get involved in any project that might distract you from preparing for Shabbat, beginning at twice the duration of plag ha'mincha.  So allow 2 1/2 halachic hours (sha'ot zmaniyot) before sunset to prepare for Shabbat.
Preparing Shabbat Food
Introduction to Preparing Shabbat Food
Introduction to Preparing Shabbat Food
Before Shabbat, we make or buy the food that we will need for Shabbat. Although cooking is forbidden on Shabbat, some food preparation is allowed after Shabbat begins. See Shabbat: Cooking.
Special Shabbat foods include two loaves of bread for each of the first two meals and, preferably, for the third meal, too. 
What To Use for Challa
What Is Challa
Challa refers to the two loaves of bread (or matza) over which we say the ha'motzi blessing at Shabbat and Jewish festival meals.
The loaves must be:
  • Whole, without significant parts missing.
  • Made out of one or more of the Five Grains.
Making Challa
Six-Braid Challa for Shabbat
It is a non-binding custom to braid challa as a reminder of the 12 showbreads (lechem ha'panim) in the Temple that were changed each Shabbat. Proper practice is to braid each challa from six pieces of dough, as there were two columns of six loaves each.
Note Since these showbreads were not changed on Rosh Hashana and Jewish festivals, we may use round challot for those holidays (unless they fall on Shabbat or the holiday is Passover!).
Note Sectional challa should be made from six pieces but counted as one loaf: you may not separate the rolls of a “pull-apart” challa and count them as multiple loaves.
Breaking Apart Challot Baked Together
If you bake several units of dough in one pan and they expand into each other, you may not break them apart after baking and use them as separate challot. If they only slightly touch each other, you may separate them and use them as individual challot.
Separating Challa (Hafrashat Challa)
Introduction to Separating Challa
Introduction to Separating Challa
Although challa refers to the two loaves of bread (or matza) over which we say the ha'motzi blessing at Shabbat and Jewish festival meals, challa also means the portion of dough or bread that we are obligated to give to the cohen/priests during Temple times.  Today, we burn a token portion (“challa”) of dough.
Note Burning the challa is not considered to violate bal tashchit (needless destruction), since the challa is separated and destroyed to fulfill a mitzva.
Separating the Challa Portion
Separating the Challa Portion
Separating Challa from more than 5 lbs. of Dough
After you knead more than 5 lbs. (2.3 kg) of flour at one time:
  • Hold part of the dough (at least 1 fl. oz.) while it is still part of the main mass of dough;
  • Say the blessing lehafrish challa min ha'isa;
  • Separate a small amount (1 fl. oz. is sufficient) of the dough as challa; and
  • Say harei zu challa.
Separating Challa from between 2.5 and 5 lbs. of Dough
SITUATION You prepare dough, in a single batch, from more than 2.5 lbs. (1 kg), but less than 5 lbs. (2.3 kg), of flour.
WHAT TO DO Separate a small amount (1 fl. oz. is sufficient) of the dough as “challa.” Don't say the blessing; just say harei zu challa.
NOTE If you mix at least 2.5 lbs. (1 kg) of dough, you must separate challa (without a blessing) even if you will not be baking some of the dough until another time.

Separating Challa from less than 2.5 lbs. of Dough
Don't separate challa if the dough was prepared from less than 2.5 lbs. (1 kg) of flour.
Separating Challa from Dough Mixed by Non-Jew
Don't separate challa if you acquire dough that had been owned by a non-Jew at the time it was mixed.
Separating Challa after Baking
You may separate challa after baking (on weekdays only) if you forgot to separate challa before baking.
Situation You forgot to separate challa from dough made of at least 2.5 lbs. (1 kg) of flour, it is now Shabbat or a Jewish festival.  You want to eat the bread.
  • If you are outside Eretz Yisrael:  You may leave part of the challa until after Shabbat or Jewish festivals.  After havdala, separate the challa from the part that you had set aside.
  • If you are in Eretz Yisrael:  You may not use bread from which challa was not separated. Once Shabbat or the Jewish festival ends, you may separate challa and then eat the bread.
Burning the Challa Portion
Which Piece of Challa To Burn
Once you intend a particular piece of dough to be the challa portion, you must burn that piece and not put it back into the main dough.
When To Burn the Challa Portion
There is no time limit for burning “challa.” You may save several pieces for burning together, but you may not keep them in a place where they might get used.
How To Burn the Challa Portion
You may burn the challa portion any way you wish.  You must burn it completely.
At least one hot food should be eaten at the midday meal on Shabbat/Saturday.
Gefilte Fish
Gefilte Fish
Eating gefilte fish, made of fish in which bones have been removed, avoids the necessity of doing the melacha of selecting (boreir) the bones from the fish. This allows a fish course to be eaten at a Shabbat meal (which, in addition to the meat, makes the Shabbat meal special because both fish and meat would not have been commonly served in poor areas during the week).
Shabbat: Setting the Table
Setting the Shabbat Table
Set the Shabbat table with nice tableware and tablecloth.  The custom is to have the table set and have bread on the table before Shabbat starts. 
The tablecloth should cover the table during Shabbat meals, but you may remove and switch tablecloths. Even if you have a beautiful and valuable table, you should still cover it for Shabbat (and Jewish festival) meals.
How To Cover the Challot
On Shabbat (and Jewish festivals), you should place a white cover above the challot and another below (unless you have a white tablecloth).
Reason To recall the layers of dew above and below the mun that the Israelites ate for 40 years in the desert.
Note If you have a fancy or beautiful cover for your challa that is not white underneath, you may put a white cloth or paper towel between the cover and the challa in order to have a white cover above the challa.
Shabbat: Eating Before
Appetite for Shabbat Dinner
Do not eat a full meal (any bread or a lot of mezonot) after halachic midday on Friday.
Reason In order to have a special appetite for Shabbat dinner.
Note You may eat other food after halachic midday on Friday.
Eating before Hearing Shabbat Evening Kiddush
See Eating from Start of Shabbat until Kiddush.
Shabbat Domain/Techum Shabbat
Introduction to Shabbat Domain/Techum Shabbat
Introduction to Shabbat Domain/Techum Shabbat
Techum Shabbat (Shabbat domain) is the furthest distance a Jew may walk on Shabbat. Wherever you are when you start Shabbat determines your starting point for techum Shabbat :
  • City/Enclosed Area If you start Shabbat in a city or enclosed area of any type, you may walk up to 0.7 mile (1 km) beyond the border (last house) of that city or enclosed area.
  • Uninhabited Area If you start Shabbat in an uninhabited place, such as a forest, you may walk only within a 0.7 mile (1 km) radius of where you started Shabbat.
Shabbat Domain/Techum Shabbat: Item Brought from Outside
You may not use any item brought to you on Shabbat from outside techum Shabbat.
Even if a non-Jew brings you misdirected luggage sent on a flight that did not land until after sunset on Friday, you may not use the items inside until after Shabbat has ended, even if you need the items for Shabbat. Consult a rabbi for exceptions.
When Shabbat Starts
When Shabbat Starts: General
When Shabbat Starts: General
There are many approaches as to when to start Shabbat:

For men, whichever is first:
  • At sunset, or
  • When they light candles intending to begin Shabbat then, or
  • When they say Mizmor shir l'yom haShabbat.

For women, whichever is first:
  • When they light candles intending to begin Shabbat then (most people light 18 minutes before sunset but local customs can vary; e.g., Jerusalem), or
  • In case of urgent need, just before sunset if they have not lit candles.
Note Even if a husband has finished ma'ariv for Shabbat, his wife is not required to start Shabbat when he does, and she may still light her candles at the normal candle lighting time. The husband does not need to wait outside until she has lit. However, the ideal situation is for the home to be ready (including table set) by the time the husband has finished ma'ariv and has returned home from synagogue.
Community-Wide Considerations
  • If an entire community begins Shabbat at any time earlier than sunset on Friday, EVERYONE must begin Shabbat at that time.
  • If there are at least two minyans in any community, no one is required to start Shabbat with the earliest one (but if you associate yourself with one of those minyans, you must follow their custom).
When Shabbat Starts: If Sun Does Not Set
When Shabbat Starts
Note There are many approaches as to when to start Shabbat!
Follow Nearest Jewish Community for Non-Setting Sun
If the sun does not set for more than 24 hours, such as north of the Arctic Circle in the summer, follow the nearest Jewish community's Shabbat starting time.
When Shabbat Starts: Within Shabbat Domain
Starting Shabbat within Shabbat Domain/Techum Shabbat
If an entire community starts Shabbat early, individuals must also start early.
Note If any part of the community starts on time, you may also do so.
Starting Shabbat outside Shabbat Domain/Techum Shabbat
If you are outside techum Shabbat (which may be as little as 0.7 miles, or 1 km, past the last house of an inhabited area—city, village, etc.), you may start Shabbat at sunset even if the nearby community starts early, as long as the rabbi from that community does not have authority over your area.
Shabbat Candles
Shabbat: Candles: Meaning
Shabbat: Candles: Peace of Home and Festive Feeling
The original purpose for lighting Shabbat candles was to enhance the peace of the home (shalom bayit --so that people could walk around without stumbling in the dark), and so Shabbat candles were lit where people would eat dinner Friday night.  But we now rely on the idea that candles help provide a festive atmosphere.
Shabbat: Candles: When To Light
Shabbat: Candles: Earliest Time To Light
You may not light Shabbat (or Jewish festival) candles before plag ha'mincha. The candles must burn until at least dark (tzeit ha'kochavim) and someone must be there to see the light from the candles after dark.
SITUATION Mincha minyan begins at plag ha'mincha. You cannot light candles at home and still get to mincha minyan on time.
WHAT TO DO You must say mincha on your own (anytime from half an hour after mid-day until sunset). You will light candles after plag ha'mincha but before sunset and not join the mincha minyan.
Shabbat: Candles: Normal Lighting Times
In many countries, candle lighting time is 18 minutes before sunset.
Note In Jerusalem, many people have the custom of lighting candles 40 minutes before sunset.
Shabbat: Candles: Lighting with Delay until Sunset
Under extenuating circumstances, women may make a “condition” by saying “I am lighting Shabbat candles but not starting Shabbat until sunset” to delay Shabbat until sunset, when it will begin anyway.
NoteWomen should not routinely start Shabbat at sunset since the proper time for women to begin Shabbat is at candle lighting (typically 18 minutes before sunset).
ReasonAn opinion exists that Shabbat actually begins at 18 minutes before sunset; that is the origin of this time for women to begin Shabbat.
Shabbat: Candles: Latest Time To Light
You may not light after sunset (or after whatever time the entire community starts Shabbat if they start Shabbat before sunset). 
Note If a woman lights candles after sunset, she not only violates Shabbat but she must light one extra candle on every subsequent Shabbat for the rest of her life.
Shabbat: Candles: Where To Light
Shabbat: Candles: Lighting at Dinner Location
Light Shabbat candles wherever you will eat dinner.
Note If eating elsewhere, do not light Shabbat candles at your own home unless you will be home for some period of time after dark while the candles are burning (otherwise you have made a bracha l'vatala). You must see the candles burning for at least one minute after dark (tzeit ha'kochavim).
Shabbat: Candles: Who Lights
Shabbat: Candles: One Person per Home Lights
Shabbat candles should be lit only by one person per home. Priority order: wife; then husband; then children. Girls should not be encouraged to light Shabbat candles except when no parent can.
Note Single people should light Shabbat candles in their homes if they will eat there.
Shabbat: Candles: Have Others in Mind When Lighting
Whoever is lighting the Shabbat candles should light for all other people who will be eating dinner in that home. So a host/hostess where you will eat should have you in mind when he or she lights Shabbat candles.
However, it is customary for any married woman to light candles wherever she will eat. Unmarried women do not need to light their own candles (as long as the host/hostess has them in mind when lighting), but they are not prohibited from doing so.
Shabbat Candles: How Many To Light
Shabbat: Candles: Wives: Light Two (or More)
Wives should light two candles for Shabbat (and Jewish festivals), even though we say the blessing over “ner” (“candle” in the singular). Lighting any more candles than two is custom.
Shabbat: Candles: How Many To Light when Eating Elsewhere
A wife lighting Shabbat candles in a place other than her own home lights only two candles, even if she normally lights more than two candles in her own home.
Adding a Candle
If you missed lighting candles one Shabbat, the custom is to light an additional candle with your normal candles every subsequent Shabbat during your lifetime.
Note If you eat at someone else's home for Shabbat and they light candles for you, you do not (even as a custom) then add a candle to those your normally light on subsequent Shabbats.
Shabbat: Candles: Blessing
Shabbat: Candles: How To Do Blessing: Women
Here is the order for blessing over the Shabbat candles by women:
  • Light the candles,
  • Put your hands in front of your eyes (this a universal custom), and
  • Say the blessing lehadlik ner shel Shabbat.
Note It is a custom to make requests at candle lighting, but rabbinic guidance may be helpful in how to structure the request.
Shabbat: Candles: How To Do Blessing: Men
Here is the order for blessing over the Shabbat candles by men:
  • Say the blessing, and then
  • Light candles.
Note If a man accepts/starts Shabbat when he lights Shabbat candles, he should cover his eyes and say the blessing AFTER lighting, as women do. Otherwise, he does not need to cover his eyes when saying the blessing.
Shabbat: Candles: Lighting with Wrong Blessing
If you said the blessing for Jewish festival candles instead of for Shabbat candles:
  • Women may not correct themselves, but
  • Men may say the correct blessing and light the candles.
Note If the man has already lit the candles before realizing that he had said the incorrect blessing, he should:
  • Extinguish the candles,
  • Say the correct blessing, and then
  • Light again (assuming he has not yet started Shabbat and that it is not yet sunset).

Shabbat: Candles: How Long Must Burn
How Long Must Shabbat Candles Burn
Shabbat candles must burn at least until dark and you have also eaten the bread of ha'motzi.
Shabbat: Mincha Before
What Time Is Mincha
Earliest Mincha before Shabbat
The earliest mincha before Shabbat is one-half hour after halachic midday, as with all mincha prayers.
Shabbat: Mincha and Candle Lighting
Saying Mincha after Lighting Shabbat Candles
A woman or girl who has already lit Shabbat candles may not say mincha for Friday afternoon, even if she lit (after plag ha'mincha but) long before sunset time, unless she intended not to begin Shabbat when she was lighting the candles (and intending to begin later should only be done in urgent situations, not routinely).
Shabbat: Evening Prayers
Shabbat: Early Ma'ariv
Shabbat: Ideal Time for Ma'ariv
The ideal time for ma'ariv on Friday night is whenever will make everyone (or most people!) happy. It can be any time from plag ha'mincha (1 1/4 halachic hours before sunset), until 72 minutes before sunrise, but should properly be said before midnight.
Saying Ma'ariv at Plag HaMincha
You may say ma'ariv on Friday afternoon (erev Shabbat) as early as plag ha'mincha (1 1/4 halachic hours before sunset), as long as you say mincha before saying ma'ariv. So, if it is now plag ha'mincha, you may say mincha and then follow it as soon as you wish with ma'ariv.
NoteOn erev Shabbat, you do not need to say mincha before plag ha'mincha in order to say ma'ariv before sunset. This is unlike on weekdays, when you must say mincha before plag in order to say ma'ariv before sunset.
Answering Kedusha If You Accepted Shabbat
Situation You have begun Shabbat early and you are at a minyan where they are saying kedusha for Friday.
What To Do Reply to kedusha.
Beginning Shabbat Early When Friday Is Rosh Chodesh
Situation You begin Shabbat early when Rosh Chodesh falls on Friday.
What To Do Do not say ya'aleh v'yavo in ma'ariv (along with the normal Shabbat prayers).
Kabbalat Shabbat
When To Say Kabbalat Shabbat
Start Kabbalat Shabbat Ideally before Sunset
Kabbalat Shabbat should ideally be started before sunset, and you should ideally get to bo'i challa at about sunset time. But you may start Kabbalat Shabbat after sunset and even after dark.
Latest Time To Say Kabbalat Shabbat
The latest time to finish saying Kabbalat Shabbat is before daybreak on Saturday morning.
Kabbalat Shabbat and Jewish Festivals
Kabbalat Shabbat is mostly omitted when Shabbat falls on:
  • Jewish festivals,
  • Chol ha'moed, and
  • Right after the last day of a Jewish festival
On these days, only Mizmor shir... and Adonai malach... are said.
Lecha Dodi
Directions for Lecha Dodi
When saying Lecha Dodi:
  • Face your normal direction for the first stanzas;
  • For bo'i v'shalom, ideally, face the entrance to the synagogue (but the common practice is to face away from the aron kodesh).
Saying VaYechulu with Others
Friday night, it is a nice custom for men to say va'yechulu with at least one other man. It is best (but not required) to say va'yechulu with the entire minyan.
Reason The idea is that we are attesting (with other people, as in a court) to God's having created the world.
Shabbat: Meals
Introduction to Shabbat: Meals
Introduction to Shabbat: Meals
Three Shabbat Meals
We are required to eat three Shabbat meals, as a rabbinic (d'rabanan) enactment to enjoy Shabbat (oneg Shabbat). The first Shabbat meal must be at night and the remaining two must be during the day (the third meal must be eaten after halachic midday). Friday night dinner and the first meal on Saturday are preceded by kiddush. For the first two Shabbat meals, say ha'motzi over two complete loaves of bread, each of which is at least 1.3 fl. oz. in volume. For the third meal, the ideal is to use two complete loaves of bread, but the requirement of eating the third meal can also be fulfilled by eating any food other than salt or water.

Source of Saying Shabbat Kiddush
  • Saying kiddush on Shabbat night is a commandment from the Torah (d'oraita).
  • Saying kiddush on Saturday morning is a rabbinical (d'rabanan) enactment.
Note If you did not say Friday night kiddush, you must say that version of kiddush on Shabbat morning and it is then a requirement from the Torah (d'oraita). Do not begin with va'yechulu; instead, begin with borei pri ha'gafen and say the second blessing of kiddush.

Source of Kiddush Location
Saying kiddush at the place where you will eat your meal is a rabbinical (d'rabanan) enactment.

Shabbat Kiddush-Meal Quantities: Evening
  • For evening kiddush, a minimum of 4 fl. oz. (119 ml) of wine must be blessed on and at least half must be drunk.
  • For the evening meal, as on Shabbat lunch and all required Jewish festival meals, a minimum of 1.9 fl. oz. of bread must be eaten within four minutes.

Shabbat Kiddush-Meal Quantities: First Meal on Saturday
Shabbat day first meal has two separate eating requirements.  They may be combined (say/hear kiddush and start the main meal right away) but are often done separately (say/hear kiddush and then eat some mezonot; the main meal is eaten later in the day).
Note Since eating and drinking requirements on all morning kiddushes (both Shabbat and Jewish festivals) are d'rabanan, the required beverage amount for morning kiddush is only 3.3 fl. oz. (99 ml) instead of the d'oraita 4 fl. oz. (119 ml), which is required for kiddushes for Shabbat evening.
1) Morning kiddush requires a halachically legal “meal” with these elements:
      a) Blessing on a minimum of 3.3 fl. oz. (99 ml) of wine (or other beverage),
      b) Someone's drinking at least 2 fl. oz. of the beverage, followed by
      c) Eating at least 1.3 fl. oz. (39 ml, or 1/6 cup) of some type of mezonot (or bread) within four minutes.
Note If you drink at least 3.3 fl. oz. (99 ml) of wine within 30 seconds, you do not need to eat mezonot.
Note You do not need to drink the wine or other kiddush beverage to fulfill “establishing a meal.” You may hear kiddush and then simply eat the required amount of bread or mezonot. This applies to Shabbat or Jewish festivals, evening or morning.
The kiddush “meal” does not have to satiate.
Note If you have not fulfilled the requirements for kiddush, you may not eat other foods, such as fruit or fish at a kiddush.

2) The real meal (kovei'a se'uda) of Shabbat lunch requires eating at least 1.9 fl. oz. (56 ml) of bread (or matza during Passover!) within four minutes. It should include enough food to satiate.
Note You can simultaneously fulfill the requirement to “establish a meal” and to “eat a meal” by eating one (the same) piece of bread.
For details on fulfilling the first two meals' requirements, see Shabbat: Kiddush.

Shabbat: Eating a Meal Requirement: Third Meal
For details on fulfilling the third meal's requirements, see Shabbat: Third Meal (Se'uda Shlishit).
Shabbat: Kiddush
Shabbat: Kiddush: Requirements
Shabbat: Kiddush: Requirements
To do Shabbat kiddush,
  • Say, or hear, the Shabbat kiddush blessings/segments, and
  • “Establish a meal” (kovei'a se'uda).
For details, see How To Do Shabbat Evening Kiddush  or How To Do Shabbat Daytime Kiddush.
NoteThere is never any requirement on an indvidual to drink kiddush wine (except at the Passover seder), but the kiddush wine must be drunk by one or more persons.
To fulfill kiddush requirements of “establishing a meal,” you need not drink the wine or grape juice (but someone must drink it).  Instead, you may hear kiddush and then simply eat the required amount of bread or mezonot (see above).  This applies to Shabbat or Jewish festivals, evening or morning.
Shabbat: Kiddush: Who May Make
Jewish Man or Woman Making Kiddush
As on Jewish festivals, any adult Jew, male or female, may say kiddush for him/herself and also include any other Jews of any age or gender.
Reason Any person who may fulfill the mitzva of kiddush may say it for another person.
Note Women are obligated to say (or have said for them) Shabbat morning kiddush.
Shabbat: Kiddush: What To Drink
Ideal Kiddush Beverage: Wine/Grape Juice
Wine (or grape juice) is the ideal and proper beverage for kiddush (and havdala).
Reason Wine is considered to be a prestigious beverage. 
Diluting Kiddush Wine
There is no need to dilute wine before drinking it.
Shabbat: Kiddush: How Much To Pour
Pour Revi'it for Shabbat Kiddush
As on Jewish festivals, the minimum volume of kiddush beverage on which you may say Shabbat kiddush (or havdala) is a revi'it, as follows:
  • 4 fl. oz. (119 ml) for d'oraita cases such as Shabbat (or first-day Jewish festival) evening kiddush, and
  • 3.3 fl. oz. (99 ml) for d'rabanan cases such as kiddush for Shabbat lunch.
How High To Fill Shabbat Kiddush Cup
Ideally, fill your kiddush cup to just above the rim, even if the cup is larger than 4 fl. oz. (119 ml). Don't make the cup overflow.
Note If you did not fill it to the rim, it is still OK.
If Not Enough Wine
If there is not enough wine or grape juice for Shabbat (or Jewish festival kiddush) and havdala:
  • Set aside the first cup for havdala; then, if there is one more cup,
  • Use it for the morning kiddush.
  • See How To Do Shabbat Daytime Kiddush and How To Do Shabbat Evening Kiddush .
Shabbat: Kiddush: Cup & Wine Bottles
Shabbat: Your Own Kiddush Cup
As on Jewish festivals, if you want to drink kiddush wine, you may hold your own cup of wine (or grape juice) during kiddush or receive wine or grape juice from the kiddush leader's cup, but neither is required.
Shabbat: Kos Pagum
Do not use a kos pagum for kiddush. Kos pagum means either:
  • “Physically damaged or broken drinking utensil":   (You may not use such a cup for kiddush l'chatchila), OR
  • Cup of wine, grape juice, or any beverage that has been drunk from. 
This beverage may not be used for a kos shel bracha until at least a small amount more of some beverage has been added to the existing beverage.
Shabbat: Uncovered Wine Bottles/Cups
You do not need to close the wine bottle or cover the other wine cups while the first of several people says kiddush, whether on Shabbat or Jewish festivals.
Shabbat: Washing Wine Glass
There is no need to wash a wine glass before using it if it is already clean.  
Shabbat: Pouring Back Wine
You may pour excess wine from kiddush back into the bottle as long as there is more wine already in the bottle than what you are pouring back and as long as the bottle has been toveled.
If there is less wine in the bottle than in your glass, you must pour at least one drop of wine from the bottle into your wine glass or cup before you pour it back into the bottle.
Shabbat: Kiddush: How Much To Drink
Drinking Cheekful for Shabbat Kiddush
As on Jewish festivals, the minimum total volume of Shabbat kiddush beverage that must be drunk--usually by the kiddush-maker (mevareich) but it may even be by several people combined--is a cheekful (m'lo lugmov), as follows:
  • 2 fl. oz. (59 ml) within 30 seconds of beginning to drink for d'oraita cases such as Shabbat evening kiddush (as well as first-night Jewish festival kiddush and all havdalas), and
  • 1.7 fl. oz. (50 ml) within 30 seconds of beginning to drink for d'rabanan cases such as Shabbat lunch kiddush (as well as first-day Jewish festival lunch kiddush and all second-day Jewish festival kiddushes).
Note If no one drinks the kiddush beverage, a blessing was made in vain (bracha l'vatala), and the commandment to say or hear kiddush has not been fulfilled.  
Shabbat: Kiddush: When To Speak or Drink
When To Drink or Speak after Kiddush
Once the leader (mevareich) has said kiddush for other people and someone has drunk at least 2 fl. oz. (59 ml) of wine (or other appropriate beverage) over which kiddush was made, you may:
  • Speak, even without having drunk anything yourself.
  • Drink.
  • Eat.
Shabbat: Kiddush: When To Bless after Kiddush
When You Must Say the Kiddush Blessing after Hearing Kiddush
You must say the blessing on wine if you:
  • Heard kiddush, then
  • Spoke, and
  • Now want to drink some wine, even from the cup over which kiddush was made.
Note If you heard someone make kiddush over a she'hakol beverage and you drank from that cup, you must say borei pri ha'gafen before drinking wine or grape juice later in the meal.
Shabbat Kiddush: Standing or Sitting
Shabbat: Kiddush: Standing or Sitting
Various customs apply to whether to stand or sit during kiddush (or havdala). Follow your tradition.
Shabbat: Two Loaves (Lechem Mishneh)
Shabbat: Two Loaves (Lechem Mishneh): Why Two Loaves
Shabbat: Two Loaves: Double Portion
The two loaves of bread on Shabbat reminds us of the double portion of mun we received in the desert. Even though one portion would have been eaten by Shabbat morning, we still use two loaves in the morning and two for se'uda shlishit as a reminder of the miracle.
Shabbat: Two Loaves (Lechem Mishneh): What To Use
HaMotzi: Bagels
You may use two bagels for the two Shabbat loaves (lechem mishneh) even though they are already sliced most of the way through.
HaMotzi: Crackers
The minimum volume of a cracker or crispbread (such as Ryvita or Wasa) that may be used for lechem mishneh is 1 oz. (30 ml).
HaMotzi: Other Foods
You may not substitute other foods for the two loaves (lechem mishneh).
ExampleYou may not use two apples or two cans of fish.
Shabbat: Two Loaves (Lechem Mishneh): Whole Loaves
How Much Challa May Be Missing
Less than 1/48th missing is still considered a whole loaf. So if you only have two challot (or other loaves of bread) for Shabbat, you might be able to use one loaf twice, as follows:
  • Wash your hands,
  • Say ha'motzi,
  • Cut off a piece that is less than 1/48th of the loaf, and
  • Eat it.
REASON You may consider the remainder of that loaf as still being a full loaf and you may re-use it for your Shabbat morning meal.
NOTE If you have pieces of bread or other mezonot, you may:
  • Cut off less than 1/48th of the loaf,
  • Eat the additional pieces of bread to make a total of at least 1.9 fl. oz. (56ml), and then
  • Re-use the same loaf for Shabbat morning.
Shabbat: Two Loaves (Lechem Mishneh): How To Cover
How To Cover the Challot
See How To Cover the Challot.
Shabbat: Two Loaves (Lechem Mishneh): How To Wash For
How To Wash for HaMotzi
See HaMotzi: Washing Hands.
Shabbat: Two Loaves: What HaMotzi Covers
See HaMotzi: Which Foods HaMotzi Covers.
Shabbat: Two Loaves (Lechem Mishneh): Which To Cut
Friday Night: Cut Lower Challa
On Friday night, hold the two challot together, one on top of the other, but cut the lower one (for kabbalistic reasons).
Saturday Morning: Cut Upper Challa
On Saturday morning, cut the upper challa of the two challot.  (For Jewish festivals, cut the upper loaf at night and day.)
Shabbat: Two Loaves (Lechem Mishneh): How To Cut
Mark the Challa
Mark the bread with a light cut before saying ha'motzi. Then make the real cut in the same place.
Note It is customary to just make a mark on the challa. You may cut almost all of the way through, but you must be able to pick up the bread by the small end and have it hold up the big end.
Shabbat: Two Loaves (Lechem Mishneh): Salt
Why Dip Challa in Salt?
Before eating bread (at any time, not just on Shabbat or Jewish festivals), dip the bread in some salt.
Reason #1 Salt makes the bread taste better and it is more prestigious for blessing.
Reason #2 Salting the bread makes it like a sacrifice (which had salt added to it).
Note You may sprinkle salt on the bread, but kabbala recommends dipping.
Shabbat: Two Loaves (Lechem Mishneh): When To Eat or Speak after HaMotzi
Eating or Speaking after HaMotzi
If someone said ha'motzi for you, you should wait until he or she eats some of the challa before you eat.
Note This is an issue of respect and courtesy (derech eretz) and not a halachic issue. However, you may not speak until after you have eaten some of the bread--any amount is sufficient.
Shabbat: Dinner
Shabbat: Dinner: Shalom Aleichem and Eishet Chayil
Shalom Aleichem and Eishet Chayil
A widespread (but not universal) custom before kiddush is to sing "Shalom Aleichem"; many men also sing "Eishet Chayil."
Shabbat: Dinner: Blessing the Children
Blessing the Children
A widespread custom is for parents to bless their children before kiddush on Friday night. See Blessing the Children/Birkat HaBanim.
Shabbat: Dinner: Kiddush
Shabbat: Dinner: Eating before Kiddush
Eating a Full Meal before Shabbat
See Appetite for Shabbat Dinner.
Eating from Start of Shabbat until Kiddush
 Once Shabbat begins for you—either at sunset or before (such as if you lit Shabbat candles)--you may not eat or drink before hearing kiddush
Note Women and girls may make kiddush anytime after lighting candles.
Shabbat: Dinner: How To Do Kiddush
How To Do Shabbat Evening Kiddush
To fulfill the two requirements for Shabbat evening kiddush:
  1. Say, or hear, the Shabbat evening kiddush blessings/segments:
    • Borei pri ha'gafen (on wine or grape juice only), OR
      Ha'motzi (on two challot if you have no wine or grape juice, as chamar medina is not permitted for Shabbat evening kiddush. See Challot for Evening Kiddush) AND
    • Mekadeish HaShabbat.
  2. Establish a halachic “meal” (kovei'a se'uda) by either:
    • Drinking 4 fl. oz. (119 ml) of wine (or grape juice) within 30 seconds, OR
    • Eating at least 1.9 fl. oz. (56 ml) of bread or mezonot of any type (within 4 minutes) shortly after saying or hearing kiddush.
Note For evening kiddush, the custom is to go straight to the meal without delay (with no mezonot or snacking first). B'di'avad if you snacked, it is still OK.
What To Drink for Shabbat Dinner Kiddush
Wine (or grape juice) is the only drink permissible for Friday evening (or Jewish festival evening) kiddush. If you do not have wine or grape juice with which to make evening kiddush, see Challot for Evening Kiddush.
Challot for Evening Kiddush
To use two challot for kiddush instead of wine:
  • Wash hands and say blessing al netilat yadayim.
  • Say kiddush but substitute ha'motzi for borei pri ha'gafen.
  • As soon as you finish saying kiddush, eat the bread as normal.
Shabbat: Lunch
Shabbat: Lunch: Eating before Kiddush
Eating before Shabbat Shacharit
Eating before Making Shabbat Kiddush
You may eat non-mezonot and non-bread food before praying Shabbat shacharit and without making kiddush, in order to avoid hunger or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Women and Minimum Prayer before Saying Shabbat Kiddush
The minimum prayer that a woman should say on Shabbat (or Jewish festival) morning before saying kiddush and eating some food is birchot ha'shachar.
Eating after Shabbat Shacharit
Eating Only after Fulfilling Shabbat Kiddush Requirements
Once you have said the amida of Shabbat shacharit, you may not eat any food until you have said (or heard) kiddush and finished kiddush requirements by either:
  • Drinking at least 4 fl. oz. (119 ml) of wine/grape juice, or
  • Eating at least 1.3 fl. oz. (39 ml, or 1/6 cup) of mezonot or bread.
Eating before Shabbat Midday
Don't fast on Shabbat (except Yom Kippur!) past halachic midday:     
  • If you will not finish shacharit before halachic midday, you should eat or drink earlier in the day, even before you begin shacharit—water can be sufficient for this purpose.
  • If you will finish shacharit but not musaf by halachic midday:
  • Finish shacharit,
  • Make kiddush,
  • Eat some mezonot, and then
  • Return to say musaf.
Shabbat: Lunch: How To Do Kiddush
How To Do Shabbat Daytime Kiddush
There are two requirements for Shabbat daytime kiddush: Say or Hear Kiddush Segments/Blessings and Establish a Halachic Meal (kovei'a se'uda):
1. Say or Hear Kiddush Segments/Blessings
    You must say, or hear, the Shabbat daytime kiddush segments/blessings and someone
     must drink at least 2 fl. oz. (59 ml) of the kiddush beverage:
  • Say or Hear Kiddush Segments/Blessings
    • Torah segment(s): V'shamru bnei Yisrael (even beginning from al kein).
    • Blessing over at least 3.3 fl. oz. (99ml) of drink:
      • Borei pri ha'gafen (if on wine or grape juice), OR
      • She'hakol nihiyeh bi'dvaro (if on other beverage/chamar medina).
   Note For Saturday (or Jewish festival) lunch and havdala, you may use
  any beverage (chamar medina) commonly drunk for social purposes (not
  just for thirst) in the country in which you are saying kiddush. The ideal is to
  use wine or grape juice.
  • Drink at Least 2 fl. oz. (59 ml) of the Kiddush Drink
  This amount may be drunk by one person or by several people together.
2. Establish Halachic Meal (Kovei'a Se'uda)
    You must establish a halachic meal (kovei'a se'uda) shortly after saying or hearing
    Shabbat morning kiddush by either:
  • Drinking Wine--at least 4 fl. oz (119 ml) of wine (or grape juice) within 30 seconds, OR
  • Eating Bread/Mezonot--at least 1.3 fl. oz. (39 ml, or 1/6 cup) of bread or mezonot within four minutes.
Note The second half of making kiddush, “establishing a meal” (kovei'a se'uda), can be fulfilled simultaneously when you fulfill the subsequent, separate Shabbat requirement for “eating a meal” but in that case, you must eat 1.9 fl. oz. of bread.
Note If you make, or hear, Shabbat morning kiddush on any beverage except wine or grape juice, you must also eat at least 1.3 fl. oz. (39 ml, or 1/6 cup) of bread or mezonot within four minutes to establish the kiddush meal. If you do not want to eat bread or mezonot, only drinking at least 4 fl. oz. (119 ml) of wine (or grape juice) within 30 seconds will fulfill all the kiddush requirements. 
Note If you have not fulfilled the kiddush requirements, you may not eat other foods, such as fruit or fish at a kiddush.
Note   Once you have heard kiddush and either eaten the required bread or mezonot or drunk the required 4 fl. oz. of wine or grape juice, you do not need to say or listen to kiddush again if you eat your actual meal later (except if you need to say kiddush for other people who have not yet heard or said kiddush).
Shabbat: Second Meal
How To Fulfill Eating Shabbat Second Meal
You must eat a second meal on Shabbat (or Jewish festival) day with at least 1.9 fl. oz. (56 ml, 1/4 cup) of bread--even if you already said ha'motzi but ate less than 1.9 fl. oz. of bread at kiddush.  
Note Ideally, begin your second meal before halachic midday. But you may eat your second meal anytime after shacharit and before sunset.
Shabbat: Torah at the Table
Torah at the Table
Saying some Torah at each meal--anytime bread is eaten and at least two people are eating--is a custom but not a halacha. But, Torah can be said anytime!
Shir HaMa'alot as Torah
Saying shir ha'ma'alot before birkat ha'mazon fulfills the custom to say Torah at the meal.
Shabbat: Third Meal (Se'uda Shlishit)
Se'uda Shlishit: What To Eat
What To Eat for Se'uda Shlishit
Ideally, fulfill the commandment of a third meal (se'uda shlishit) by:
  • Washing hands,
  • Saying the ha'motzi blessing over two challot, and
  • Eating at least the minimum amount (1.9 fl. oz., or 56 ml) of bread.  
You may, however, fulfill the requirements of se'uda shlishit by eating any solid food which gives nourishment—as long as you can say the after-blessing and have eaten at least 1.9 fl. oz. (56 ml) of that food.
Note If you ate some food after completing your Shabbat day meal (the second meal of Shabbat) and after halachic midday, you can consider that to be your se'uda shlishit, even if you did not intend it to be when you ate it.
Se'uda Shlishit: When To Eat
When To Eat Se'uda Shlishit with Bread
The ideal is to wash hands and say ha'motzi for se'uda shlishit before sunset. However, you may still say ha'motzi for se'uda shlishit until 2 minutes before dark (tzeit ha'kochavim) if you have not yet eaten your se'uda shlishit. Once you have begun your meal before sunset, you may continue until long after dark.

When To Eat Se'uda Shlishit without Bread
If you are eating a snack without bread, you must finish eating and say the after-blessing by at least 2 minutes before dark.
If you washed and ate bread, you may continue your meal even after dark.
Latest Time You May Eat on Shabbat
If you finished eating (and saying birkat ha'mazon/bracha achrona for) a full meal or even a snack that you intended to constitute your se'uda shlishit, you may not eat any more once the sun has set on Saturday until after you have made or heard havdala.
Note If you did not intend for the food to constitute your se'uda shlishit, see When To Eat Se'uda Shlishit with Bread or When To Eat Se'uda Shlishit without Bread, above.
Eating Se'uda Shlishit before Mincha
If you will not have time to start se'uda shlishit after mincha but before sunset, you may eat se'uda shlishit before mincha.
Note Eating se'uda shlishit before mincha is preferable to beginning eating se'uda shlishit after sunset.
Se'uda Shlishit: Who Must Eat
Who Must Eat Se'uda Shlishit
Women, as well as men, are required to eat se'uda shlishit.
Se'uda Shlishit: Birkat HaMazon
Wine from Se'uda Shlishit Birkat HaMazon
If you recite birkat ha'mazon after se'uda shlishit over a cup of wine, you may only drink the wine if the meal ended before sunset.  
Note Wine from birkat ha'mazon of se'uda shlishit that ended after sunset may be used for havdala EXCEPT if the meal was a sheva brachot meal.
Reason The bridegroom, bride, and leader may drink the wine--and one of them must drink the wine!--as part of the seven blessings, even though they were recited after sunset.
Melave Malka
Eating Melave Malka a Halacha
Eating something for the melava malka on Saturday night is a halacha, not a custom.
Melave Malka Shir HaMa'alot until Midnight
Say shir ha'ma'alot until midnight (halachic chatzot) if you eat a meal with bread after Shabbat is over, but only if the meal is eaten as a melave malka.

Shabbat: Conclusion
Saturday Evening before Havdala
Eating before Havdala
Eating/Drinking before Havdala
You should not eat or drink from sunset (or from the time you finish se'uda shlishit) until after havdala, but drinking water during that time period is not forbidden by halacha.
Birkat HaMazon Additions for Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh Saturday Night
Situation Rosh Chodesh begins on Saturday night. You started se'uda shlishit and continued to eat--including eating at least 1.3 fl. oz. (39 ml, or 1/6 cup) of bread after dark. It is time for birkat ha'mazon.
What To Do Say birkat ha'mazon additions for Shabbat (shir ha'ma'alot, retzei, migdol yeshuot) AND any others for the next day (such as ya'aleh v'yavo for Rosh Chodesh).
Note If you did not eat at least 1.3 fl. oz. (39 ml, or 1/6 cup) of bread after dark, only say the birkat ha'mazon additions for Shabbat.
Forgetting Ata Chonantanu
If you forgot to say ata chonantanu after Shabbat (or Jewish festivals), you do not need to repeat the amida. But, if you then ate food before saying havdala, you must repeat the amida including ata chonantanu.
When Shabbat Ends/Motza'ei Shabbat
Shabbat Ends at Dark
You may not end Shabbat before dark (appearance of three medium-size stars--tzeit ha'kochavim).
When Is Dark
Shabbat (and Jewish festivals) ends at “dark”: when three medium-sized stars are visible overhead.
Note To find medium-sized stars, look for stars to appear in the west—those will be large stars. When large stars appear in the west, medium-sized stars should be visible overhead.
If you are in a place where the sun sets but the sky will not get dark any time that evening, ask a rabbi what to do.
How Long between Sunset and Dark
Some communities end Shabbat 42 minutes after sunset, which is when some rabbis in New York observed that it gets dark. At other latitudes, the interval may vary considerably, from shorter toward the equator or much longer toward the poles.
Note In New York, dark is at 45 minutes after sunset in the winter and 50 minutes in the summer, according to Rav Moshe Feinstein. Some people wait 72 minutes after sunset before doing any melacha.
Saying Baruch HaMavdil
Baruch HaMavdil Bein Kodesh L'Chol To Do Melacha
After it is dark, say Baruch ha'mavdil bein kodesh l'chol (just those words--not God's name or any of the standard words used in blessings!) if you want to end Shabbat and do weekday activities (melachot) before saying ma'ariv's amida or havdala.
Reason This fulfills the commandment of “zachor” for Shabbat and allows you to do melacha
Note But it does not allow you to eat or drink, once you have finished se'uda shlishit, until you hear or say havdala.
Baruch HaMavdil... and Birkat HaMazon at Third Meal

Situation You washed your hands, said ha'motzi, were eating your meal (this could be se'uda shlishit or even a fourth meal) and it is now dark. You want to do melacha.

What To Do If you have not yet finished se'uda shlishit, saying Baruch ha'mavdil bein kodesh l'chol after dark on Saturday night does not affect the Shabbat additions you will then say in birkat ha'mazon.  So, you may say Baruch ha'mavdil bein kodesh l'chol and do melacha, and then continue to eat your meal or say birkat ha'mazon INCLUDING the two Shabbat additions of retzei and ha'rachaman hu yanchileinu yom she'kulo Shabbat u'menucha l'chayei ha'olamim.

Introduction to Havdala
Introduction to Havdala
Havdala is said after Shabbat, Jewish festivals, Rosh Hashana, and Yom KippurShabbat havdala is more extensive than after Yom Kippur and Jewish festivals

Shabbat havdala consists of:
  1. Beverage: Wine, Grape Juice, or Chamar Medina
    Wine is always the preferred beverage for all havdalas because it is prestigious.
  2. Spices
    The extra soul we are given on Shabbat leaves after Shabbat is over, so we sniff a pleasant odor to cover for that loss.
  3. Flame  
    The Shabbat havdala flame commemorates that Adam HaRishon (the first man) created fire after the first Shabbat.

Havdala: Requirements
To Fulfill Havdala Requirements
To fulfill the requirement for havdala, each person (not only the mevareich) should:
  • Hear the blessing on wine;
  • Smell the spices; and
  • See the flame.
Note If you do not do so when hearing havdala, you should smell a spice and see a flame later and then say those blessings at that time.
Havdala: When To Say
When To Say Havdala
B'di'avad, havdala after Shabbat may be said day or night until Tuesday at sunset.
Note From Sunday at daybreak on, use only the wine, not the candle or spices, and don't say the first paragraph (hinei El yeshu'ati...).
Waking Up for Ma'ariv and Havdala...
If you went to sleep before sunset on Saturday and planned to wake up for ma'ariv, yet slept through the night...:
  • Say shacharit Sunday morning;
  • Repeat the amida for tashlumin; then
  • Make havdala.
Note If you did not intend to wake up for ma'ariv, don't say tashlumin at all.
Havdala: Who Should Make/Hear
Who Must Hear or Make Havdala
Men and boys older than 13 years old and women and girls older than 12 years must each hear or say havdala for themselves.
Who May Make Havdala
Any Jew, male (13 years old or more) or female (12 years old or more), may say havdala for himself or herself and for anyone else.
Note The husband may say havdala for his wife and children even if he fulfilled his personal havdala requirement at the synagogue.
Note There is a difference of opinion as to whether women are required to say the blessing on fire, but the common practice is for women to say it. If a woman says havdala for a man, he must still say borei me'orei ha'eish for himself.
Havdala: Beverage
Which Havdala Beverage
Wine or grape juice is the preferred beverage for havdala, but any common beverage (chamar medina) that is drunk for social reasons is acceptable.
Note Wine from birkat ha'mazon of se'uda shlishit may be used for havdala EXCEPT if the meal was a sheva brachot and as long as the wine was not drunk from at the meal.
How To Fill the Havdala Cup
For havdala, pour at least a revi'it (4 fl. oz., or 119 ml) for enough wine (or other beverage being used) to overfill the cup. This is a non-binding custom, not a halacha.
Reason Doing so is a symbol of blessing (siman bracha) that we are so rich that the wine or other drink that we spill is not important. Don't overfill your cup if you are using wine from a shmita year!
How To Hold the Havdala Cup (and Spices)
Hold the havdala wine (or other beverage) in right hand when saying the beverage blessing (then switch and hold the spices in the right hand for the spices blessing).
How Much Havdala Beverage To Drink
To be able to say the after-blessing, you must drink at least 4 fl. oz. (119 ml) from the havdala cup within 30 seconds. 
If you drink only 2 fl. oz. (59 ml), you will fulfill the commandment of havdala but you will not be able to say any after-blessing.
Havdala: Who Drinks the Beverage
For men: No one should drink the havdala beverage except the person saying havdala. This is a non-binding custom, not a halacha.
For women: This custom does NOT apply to women. Women who say havdala for themselves may give their havdala beverage to someone else to drink.
Note During the Nine Days, the person saying havdala may drink the wine.
Havdala Beverage: Standing or Sitting
Sitting or standing while drinking wine from havdala (or kiddush) is a non-binding custom, not a halacha.
Drops of Havdala Wine above Eyes or in Pockets
Putting drops of havdala wine above your eyes or in your pockets is a non-binding custom, not a halacha.
Havdala: Spices (Besamim)
Havdala Spices Only on Saturday Night
The only havdala for which we use spices and candle is Saturday night. After Yom Kippur, just use wine and a candle, see Yom Kippur: Ending: Havdala. See also How To Hold the Havdala Cup (and Spices).
What To Use for Havdala
You may use any nice-smelling substance for havdalabesamim,” not just spices; but the source of the scent must be natural. There is no priority for using cinnamon.

Note For besamim, you may scratch a lemon or orange or other aromatic fruit and sniff the fruit itself (but not your hand). However, say the normal havdala blessing, borei minei v'samim, instead of the normal blessing for smelling fruits (ha'notein rei'ach tov ba'peirot).
How Many Spices To Use for Havdala
Only one spice is needed for the spice blessing for havdala, even though the blessing uses the term minei, which is plural.
How To Hold the Spices
For how to hold the spices, see How To Hold the Havdala Cup (and Spices)
Havdala: Candle
Using Two Wicks To Fulfill Borei Me'orei HaEish
To fulfill the havdala candle blessing borei me'orei ha'eish (“me'orei” is plural and requires more than one flame), you must use a candle with at least two wicks or any two other objects with a flame.
  • Two single-wick candles.
  • Two matches.
  • One match and one candle.
Using a Light Bulb for Havdala
A clear incandescent light bulb may be used for havdala if necessary and is considered to be multiple wicks.
Holding Hands Up to the Light
Holding fingers toward the havdala candle flame is a non-binding custom. 
Note We hold up our hands to the light because the minimum amount of light needed to fulfill the mitzva of the candle is to be able to see the difference between the skin of one's hand and one's fingernail. Doing so also creates shadows of our fingers on the palm of our hands, illustrating the bein or l'choshech (between light and darkness) segment of the havdala prayer.  There are also kabbalistic reasons.
Havdala: Final Blessing
Havdala: Final Blessing
The normal havdala ending blessing is Baruch ha'mavdil bein kodesh l'chol.  When Saturday night is a Jewish festival, say instead Baruch ha'mavdil bein kodesh l'kodesh.
Shabbat: Shamor
Shabbat: "Acquisitions"
Shabbat: Permitted Acquisitions
You may not acquire items (kinyan) on Shabbat unless they are needed for that Shabbat or for doing a mitzva. The classic example of doing something for Shabbat is bringing food or drink to a house for Shabbat lunch, which the house owner acquires on Shabbat for Shabbat. Other permissible kinyan on Shabbat:
  •  Giving a siddur or chumash to use on that Shabbat.
  •  Giving permissible medicine for use on that Shabbat.
Note For limitations on bringing a newspaper into your house on Shabbat, see Shabbat: Mail and Periodicals.
Shabbat: Animals
Shabbat: Animals and Muktza
Shabbat: Moving Animals
All animals are muktza on Shabbat, even pets, since they do not have a practical use. Moving the animal or its fur or picking up an animal is a violation of muktza.
Reason Originally, all animals were owned for specific practical purposes (cats to catch mice, dogs for protections, horses for traveling...) and they were not used as pets as they are today (for companionship, to pet, etc). Some poskim say that some pets are not muktza since they are similar to toys.
Shabbat: Animal Care
Shabbat: Feeding Animals before Yourself
If you do own an animal, you must generally feed it before you are permitted to eat your own food. If  you eat first, you have violated a Torah commandment.
Shabbat: Dog-Walking inside Eruv
You may walk a dog or other animal on a leash on Shabbat within an eruv or inside an enclosed property.
Shabbat: Dog-Walking outside Eruv
You may walk a dog or other animal on a leash on Shabbat outside a private domain, but you must hold the leash within 10 1/2" (27 cm) of the end and no part of the leash may droop to within 10 1/2" of the ground at any time.
Muktza: Feeding Animals that Do Not Belong To You
You may not feed animals that do not belong to you on Shabbat (even if they are tame).
Exception  It may be permissible to feed dogs on Shabbat even if they do not belong to you. Consult a rabbi.
Shabbat: Animals' Doing Melacha
Training Animal To Violate Shabbat
You may not train your dog or other animal to turn on or off lights for you on Shabbat.
Shabbat: Trapped Animals
Shabbat: Trapping/Releasing Animals
You may not trap wild animals on Shabbat (or on a Jewish festival). You may release a wild animal that is trapped in a trap or cage by opening the door or gate, but you may not move or lift the cage when the animal is in the cage.
Note The question behind this was asked by my niece Eliza when she was 6-years-old—ANYONE can ask intelligent and useful questions!
Shabbat: Feeding Wild Trapped Animal
You may not feed wild animals on ShabbatBut, if you intend to keep an animal that you trapped, you MUST feed it.
Shabbat: Bathing
Shabbat: Showering
It is forbidden to shower on Shabbat.
Shabbat: Blotting Hair
You may blot your hair with a towel on Shabbat as long as you don't squeeze or wring out your hair.
Shabbat: Bioluminescence
Shabbat: Bioluminescence
You may use bioluminescent light on Shabbat and you may carry the light within an eruv or a building (if it is permitted to carry there), but you may not activate it on Shabbat.
Shabbat: Books
Shabbat: Books with Writing on Side
On Shabbat, you may open a book that has words or letters printed on the edge of the book, even though the words will be made unreadable.
Shabbat: Marking Pages in Books
You may mark pages in a book, whether secular or holy, on Shabbat by:
  • Putting slips of paper in the book (but only if the slips were torn before Shabbat began).
  • Bending the page corners, whether the books are secular or Jewish holy books.
Shabbat: Braiding Hair
Shabbat: Braiding Hair
You may not braid (or unbraid) hair on Shabbat.
Shabbat: Brushing Teeth
Shabbat: Toothpaste
You may not use toothpaste on Shabbat.
Shabbat: Water, Tooth Powder, Toothwashing Liquid
You may use water, tooth powder, and toothwashing liquid on Shabbat but, to avoid squeezing the toothbrush bristles, you must put the water or toothwashing liquid into your mouth and not on the brush.
Shabbat: Rinsing Toothbrush
You may rinse your toothbrush if you will use it again on Shabbat, but don't squeeze out the water.
Shabbat: Flossing
You may floss your teeth on Shabbat as long as your gums do not bleed.
Note You may not cut the floss on Shabbat, so it is best to cut it before sunset. Even if you did not cut the floss ahead of time, you can still pull out a length of floss and clean your teeth, but be careful not to cut it off when you are finished.
Shabbat: Businesses
Shabbat: Owning Business Operated on Shabbat
Owning a Business Operated on Shabbat
A business whose sole or major owner is Jewish may not be operated on Shabbat (and Jewish festivals), even by non-Jewish employees.
Note There may be possibilities to allow operation by relinquishing majority control, but the issues are complex and rabbinic guidance is essential.
Shabbat: Internet Business
Shabbat: Internet Business
Running a business that accepts orders and payments over the internet during Shabbat is complicated. The main issue is collecting payments. Consult a rabbi for specific cases.
Selling Tickets for Shabbat Flights
Selling Tickets for Flights on Shabbat
A travel agent may sell airline tickets during a weekday to a Jew for flights on Shabbat-- but a Jew may not depart a flight on Shabbat!
Shabbat: Candlesticks
Shabbat: Candlesticks: Moving Candle Holders
You may not remove candle holders from a table on Shabbat, but you may ask a non-Jew to remove them for you if you need the space.  
Shabbat: Carrying (Hotza'a)
Shabbat: Carrying (Hotza'a) and Domains
Transferring Object from Domain to Domain
On Shabbat (or Yom Kippur), you may not transfer an object between and among domains unless there is a city eruv (which allows carrying within the borders of the eruv).
Note Domains may be of three types:
  • Private Domain (reshut ha'yachid),
  • Public Domain (reshut ha'rabim), and
  • Carmelit.
Moving Items in Legal Public Area (Reshut HaRabim)
In a halachically public area (reshut ha'rabim) with no eruv, on Shabbat you may move a stationary object up to 4 amot (6'9 1/2", or about 2 meters) from the place where you find it. If you are already transporting the object when you realize it, do whichever one of the following applies:
Situation You are walking on Shabbat in a public domain (reshut ha'rabim) that does not have an eruv and find something in your pocket.
What To Do
  • If you were walking and are still walking, go back to the most recent private domain and leave the item there. (If you cannot reasonably get back to where that was, continue to your destination and drop the item inside the first private domain you reach.)
  • If you have already stopped walking, drop the item where you are.
  • If you had stopped walking and then resumed walking, drop the item where you are.
Carrying in Mouth on Shabbat
You may not carry items in your mouth outside a private domain or an eruv on Shabbat.
  • Outside a private domain or an eruv, you may not carry food in your mouth that you were eating when you left your house.
  • You may not chew gum in a public area without an eruv.
Carrying Children on Shabbat outside Eruv
You may not carry children on Shabbat in a public domain without an eruv
Situation An eruv breaks or is down on Shabbat.
What To Do Do not tell someone who is carrying a child, pushing a stroller, or in a similar situation that the eruv is down.
NOTE If a person is not carrying a child, pushing a stroller, etc., tell him or her that the eruv is down.
Using Cane, Crutches, Wheelchair outside Eruv
You may use a cane, crutches, or a wheelchair if any of these are needed on Shabbat, even without an eruv.
Carrying Ticket within Eruv
If an eruv includes your house and a sports field, you may carry your ticket to a sporting event on Shabbat, but it is best if you leave the ticket at the entrance with a ticket-taker before Shabbat starts. Such activity is not in the spirit of Shabbat but is not forbidden.
Wearing Watch with No Eruv
You may not wear a non-decorative watch on Shabbat where there is no eruv or if you have the custom of not relying on eruvs. If you would wear your watch as a piece of decorative jewelry even if it did not work, you may wear it on Shabbat even without an eruv.
Wearing Collar Stays with No Eruv
You may wear collar stays on Shabbat even where there is no eruv.
If You Do Not Use the Eruv
If you do not normally carry on Shabbat even in an area with an eruv, you may not ask another Jew to carry something for you.  But if the other Jew does carry an item, you may use it.
Eruv Chatzeirot for Buildings
Introduction to Eruv Chatzeirot for Buildings
Introduction to Eruv Chatzeirot for Buildings
On Shabbat, you may not carry items in a building (such as a condominium) owned by more than one Jew (even if the other owners are not religious), from a condo into the hallway or from the hallway into a condo unless:
  • There is an eruv around the building, or
  • You have made an eruv chatzeirot with all the other owners.
Note If none of the other owners are Jewish, you do not need to make an eruv.
Note If you do not normally rely on municipal eruvs, you should not carry outside your apartment (such as in the building's halls--even if your building is within a municipal eruv), unless the building has an eruv chatzeirot
Eruv Chatzeirot: Hotel/Apartment Building with Central Kitchen
If you are in a hotel or apartment building that has a central kitchen from which most of the residents usually eat, you do not need to make an eruv chatzeirot.
Eruv Chatzeirot When Manager Has Right To Enter Your Apartment
You do not need an eruv chatzeirot if you are in an apartment building even without a central kitchen but where:
  • The building owner has property in each apartment, and
  • The building owner or manager has the ability and the right to enter your apartment and the other apartments.
Outdoor Eruv
Introduction to Eruvs
Introduction to Eruvs
An eruv forms a boundary around an area of land in order to create a private domain (reshut ha'yachid).  Carrying items within that domain is permitted on Shabbat.  The eruv boundary may include a variety of structures such as:
  • Real physical structures—whether natural (such as tree trunks, bushes) or man-made (buildings, fences, cars);
  • Natural topographic features (such as slopes); and/or
  • Presumptive doorways (often made of poles and wires or strong string).
Solid or Halachically Solid
Two structures (regardless of how thick or wide they are) within 10.5 inches of each other are considered to be halachically solid and constitute a single structure; this is called lavud.
A halachically solid wall may have gaps of more than 3 tefachim (10.5 in.) high or wide (i.e., in either dimension) as long as the other dimension is less than 3 tefachim wide.


A halachically solid wall can be made of a:

  • Wide mesh of ropes or strings; the cross strings are very far apart, as long as the vertical strings are within 10.5 inches of each other.

  • Picket fence; each vertical slat must be within 10.5 inches of the adjacent slat OR each horizontal piece that connects the vertical slats must be within 10.5 inches of the adjacent horizontal piece.

  • Chain-link fence.

All vertical eruv components must be at least 40 inches high. There is no maximum height for the eruv if it is a halachic doorway (tzurat ha'petach--two uprights and a horizontal bar above and connecting the two).


A solid component (for example, a board, wall, house, etc.) must be at least 12 inches from side to side. 

Non-solid components (for example, a series of narrow bushes, a series of trees with trunks less than 12 inches across, various types of fences, etc.) must be within 10.5 inches of each other and of the ground, both horizontally and vertically, for the entire distance between adjacent trees/bushes. They must be at least 40 inches high or wide.



Vertical components, such as poles, that are connected above or below in the following ways are also halachic walls, regardless of how far apart they are:

  • Connected above, such as with a board or string that rests across the tops of vertical poles, and which are at least 40 inches above the ground at all points along its course, or
  • Connected below within 10.5 inches of the ground, such as bushes or small trees with branches that come within 10.5 inches of the ground at all points (even at the attachment point to the trunk).  Components must reach up to at least 40 inches above the ground. 
Eruv: Leniencies
Eruv: Leniencies
Almost all eruvs in cities use leniencies.
Eruv: Dimensions
Eruv Border: Walls
Measurements for Walls as Eruv Border
Walls that begin within 10 1/2” (27 cm) of the ground and extend upward to at least 40” (1 m) above the ground are kosher as eruv walls.
Amount of Gap in Eruv Border
Eruv walls must total more than 50% of the eruv border on each side, so that most of the expanse of the eruv is enclosed, either by an actual wall or by the form of a doorway (tzurat ha'petach), with no gate or gap over 10 amot (about 16' 8”, or 5 m) wide.
Note  In order to count as part of a border for a private domain, any doorway, gateway, archway, etc., must be intended to be a doorway, gateway, archway, etc.--and not there merely for decoration or function (as in supporting something above).
Eruv Border: Buildings
Measurements for Buildings as Eruv Border
Buildings in a row, more than 10 amot (about 17.5 feet or about 5.3 m) wide and less than 10 amot (about 17.5 feet or about 5.3 m) from the adjacent buildings, constitute one eruv border for a domain and no eruv is needed on that side.
Eruv Border: Bushes
Bushes as Eruv Border
Bushes may be a border if they are:
  • So dense that a cat can't walk through them, and
  • More than 40” (10 tefachim) high.
Eruv Border: Cars
Car as Eruv Border
You may use a car as a part of an eruv, as long as:
  • The bottom of the car is within 10.5 inches of the ground, and
  • One side of the car is in line with other parts of the eruv, such as with an actual wall, lechi + mashkof, or steep slope.
Eruv Border: "Doorways"
Lechi Dimensions
Incline of Lechi
A lechi for an eruv must be less than 45 degrees from vertical.
Thickness of Lechi
A lechi for an eruv may be of any thickness and any width; even a string or wire may be used, as long as it is sufficiently tensioned so as not to wave in the wind.
Wire Dimensions
Wire Slope
Slope of the wire at the top (the pseudo-lintel) must be less than 45 degrees from horizontal.
Eruv Border: Roofs
Eruv Border: Slopes
Slopes as Eruv Border
A slope of about 25 degrees from vertical that is steeper than 5 inches vertical for 12 inches horizontal (a 5” rise over a 12” run) constitutes an eruv border; it must be at least 40" high.
Eruv Border: Tree Trunk
Tree Trunk as Eruv Border
You may use the trunk of a tree as part of an eruv, but consult a rabbi about the spacing and curvature of the roots.
Eruv Border: Water
Slope of Body of Water for Eruv
A body of water may be an eruv border if the land:
  • Slopes down into the water 40 inches or more, and
  • Is more than 25 degrees from horizontal.
Eruv: Porches, Awnings
Porches and Awnings as Eruv
In general, porches and awnings on the outside of a house will not qualify as being part of the house for the halachot of carrying on Shabbat if there is no eruv. The porch or awning must be in the structure of a shape of a doorway (tzurat ha'petach): vertical poles and cross beams must be on TOP of the vertical poles in order to be considered a halachically enclosed area.
Note Since these are not intended to be a doorway, no mezuza is required on them.
Shabbat: Children
Shabbat: Children and Melacha
Children: Melacha
You may not have any child, even if younger than gil chinuch, do melacha for you on Shabbat.
Shabbat: Children's Games
Shabbat: Ball Playing
Shabbat: Ball Playing in Yard or Eruv
If a private yard is enclosed, playing ball is not forbidden. Within a city eruv, do not play ball.
Shabbat: Retrieving Ball
You may retrieve a ball or other item that has fallen into a bush on Shabbat, but only if you can get it without moving the bush and only if the ball is still within an eruv or the private domain from which it fell.
Shabbat: Snowballs
You may make snowballs on Shabbat for purposes of playing.
Shabbat: Card Playing
Shabbat: Card Playing
Playing cards is not forbidden on Shabbat as long as you do not gamble or do melacha. You may sort a deck of cards into suits, but you must not remove unwanted cards (such as Jokers) from the deck, due to boreir.
Shabbat: Stickers
Shabbat: Stickers
Children may apply or remove stickers used for decoration or “jewelry” if the stickers will last less than 24 hours.
Shabbat: Clothing
Shabbat: Buttons
Extra Shirt Buttons on Shabbat
You may wear extra shirt buttons, sewn on to be used in the future if buttons fall off the shirt, outside an eruv on Shabbat, but not if you are already missing a button from your shirt and you plan to use one of those buttons in the future.
Shabbat: Folding Clothes
Folding Clothes on a Crease on Shabbat
Don't fold clothes (including a talit) on an existing crease on Shabbat.
Note You may fold clothes on a new crease that was not there before you did the folding, but only if there is already an existing crease in the garment.
Note If there is not a crease from before you fold the garment, you may not make one.
Shabbat: Removing Dirt from Clothing
Non-Embedded Dirt on Shabbat
  • You may brush off non-embedded dirt or hair from the surface of clothing, on Shabbat.
  • You may not remove dust, burrs, or anything that penetrates the surface of the garment, on Shabbat.
Shabbat: Removing Tag from Clothing
Shabbat: Removing Tag from Clothing
You may not cut a tag off clothes on Shabbat
Shabbat: Coloring (Tzovei'a)
Introduction to Shabbat: Coloring (Tzovei'a)
Since wool and/or leather was dyed for the Tabernacle in the desert, similar actions are forbidden today on Shabbat. Any action that causes one item or substance to change its color may be forbidden, even if it is not related to dyeing wool and/or leather.
Shabbat: Coloring (Tzovei'a): Food
You may not add a substance, whether food or other, in order to color food on Shabbat. You may add food to other food even if it will cause the other food to become colored as long as that is not your intention.
Shabbat: Coloring (Tzovei'a): Cloth
You may wipe a stain off of your face or hands onto a cloth or piece of paper if you do it to clean your face or hands on Shabbat, but not if you want to color the cloth or paper.
Shabbat: Couriers and Packages
Ordering Shipment that Arrives on Shabbat
You may not order a shipmentsuch as Fedex or other express delivery service--to arrive on Shabbat, but you may tell the shipper that it is OK with you if it is delivered Saturday night, as long as it can be delivered without violating Shabbat.  For details about newspapers and other reading material delivered on Shabbat, see Shabbat: Mail and Periodicals.

Shabbat: Cut Flowers
Shabbat: Putting Cut Flowers in Water
You may not put cut flowers into a vase or other utensil (with water in it) on Shabbat.
Shabbat: Adding Water to Cut Flowers
You may not add water to cut flowers in a utensil on Shabbat.
Shabbat: Moving Cut Flowers
You may move cut flowers in a vase or other utensil on Shabbat if they were in the vase or utensil since before Shabbat started, but if there are still some unopened buds on the stems, you may not put the cut flowers into direct sunlight.
Shabbat: Doors
Shabbat: Replacing Doors
Due to the melacha of boneh (building), on Shabbat you may not replace a:
  • Door onto its hinges, or
  • Sliding door onto its track.
Shabbat: Door Knocker
You may not use a knocker on a door on Shabbat. You may knock on a door using your fist or knuckles.
Shabbat: Dragging
Shabbat and Dragging Heavy Objects
You may drag heavy objects over soil on Shabbat, but only if:
  • You don't intend to make furrows, and
  • Doing so will not inevitably (psik reisha) make a furrow.
Shabbat: Electric Eyes
Shabbat and Electric Eyes
You may walk into the path of an electric eye if it only prevents a door from closing but not if it causes the door to open.
Shabbat: Electricity/Electrical Devices
Shabbat: Electricity/Electrical Devices: Turning Off
You may not turn off or disconnect an operating electrical device (such as an alarm, appliance, light, oven, or any machinery) on Shabbat, even using a shinui and even if the noise will prevent you from sleeping. You may ask a non-Jew to turn it off, but you may not ask a Jew, not even a child below bar/bat mitzva age.
Note If the device catches on fire, you may call the fire department or unplug it. However, there must be an actual danger or actual fire in order for you to disconnect it yourself.  You may not disconnect the device if there is only a chance that it will catch fire.
Shabbat: Elevators/Escalators
Shabbat: Riding Elevators
You may ride on an elevator if:
  • The elevator stops at all floors, or
  • A non-Jew pushes the button in order to ride the elevator himself.
 Note   You may get off only on the floor at which the non-Jew stopped; you may not have him or her push the button for a different floor for you.
 Note You must enter the elevator while the door is already open but has not yet begun to close, even if your presence keeps the door open but not if it will cause the door to open.
 Note You may not ride an elevator at all if a Jew pushes the button to any floor.
Shabbat: Riding Escalators
You may ride escalators on Shabbat if they:
  • Run constantly, and
  • Are not controlled by a foot treadle or an electric eye.
Shabbat: Asking Non-Jew To Help with Electric Door/Elevator

You may ask a non-Jew to open an electric door or to push the button to summon an elevator for you on Shabbat--even if he does not need to get to the floor you want--if you need to get to your room for any mitzva or Shabbat purpose, such as for a nap, to eat, or use the toilet.

Reason Even if a light comes on, it is d'rabanan (you do not need the light) and, therefore, you are permitted to ask the non-Jew to push the button.

Shabbat: Exercise
Shabbat: Strengthening Exercise
You may not exercise on Shabbat to strengthen your body. You may exercise on Shabbat for enjoyment, for socializing, or other fun purposes if:
  • No melacha is involved, and
  • It does not appear to be for healing (refu'a) or health purposes.
Example You may run on Shabbat if you like to run. You may not run on Shabbat if you don't like running but would do it to lose weight or to get in shape.
Shabbat: Roller Blading
You may roller blade on Shabbat.
Shabbat: Trapeze
You may swing and fly on a trapeze on Shabbat.
Shabbat and Swimming
You may not swim on Shabbat.      
Shabbat and Weight-Lifting
You may change weights on barbells or on a completely mechanical (no electrical parts, no timers or indicators) weight machine on Shabbat.
Shabbat: Stretching
You may stretch on Shabbat (and Jewish festivals) to make yourself more comfortable but not if it appears that  you are doing it as exercise for health.
Shabbat: Food Preparation
Shabbat: Checking for Bugs
Checking Product for Bugs on Shabbat

You may check produce for bugs on Shabbat or Jewish festivals but:

  • On Shabbat, you may not remove any bugs.

ReasonYou may not move it with your hand due to the bug's being muktza and you may not rinse it off on Shabbat due to boreir.
  • On a Jewish festival, you may remove the bug but not by hand. 

Example You may rinse a bug off produce on a Jewish festival.

NoteYou may not kill bugs on Shabbat or Jewish festivals. To do something that is certain to kill the bug is forbidden; if might not kill the bug, it is OK.

Note You may remove the bug along with part of the produce even on Shabbat.

Shabbat: Cooking
Introduction to Shabbat: Cooking
Introduction to Shabbat: Cooking
Bishul B'Shabbat/Cooking on Shabbat
The Torah forbids cooking on Shabbat.   “Cooking” means making food edible by heating it to above 120° F (49° C).
Cooking includes:
  • You may not make a soft food hard (such as cooking an egg).
  • You may not make a hard food soft (such as cooking meat).
  • You may not, in any manner, heat (to 120° F or above ) liquids that you will drink or foods with liquids—such as sauces and gravies--whether fully cooked or not. 
Timing of Cooking
According to the Torah, you may eat food on Shabbat that had been placed on the heat source Friday afternoon but was not completely cooked by sunset.
ReasonNo action is being taken and the cooking will be completed by itself.
Kli Rishon and Kli Sheini
According to Torah law, food is only considered to be cooked if it has been directly heated from the heat source, such as a kettle on a fire or a pot on a flame (even if that utensil has been removed from its heat source). This is called a kli rishon.
Once you pour water from a kli rishon into a glass, the glass is a kli sheni. Some foods, such as an egg or tea, get cooked in a kli sheni (kalei bishul--easily cooked). These foods are forbidden by Torah law to be put into a hot kli sheni on Shabbat.
Exception Halacha allows spices and water to be “cooked” in a kli sheni.
NoteIf the water is less than 120° F, nothing gets halachically cooked in any kli, even in a kli rishon.
Reheating/Replacing to Heat Source
   1.    Do Not Reheat Food Unless It Is Halachically Dry.
This includes heating on a hotplate, stove, or oven and applies to even fully cooked food. Halachically dry means the food is solid at either the beginning or the end of the cooking, or both. To determine whether a food is liquid (and therefore may not be reheated on Shabbat), shake the container. If the food does not move around, it is considered to be solid. (For when solid food may be reheated, please see Shabbat: Reheating.)
   2.    To Replace Heated Food onto/into Its Heat Source (hachzara):
  • You must have taken it off with the intention of replacing it, and
  • You may not put the utensil down onto a surface; you must continue to hold the food (or the utensil) in your hand.
  • The heat source must be covered.
Reason Chazal were concerned that someone might see you put food on the heat, mistake it for actual cooking, and erroneously think that cooking is permitted on Shabbat.
Note You may not replace incompletely cooked food to a heat source.
Reason To do so would facilitate the cooking.
   3.    Do Not Put Food on a Heat Source that has Adjustable Controls.
This applies even to fully cooked food.
Reason You might adjust the heat and thereby violate a Torah law due to shehiya (stoking the fire or turning up the heat).
Note Shehiya is simple to avoid; just cover the flame (or electric heating element) and any temperature controls before Shabbat, as when using a blech (a metal sheet that covers the flames and controls). Then, on Shabbat, you may put fully cooked solid (but not liquid) food on top of other food (or utensils containing food) that were already on a blech from before sunset on Friday.
Reason Doing so does not look like you are cooking and the blech prevents you from adjusting the heat.
   4.    Do Not Insulate Food to which Heat Is Added.
You may not add insulation (which will help keep in the heat) during Shabbat to foods that are on a heat source, even to fully cooked foods, if they are “wet.” By rabbinic law, you may not apply heat to an insulated utensil—or apply any insulation that adds heat--even before Shabbat began and let it remain that way during Shabbat--even if the food was completely cooked before sunset on Friday.
Note Regarding food on a heat source, you may add insulation if there is at least one uncovered area at least the size of a quarter. Adding insulation on Shabbat is only a problem if the insulation completely surrounds the food or utensil on all surfaces and the top.
Shabbat: Heating Liquids
Heating Liquids on Shabbat
You may not heat liquids by any method on Shabbat.  You may put a hot water urn on a timer from before Shabbat, but you may not add any water to the urn once Shabbat has begun.
Heating Already Cooked Coffee or Tea on Shabbat
You may not brew coffee or steep tea on Shabbat. You may use:
  • Instant coffee;
  • Powdered, dried tea; or
  • Tea that has already been steeped.
However, you may not add them directly to the hot water! You must:
  • Pour or dispense the hot water into an intermediate utensil, and then
  • Put the water and brewed or instant coffee or tea into that utensil.
Shabbat: Food Ready by Sunset
Blech and Food Fully or Incompletely Cooked by Sunset
When using a blech (sheet of metal to cover fire source and controls), it is customary for food to be fully cooked (edible) before sunset (or before candle lighting for a woman) to avoid the temptation to stir the food or increase the heat to help the food cook more quickly.
Replacing Lid and Food Incompletely Cooked by Sunset
For food that is not fully cooked, you may not remove and replace the lid (such as when checking to see if the food is cooked).
Reason Replacing the lid helps cook the food (the food's being fully cooked before Shabbat avoids this problem).
When using a crockpot or slow cooker with a glass lid, however, the food does not need to be fully cooked.
Reason You can see how well cooked the food is through the lid.
Shabbat: Reheating
Shabbat: What To Reheat
Shabbat: Reheat Solid Food but Not Liquid
You may reheat dry (not wet; not even damp), solid, cooked food, but not liquid food on Shabbat.
Shabbat: How To Reheat
Shabbat: How To Reheat
How To Reheat on Hotplate or Blech: Before Shabbat Begins
  1. Cover any cooking controls (knobs, switches, etc.) so no one adjusts them during Shabbat.
  2. Cover the heat source with a "blech" (sheet of metal). This will help prevent Torah law violations by serving as a reminder not to adjust the heat.                                      Note Some blechs also block the temperature controls, to help with the previous step.                                                                                                                                Note To use a hotplate, remove the control knob before Shabbat.
  3. Turn on the source of heat (hotplate, burner under the blech...).
  4. Put onto the hotplate or blech at least one utensil containing food or water.
How To Reheat on Hotplate or Blech: After Shabbat Begins
  1. Start with food that is fully cooked and solid (no liquids may be heated on Shabbat!). Note"Solid" food includes cooked meat with congealed jelly or cooked fish with jelly.
  2. Place the fully cooked dry food on top of the food- or water-containing utensil that had been placed on the heating appliance before Shabbat began. Remember not to put the fully cooked food directly onto the hotplate, blech, or other heat source after Shabbat begins (even if there is a separation between the heat source and food).
Note After sunset on Friday, you may not put any incompletely cooked food (whether hot or cold) onto the heated part of the heating appliance or move it from a cooler part of the blech to a hotter part.
NOteAt some time during Shabbat, someone must eat or drink from the food- or water-containing utensil that had been on the blech since before Shabbat began.
Sabbath-Mode Ovens
Sabbath-mode ovens have a switch that:
  • Keeps the light on or off (according to the way you have set it), regardless of whether the oven door is open or closed,
  • Makes a forced delay in the heating elements' turning on after the door is opened so that the heating element never goes on while the door is open, and
  • Shuts off the timer and digital display.
Sabbath-mode ovens do not permit any normally forbidden cooking-related actions on Shabbat. You may not ever cook food on Shabbat, even in such an oven (or any other way)!
Reheating on Hotplate with Timer
Once Shabbat begins, you may not put food on a hotplate with a timer that turns on the hotplate during Shabbat.
Reheating in Microwave Oven with Timer
On Shabbat, you may not put food in a microwave oven and have a timer turn it on, even if no light will be lit.  However, you may put the food into the microwave oven BEFORE sunset on Shabbat and have the timer turn on the microwave oven on Shabbat.
Note You must cover the microwave controls from before Shabbat.
Reheating in Hot, Turned-Off Oven
Dry food that has been fully cooked before Shabbat may be heated in an oven if the oven is off even if the oven is hot (120° F--49° C--or more).
Note If the oven is on, you may not heat the food.
Reheating Using a Warming Tray
On Shabbat, you may not heat food, whether liquid or solid, on a warming tray that is 120° F--49° C--or more.  But if the tray is less than 120° F, it may be permissible. Ask a rabbi, since there may be other problems due to switching on or off the heating element, lights, etc.
Reheating by Covering (Hatmana)
Hatmana is forbidden on Shabbat and applies to an item or structure that retains heat.
  • You may not, during Shabbat, place a food container in an item or structure, such as a blanket, that retaines heat. You may do so if the food container was already wrapped before Shabbat.
  • You may not add insulation (which will help keep in the heat) even before (and certainly not during) Shabbat to foods that are on a heat source, even to fully cooked foods, whether the foods are wet or dry.
  • You may not apply heat to an insulated utensil--or apply any insulation that adds heat--even before Shabbat began and let it remain that way during Shabbat--even if the food was completely cooked before sunset on Friday.
SITUATION You wrap a pot in blankets before Shabbat, serve the food on Shabbat, and return it to a non-heat source.
WHAT TO DO You may rewrap it after eating to retain heat for later.
Heating Frozen Food
Frozen food is considered “dry” (unless it has ice crystals or frost on the outside) and, unlike liquids, may be heated (under some conditions) on Shabbat. See How To Reheat on Hotplate or Blech.
Shabbat: Mixing Hot and Raw Foods
Shabbat: Hot Liquids on Raw Foods
You may not pour a hot liquid (120°F--49°C - or more) onto raw vegetables, uncooked salt, or other raw foods on Shabbat. If a kli shishi is used, ask a rabbi what to do, as this is controversial.
Shabbat: Hot Soup and Cheese
You may not put cheese in hot (120° F--49° C—or more) water or soup on Shabbat.
Reason This is cooking/bishul. Even though the milk was probably pasteurized, there are other ingredients (such as rennet) that have not been cooked.
Shabbat: Mixing Hot and Pickled Foods
Pickles, sauerkraut, olives, and other pickled foods are considered raw and may not be put into hot food on Shabbat.
Note Pickled and salted foods are sometimes considered to be cooked regarding some halachot, but not in this case of putting them into hot food (which will actually cook them).
Shabbat: Serving Hot Food
Shabbat and Ladling Soup
You may ladle soup from a pot on a turned-off burner without having to remove the pot from the burner.
Returning Hot Soup or Cholent to Heat Source
To serve hot soup, cholent, etc., and then return the food to the hotplate, blech, or other covered heat source:
  • You may pick up the pot or utensil containing the food from the hotplate, blech, or other covered heat source, but you must not put it down, even to partially rest on a table or other surface;
  • You must intend to return the utensil and food to the hotplate, blech, or other covered heat source; and
  • You may not remove/serve food from the utensil while it is still on the hotplate, blech, or other covered heat source.
Shabbat: Food Heated by Non-Jew
Conditions for a Non-Jew To Put Food into Oven for a Jew
A non-Jew may put food in an oven for a Jew on Shabbat if:
  • Oven controls are covered,
  • Food is fully cooked, and
  • Food is non-liquid.
If a Non-Jew Heats Food or Water for Self
If a non-Jew heats food or water on Shabbat for himself or for other non-Jews, a Jew may use the water and eat the food.
Shabbat: Food Heated by Solar Heat
Shabbat: Cooking by Solar Heat
You may cook or reheat food on Shabbat using solar heat, but only if the sun's rays directly cook the food. Practically, this can probably only be done by using a magnifying glass.
Note You may even cook or reheat liquids this way on Shabbat.
Note You may not cook the food by having the sun's rays first heat a surface—such as heating a black backing that will absorb heat--and then transfer it to the food.
Shabbat: Food in Turned-On Oven
Shabbat: Food in Turned-On Oven
Situation Food is in a turned-on oven.
What To DoEven if the heating element is not on at that moment, once you have opened the door, you must remove any food from the oven. You may not leave food in there to be eaten later.
Shabbat: Dishes
Shabbat and Sponging
You may not wash dishes with a:
  • Sponge (even if it is on a handle),
  • Dish rag, or
  • Scrubbing pad (a pad that holds water and, when used, the water gets squeezed out).
Wide mesh or other items that do not normally hold water may be used.
Shabbat: Freezing
Shabbat and Making Ice Cubes
You may fill an ice cube tray on Shabbat if you intend to use the ice cubes during Shabbat.
Shabbat: Grinding (Tochein)
Grinding on Shabbat: How Finely You May Grind
You may not grind, grate, or even finely chop or dice food on Shabbat. You may not use a garlic press on Shabbat.
The minimum size before violating the melacha of tochein varies by the type of food. The resulting pieces must be somewhat larger than the size you would normally use in order to be permitted.
Grinding on Shabbat: Avocadoes
You may crush or squash an avocado (such as when making guacamole) on Shabbat, but ONLY:
  • Using a shinu'i (such as a spoon, knife, or spatula),
  • Without using a specialized tool (such as a grinder, potato masher, or fork),
  • If you eat it immediately after preparing it, and
  • If you leave some pieces larger than you normally would.
   Note If you intend for all pieces to be somewhat larger than usual but some end up small, it is OK.
Grinding on Shabbat: Eggs
You may pulverize a cooked egg (such as a hard-boiled egg) on Shabbat but:
  • You may not use a specialized utensil (you may use a fork), and
  • You must eat it immediately.
Note No shinu'i is needed.
Shabbat: Kneading (Lash)
Shabbat: Mixing Powders with Liquid
You may mix powdered food substances with liquids on Shabbat if:
  •  The resulting mixture will be fluid (you can pour it in a smooth and steady stream), AND
  •  You put whatever is normally added second into the container first and then add the component that is normally added first to the other substance, AND
  •  You mix it with your finger, not with a utensil.
Note You may not mix a powdered food substance with a liquid on Shabbat if it will result in a paste (such as wasabi).
Shabbat: Mixing Soft Foods
Mixing tuna and mayonnaise and or other soft or mushy foods is permitted on Shabbat; it does not constitute the melacha of kneading/lash.
Shabbat: Muktza in the Kitchen
Shabbat: Muktza: Moving a Hotplate
You may move a hotplate on Shabbat but ONLY if you need the space where it is located. You do not need to use an unusual method (shinu'i).
Note You may not unplug an operating hotplate. If the hotplate will not go on again, you may unplug it--but only in a non-standard manner.
Shabbat: Muktza: Moving an Empty Pot
Pots become muktza on Shabbat once the food in them is all gone. See Introduction: Shabbat: Muktza.
Shabbat: Opening/Sealing/Tearing
Shabbat: Bottles
Opening Plastic Bottles on Shabbat
You may completely open plastic bottle caps on plastic bottles on Shabbat (even if doing so will leave a plastic ring on the bottle), as long as it is theoretically possible to dispense the liquid without completely separating the cap from the bottle.
Reason Since liquid can be poured with the cap still attached, the sealed bottle does not become a “new utensil”—a Shabbat violation.

However, if you will destroy letters that are printed on the cap, you may not open the bottle.
Opening Metal Bottle Caps on Shabbat
You may not open metal bottle caps on Shabbat if doing so will leave behind a metal ring. You may break the ring or open the bottle (and close it again, if desired) before Shabbat.
Note If you need the contents for Shabbat (such as if it is a bottle of wine), you may ask a non-Jew to open it for you.  But if the wine is not cooked/mevushal, the wine will become non-kosher once opened and handled by a non-Jew.
Shabbat: Twist-Ties
Shabbat: Non-Permanent Twist-Ties
You may twist or untwist twist ties on Shabbat, but only if you intend them to be a non-permanent seal. If you will (at any time in the future—even long after Shabbat is over) remove the twist-tie, it is considered non-permanent.
Shabbat: Tearing
Shabbat: Tearing Paper and Plastic Wrap

You may tear paper, plastic, foil, or other wrappers around food in order to eat that food on Shabbat.

You may tear plastic and foil (but not paper) around napkins, plasticware, etc., that you need on Shabbat.

But you may not:

  • Do so if you will inevitably tear through any words or pictures on the package.
  • Use scissors.
Except for wrappers for food or eating utensils, do not tear paper, foil, toilet paper, parchment paper, plastic wrap, paper towels, etc., on Shabbat.
Note If there is a perforation, that makes the tearing worse.
Note If you do not have any torn toilet paper, tear it is an unusual way:
  • Tear using the back of your hand.
  • Spread the toilet paper across your knees and then spread your knees apart.

Shabbat: Salting
Shabbat and Salting Food
You may not salt certain foods, whether cooked or raw, on Shabbat if the:
  • Salt will materially (not just due to the flavor of the salt) change the flavor of the food, as in salting cut or chopped onions or salting tomatoes.
    Note You may dip the tomato or other food into salt using your hand as you are eating it.
  • Foods have a shell; e.g., corn kernels (on or off of the cob), beans, peas.
  • Salt has not been heated previously (e.g., during the processing of the salt) and the food you are salting is hot (over 120° F, or 49° C).
Leniency  If the food has oil in it, you may add salt even if the food contains onions or has a shell. Even a thin layer of oil will exempt the salt.
Note You may pour salt into a liquid or a liquid onto salt, but you may not make a saturated salt solution (brine) on Shabbat.
Shabbat: Selecting/Boreir
Introduction to Shabbat and Selecting/Boreir
Selecting Good from Bad and Bad from Good
Boreir Principle #1: You may eat anything in the manner in which it is normally eaten.
ExamplePeeling an orange.
Boreir Principle #2: You may not use a specialized tool.
Boreir Principle #3: You may not remove “bad” from “good.”
What To Do  Take good (edible or desired food) from the undesired (bad) components.
Note You may do this only when you are ready to eat it or when you are preparing the food to be eaten soon afterward.
Note Boreir is a complicated area of halacha. Because issues of boreir are almost always from the Torah (d'oraita, not d'rabanan), we are stringent in applying restrictions concerning boreir. Consult a rabbi for specific questions.
Selecting Undesired from Desired Food
On Shabbat, you may not usually separate totally undesired from totally desired food in a standard way, even without a specialized tool.
Undesired Mixed with Desired Food 
However, you may separate undesired elements from desired food—even with a specialized tool--if the undesired food is mixed with some desired food (any amount that you would use or eat is enough). This is called “taking some good with the bad.” 
Situation You want to remove fat on gravy.
What To Do You may remove fat along with some gravy.
Reason Boreir is separating bad from good. Here, the junction area is still intact, so separating fat from gravy is like separating good from good (gravy from gravy, not fat from gravy).
Removing Easily Removable Food in a Non-Standard Way
Situation The undesired food is easily distinguishable and easily removable from the desired food.
What To Do You may separate totally undesired food elements from desired food in a non-standard way--using only your hand, fingers, or implement that is not designed for separation.  That is, you may not use a utensil that is designed to separate food from other foods, substances, or parts of foods, such as a slotted spoon, peeler, or sieve. But you may pick a lemon seed off a serving of fish, for example.
NOTE As on Jewish festivals, an action needed to eat a food normally (derech achila) does not violate the prohibition of boreir on Shabbat. So you may peel a food that is normally separated from its peel or shell in order to be eaten, as long as you do not use a specialized instrument to do so. For example, on Shabbat, you may do the following by hand without a shinu'i:
  • Peel an orange
  • Remove the shell of a hard-boiled egg
  • Separate peanuts from their shells.
NOTE If peanut shells are then put into a container that also has unshelled peanuts, you may not remove the empty shells from that mixture!
SITUATION You want remove dirt from a carrot's surface on a Shabbat.
WHAT TO DO You may remove the dirt with an altered method (shinu'i), such as scraping the peel with a knife (which is a tool not specialized for separating food)-- but not by using a peeler.
REASON The normal way to eat the carrot is to peel it.
 Selecting Desired from Undesired Food
While eating food (and some time before--within the amount of time you would normally need to prepare a meal), you may select desired food from undesired (or inedible) substances by hand or non-specialized tool. You may not use a specialized implement.
EXAMPLE You may remove fish from its skeleton even before eating it, but you may not remove the skeleton from the fish (because you have removed bad from good).
NOTE Once Shabbat has begun:
  • You may remove fish bones from fish while you are eating the fish, but not before you are eating the fish.
  • You may cut open a melon such as a cantaloupe and shake the seeds out (this is because some of the seeds remain), or take a bite of the melon and spit out the seeds. But you may not remove any remaining seeds using your hand or an implement.
EXCEPTION If you take undesired elements along with the desired food, it is not considered to be separating:  you may use a specialized tool and it does not have to be eaten soon (within the normal food-preparation time).
Shabbat: Removing Seeds in Foods
Shabbat: Easy to Remove
If each unwanted element is easy to identify and remove, there is no issue of boreir. Consult a rabbi regarding what is halachically considered easy to remove.

Shabbat: Removing Cantaloupe Seeds
You may remove cantaloupe seeds only by shaking, not by scooping, them out.

Shabbat: Removing Lemon Seeds
You generally may not remove lemon seeds (pits) from food. However, if you are squeezing a lemon and some pits get partly squeezed out, you may:
  • Shake the lemon in order to shake off the pits, or
  • Use your hand to remove the pits from the surface of the lemon.
Once the pits fall onto food, you may use your hand to push the seeds to the side of the plate. But you may not use any instrument to do so, not even a non-specialized instrument such as a spoon.

Note If there are only one or two seeds and they are easily differentiated from the food, you may remove them by any means, except by using an instrument that is intended to separate food from non-food or from undesired food, such as a sieve, strainer, or slotted spoon.

Shabbat: Separating Good Food from Bad in Your Mouth
Boreir does not apply to separating anything inside of your mouth: you may separate anything that way, even if you remove the bad from the good.
Shabbat: Salt Shaker with Rice
On Shabbat you may not, due to boreir, use a salt shaker into which rice has been added (in order to keep the salt dry).
Shabbat: Washing-Draining Food

You may wash or rinse food on Shabbat and pour off the water afterwards if there is no tangible dirt. (This is not boreir.)

If the food does have tangible or visible dirt, you may not wash or rinse the food.

You may wash and drain olives and other canned fruits and vegetables on Shabbat.


Shabbat: Dropping Unwanted Food
When you have food mixed with non-desired substances, you may remove the non-desired ones by picking up the entire mixture and dropping away the non-desired elements.
Shabbat: Fat from Gravy
You may skim fat from gravy as long as you take some gravy, too, with your spoon. Or, you may pour the gravy with the fat into a container and then pour off fat, including a little gravy, from the top.
Shabbat: Squeezing (Dash)
Shabbat: Squeezing Fruit
On Shabbat, you may squeeze a lemon (or other fruit) onto solid food that you will eat right away but not into a container or into a liquid.
Shabbat: Squeezing Brine from Tuna
You may squeeze brine from canned tuna on Shabbat but only if you will eat the tuna soon afterward (at your next meal or snack).
Shabbat: Squeezing Liquid from Cooked Vegetables
You may squeeze liquid from cooked vegetables on Shabbat but only if you:
  • Throw out the liquid, and leave some liquid together with the food,
  • Eat the vegetables soon afterward (at your next meal or snack).
Shabbat: Fans
Shabbat: Fans
See Shabbat: Moving a Fan.
Shabbat: Garbage
Shabbat: Dumping the Garbage
You may dump garbage from inside a house on Shabbat if the garbage smells bad (as long as the outside garbage can is within an eruv or an enclosed property that is adjacent to the house).
Shabbat: Glasses
Shabbat: Sunglasses
You may use photosensitive glasses (such as photogray) on Shabbat.
Shabbat: Eye Glasses
You may wash reading glasses or sunglasses using liquid soap on Shabbat.
Shabbat: Hair/Beards
Shabbat: Hair Brushing
You may brush your hair on Shabbat but only if the brush bristles bend easily. You may not use stiff bristles since they might pull out some hair. Using a special brush for Shabbat is recommended but not required.
Note You may not use a comb.
Shabbat: Hair Cuts/Shaving
You may not have your hair cut and you may not shave on Shabbat (and Jewish festivals).
Shabbat: Heating and Cooling
Shabbat: Adjusting Controls and Vents
Shabbat: Adjusting Temperature Controls
On Shabbat, you may not adjust temperature controls.
Shabbat: Adjusting Air Conditioning Vents
You may adjust air conditioning vents on Shabbat as long as you adjust them manually and not electronically.
Shabbat: Moving Fans and Heaters
Shabbat: Moving a Fan
You may pick up and move a fan on Shabbat (even if it is operating) if you need it elsewhere but you may not plug it in or unplug it on Shabbat.
Shabbat: Moving Electric Heater
You may pick up and move an electric heater on Shabbat (and Jewish festivals) if it is:
  • Off, in order to use the space where it is.
  • On, in order to use the space where it is OR if you need the heat elsewhere.
Note You may not unplug the heater if it is on. You may unplug it if it is off, but only in order to move it.
Shabbat: Moving Flame Heater
On Shabbat, you may not move a kerosene or other heater that has a flame.
Shabbat: Using Electrical Devices for Non-Electrical Purposes
You may use an electric radiator or other electrical appliances for purposes other than their intended purposes on Shabbat as long as the appliances are not expensive.
Example You may use an electric fan or radiator to prop open a window. 
Shabbat: Water Heaters
Shabbat: Water Heater above 120° F
On Shabbat, you may not use water from any type of water heater, including solar heaters, if the water in the tank (or reservoir) is above 120° F (49 C).
Shabbat: Water Heater below 120° F
If you keep your water heater permanently set to less than 120° F (49° C) and if you turn off the heater before Shabbat, you may use that hot water on Shabbat. But you may not lower the setting just before Shabbat and then use hot water from that heater, since the water in the tank will still be hotter than 120° F for many hours (or even a day or more) after lowering the heater temperature.
Note If you will be using a large volume of hot water during Shabbat, consult a rabbi since the heating element might inevitably be turned on and that would be forbidden on Shabbat.
Shabbat: Insects
Shabbat: Insects that May Carry Diseases
You may kill mosquitoes and other insects on Shabbat if they carry deadly diseases (which makes the insects a danger, or sakana). You may kill insects that might carry deadly diseases even if you do not know for certain that they do.
Shabbat: Biting or Stinging Insects
You may trap insects on Shabbat that may hurt you, such as mosquitoes (without diseases) or bees that might sting you. You may also trap them or chase them away with bug spray. You may not trap insects that just annoy you, such as gnats or flies.
Shabbat: Keys
Shabbat: Keys: Key Ring
Key Ring with House and Car Keys
If you keep your house key on a key ring with your car keys and you are within a private domain or an eruv, you may either:
  • Remove the house key (even on Shabbat), or
  • Carry the entire set of keys on the ring with you.
Reason The key ring and all of the attached keys are not muktza as long as they are on the key ring with the house key.
Shabbat: Keys: Tie Clip or Brooch
Shabbat Key as Tie Clip or Brooch
On Shabbat, you may not carry a key by hanging it on a tie clip or brooch; it must be an integral part of the jewelry.
Shabbat Key in Shabbat Belt
Key in Shabbat Belt
A Shabbat belt key should be integrated into the belt, not hanging on. 

	Shabbat belt: Key must be an integral part of the belt
Shabbat belt: Key must be an integral part of the belt
Do Not Stack Two Keys in Shabbat Belt
Do not stack two keys in a Shabbat belt: put them on separate connectors in a row. See Shabbat Key in Shabbat Belt.
How To Open Door with Key in Shabbat Belt
Situation You need to open a door with a key on a Shabbat belt in a place with no eruv.
Status You may not disconnect the key from the belt, stick the key in the door, and open the door in a way that the key enters a private domain.
What to Do You must either:
  • Turn the key while the key is still on the Shabbat belt, OR
  • Remove the key from the Shabbat belt (or take off the belt), open the lock, and then replace the key on the Shabbat belt before you open the door.
Shabbat: Knots
Shabbat: Permanent Knots
You may not tie permanent knots on Shabbat. A permanent knot is a knot intended to remain tied for at least 24 hours. Any strings you connect on Shabbat must be able to come undone by pulling on a single string, such as a bow.
Note Since opinions differ on what constitutes a permanent knot, we do not even tie knots that are intended to be untied, such as a double figure-eight knot.
Shabbat: Double Bows
You may not tie a double bow on Shabbat.
Shabbat: LCDs/LEDs
Shabbat: Causing LED To Light Up
You may not do anything on Shabbat that will cause an LED to light up.
Note You may not turn on anything that generates noticeable light AND heat on Shabbat (and Jewish festivals).
Shabbat: Causing LCDs/LEDs To Change
You may not use any item on Shabbat that will cause an LCD or LED to form or change letters or change an LCD display.
Shabbat: Laundry
Introduction to Shabbat: Laundry
You may not wash or hang up wet laundry on Shabbat (or Jewish festivals).  The halachot for drying laundry depend on whether you use a clothesline or a dryer:

Shabbat: Laundry: Clothesline
You may take down laundry on Shabbat only if it was dry before sunset on Friday, and only if you don't:
  • Transfer the laundry from one halachic domain to another (hotza'a), or
  • Give the impression that the laundry had been washed on Shabbat (mar'it ayin).
If laundry on a clothesline is still wet at sunset on Friday, the laundry is muktza and you may not take it down or use it during Shabbat. This is different from the case of a dryer.
Reason On the clothesline, there is no certainty that the laundry will dry during Shabbat (it might rain, it might be cold or cloudy...), so the person cannot have in mind that it will dry during Shabbat.

Shabbat: Laundry: Dryer
Laundry in a dryer (even if it was wet at sunset) that was turned on before sunset on Friday (or Jewish festivals) is not muktza, even if you do not intend to wear it.  You may remove the dry laundry from the dryer on Shabbat as long as no light goes on.
Shabbat: Lights
Shabbat: Redirecting Lighting Fixture
You may redirect a light fixture on Shabbat, but only by moving it with a stick or other object (a shinu'i), not directly with your hand.
Note You may not turn the light on or off and you may not disconnect the light during Shabbat.
Shabbat: Moving Lighting Fixture
You may slide a lamp or other light fixture to where you need the light if it is not practical to move closer to the light, but not by using your hand directly (you must use a shinu'i such as a stick or other object).
  • You may not plug in the cord or remove the plug from the wall.
  • You may not turn the light on or off.
Shabbat: Makeup
Shabbat: Applying Makeup
Women and girls may not apply any nail polish or makeup on Shabbat (and Jewish festivals), including mascara and lipstick. You may not even apply lip coatings such as ChapStick, even if just to prevent chapping.
Note Beware of “Shabbat makeup” that stays on longer than normal makeup but may not be applied on Shabbat.

Shabbat: Removing Makeup
On Shabbat (or Jewish festivals), a girl or woman may remove makeup.  
Shabbat: Mail and Periodicals
Shabbat: Bringing Mail inside House
Do not bring mail inside the house on Shabbat, unless it was delivered:
  • From within techum Shabbat, AND
  • Within an eruv, AND
  • By a non-Jew, AND
  • Already open.
Reason Most mail is muktza since it cannot be opened or used without doing melacha.
Shabbat: Bringing Newspaper inside House
You may bring a newspaper, magazine, or other reading material inside the house on Shabbat and read it if there is an eruv, unless it was:
  • Brought from outside the techum Shabbat, OR
  • Printed on Shabbat, OR
  • Delivered by a Jew.
If any of these conditions apply, you may not use it in any way on Shabbat, even if all of the other conditions would have permitted its use. You may use it once Shabbat is over.
Note As a policy, you may tell delivery services that you do not need to have the item delivered until after dark.
Reason If the item is delivered on Shabbat, it is not being done at your request and, if it is reading material, you may read the material as long as the other conditions permit it--see above.
Note If you do not know where the reading material came from, you may not use it Shabbat.
Note Although taking possession of the newspaper, magazine, or other reading material is “acquisition” (kinyan), you may do so since you will use it on Shabbat.
Shabbat: Medicines
Introduction to Shabbat and Medicines
Introduction to Shabbat and Medicines
Health or Life-Threatening Condition
On Shabbat, you may not take medicine used to promote health. Whenever there is any question of a life-threatening disease or condition, you must take medicine.

Categories of Sick People
There are several categories of sick people:
  • Entire Body Is Affected
    Example Fever.
    Status You may take medicines for this category; pills, such as aspirin, are OK to take.
    Exception You may not smear substances on skin UNLESS the fever is life-threatening, in which case even smearing is permitted.
  • Only Part of the Body Is Affected
    Status Some medicines may be used--consult a rabbi.
  • Discomfort
    Status Medicine generally may not be used.
Shabbat: Creams and Oils
Shabbat: Squeezing, Dabbing, and Smearing Medicinal Creams
You may squeeze a tube of cream on Shabbat, but you might not be able to use the cream on Shabbat for other reasons—consult a rabbi.
Note Smearing creams or ointments is permitted only in life-threatening situations. Otherwise, you may not smear cream on skin on Shabbat (or a Jewish festival) even using a shinu'i such as using the back of your hand or a toe.
Dabbing is permitted, but only when you are permitted to use medicine for that purpose.
ExampleYou may dab cream on Shabbat for a bee sting.
Reason The pain from the sting will affect the entire body.
ExampleYou may not use cream for a mosquito bite.
Reason It is only a local irritation.
Note You may not smear cream for either condition.
Shabbat: Massage Oils
You may rub olive oil, almond oil, and other massage oils onto your skin for the purpose of massage, but you may not use such oils for moisturizing rough or dry skin.
Reason Moisturizing rough or dry skin is a type of healing/refu'a.
Shabbat: Medicine
Shabbat: Medicine for Chronic Diseases
You may take medicine on Shabbat for chronic diseases such as high blood pressure.
Shabbat: Medicine for Non-Chronic Diseases
You may take medicine on Shabbat for non-chronic illnesses, if skipping one day will prevent cure, but not if skipping a day will just delay your cure.
Exception  If the disease affects your entire body, you may take the medicine anyway.
Shabbat: Painkillers
When You May Take a Painkiller on Shabbat
You may take a painkiller on Shabbat if the pain affects the entire body or if the pain keeps you awake.
Note This also becomes the criterion for whether to take the pain killer during the daytime: if the pain you feel during the day would keep you awake if you were trying to sleep.
Shabbat: Mops
Shabbat: Mopping
You may squeegee a floor on Shabbat (or Jewish festival)--as is commonly done in Israel, but you may not push the water onto earth or plants.
You may mop up a local spill but only without squeezing out the rag or mop.
Shabbat: Muktza
Introduction: Shabbat: Muktza
Muktza by Hand
Muktza (“set aside” in one's mind) is an item that normally has no permissible use (or no use) on Shabbat. Muktza items may not usually be moved by hand on Shabbat—even if your hand is gloved—except for certain Shabbat needs, such as you need the space or the item. However, it is ALWAYS OK to move muktza items with any other part of your body.
Chazal instituted muktza rules to make Shabbat special by requiring that actions be done differently on Shabbat than on weekdays. The basis for the idea of muktza was when Moses/Moshe instructed the Children of Israel in the wilderness to prepare the mun for Shabbat in order to eat it on Shabbat. Chazal extended the idea to prohibit moving by hand on Shabbat anything that was not prepared in one's mind before sunset on Friday.
The several categories of muktza vary according to their purpose and their permissibility to be moved.
Muktza Machmat Melachto L'Issur: Standard Use Forbidden on Shabbat
Purpose Item whose normal purpose is forbidden to be done on Shabbat.
Permissibility To Be Moved You may move this item by hand, without using a shinu'i:
  • If you need the space where it is resting, or
  • For a permissible use.
  • Using a hammer to open a coconut.
  • Using pliers to crack open nuts.
  • Using a portable radiator to prop open a window.
No prior preparation or thought before Shabbat is required.
Note You may not move it just to protect the item.

Muktza Machmat Gufo: No Use
Purpose An item that has no use. This item is not normally ever designated for use; for example, a rock or stone. However, an item in this “no use” category is rendered non-muktza and usable on Shabbat as long as you had intended--before Shabbat or the festival began--to use it for a permitted purpose. As long as you intended that, you do not even need to use a shinu'i. If you did not intend, before sunset on Friday, to use this normally unusable item, then you may only move it using a shinu'i.
Permissibility To Be Moved Unless you prepared before Shabbat to use it for some permitted purpose on Shabbat, you may not move it by hand even for a permitted use and not even in order to use the space where it is resting.
Note You might need to use the item regularly for the non-standard purpose because for just a one-time use, it might not be permitted. Consult a rabbi.
Exception Garbage has no use. You may move garbage within your house (example: push the garbage across the room with your foot), but if you want to dump your garbage outside and you have a private domain or an eruv, you may pick it up and carry it outside.

Muktza Machmat Chisaron Kis
Purpose A valuable item that you are concerned may be damaged.
Examples Passport, porcelain china, or other expensive and fragile or difficult-to-replace objects.
Such an item may not be moved except for its designated purpose and you may not move it once you have finished using it. But once you are already holding it, you may take it to a place where you want to leave it and you do not need to drop it where it is when you finish with it.  

Basis L'Davar Ha'Asur

Purpose Muktza item resting on a normally permitted item makes the lower item muktza too.
Example A candlestick will render the table on which it stands muktza (unless there are one or more other items that are more valuable than the muktza item, in which case the table does not become muktza).
Situation There are multiple objects; some are permitted and some are not—for example, in a drawer.
What To Do If the permissible objects are more valuable than the non-permitted objects, you may open the drawer.

Non-Muktza on Top of Muktza
If you want a non-muktza item that was left on top of a muktza item from before Shabbat started, you may use it without restriction.

You discover you have coins in non-patch pockets of your pants that you will wear on Shabbat.
What To Do
You may empty coins out of non-patch pockets if you need to use the pants, but not by taking the coins out: you must dump them out of the pockets.
Note If you have coins in a patch pocket, the whole garment is muktza, unless you forgot that the coins were there or if you intended to remove the coins before Shabbat began but forgot to remove them (in which case you may shake the coins out of the pocket and the garment is not muktza).

Non-Patch Pockets
Pants with muktza items in the pockets are on your bed and you want to sleep on Shabbat afternoon.
What To Do
You may move the pants off your bed using any body part including your hands; no shinu'i needed.

Item that Becomes Muktza
If you are holding a permissible item and it becomes muktza, you may put it in safe place; you do not need to immediately drop it or put it down where you are.
Example You are holding a pot from which you dispense all of the food. The empty pot is now muktza, but you may take it to the kitchen to put it down.

For More Information about Muktza

To see the TorahTots article on muktza, click here.

Shabbat: Music
Shabbat: Kazoos/Whistles
You may not use a kazoo or a whistle on Shabbat, but you may whistle with your mouth.
Shabbat: Listening to Non-Jewish Musicians
You may listen to non-Jewish musicians performing on Shabbat if you do not need a ticket and if they are not playing particularly for Jews.
Shabbat: Nail Cutting
Shabbat: Nail Cutting
You may not bite your nails or have them cut on Shabbat (and Jewish festivals).  If you have a broken nail, you may ask a non-Jew to cut it off for you if it bothers you.
Shabbat: Non-Jews (Shabbat Goy)
Asking Non-Jew To Do Melacha D'Oraita
You may not ask a non-Jew to turn ON a light or turn ON heat, or other d'oraita violations of Shabbat--even for a mitzva or for oneg Shabbat. However, you may ask a non-Jew to do a melacha d'oraita for any of a sick person's needs, even if there is no danger to the person's life.
Note You may tell a non-Jew to do melacha, even if it is d'oraita, for a mitzva or oneg Shabbat only if it is bein ha'shmashot (between sunset and dark).
Asking Non-Jew To Do Melacha D'Rabanan
You may directly instruct or ask a non-Jew to do melacha d'rabanan for you on Shabbat, but only:
  • To prevent a large financial loss.
    Note A large loss is subjective to the individual's actual wealth and also to that person's perception of what is a large loss. Consult a rabbi.
  • For Shabbat needs.
    Example You may ask a non-Jew to unlock an electric hotel door or trigger an entrance door on Shabbat, since this is for a Shabbat need and the action is not prohibited d'oraita.
    Situation A new guest arrives and you need the space on the table occupied by your Shabbat candlesticks.
    What To Do You may not move the candlesticks, but you may ask a non-Jew to do so.
    Situation You left a non-muktza item that you now need for Shabbat on a tree branch (or a child left one in a tree house!).
    What To Do You may not climb the tree to retrieve the item, but you may ask a non-Jew to retrieve it. Example You may ask a non-Jew to turn on air conditioning.
    ExampleYou may ask a non-Jew (directly, no need to hint) to turn off a light if it interferes with someone's sleeping.
    • To allow doing a mitzva.
    • For other pressing (and certainly for life-threatening) needs, such as health, even if the person not sick.
    Note All of these are d'rabanan cases!
Hinting to a Non-Jew To Do a Melacha
You may hint or imply that you need something done in order to induce a non-Jew to do even a melacha d'oraita that will benefit you, but only if you don't need that action.
Example Turning off a light; bringing a chair from outside an eruv.
Non-Jews: Melacha Bein HaShmashot
You may tell a non-Jew to do melacha for Oneg Shabbat
Shabbat: Pumps
Shabbat: Well Water
You may use water from a pump-operated well on Shabbat (as on Jewish festivals), as long as the pump operation is not a psik reisha (inevitable and immediate consequence of using any water tap).
Example You may use water from a well if it comes via an automatic pump that operates to fill a reservoir once the water level drops, but you may not:
  • Operate the pump directly.
  • Turn the pump on or off.  
Note If there are variants to this situation, ask a rabbi.
Shabbat: Refrigerators
Shabbat: Opening Refrigerator when Compressor not On
On Shabbat, even though you may cause a compressor to turn on while you are using it or soon afterward, you may:
  • Open the door to a refrigerator or freezer.
  • Use a water cooler.
Note This also applies to water fountains such as in schools and synagogues.
Shabbat: Opening Refrigerator with Light or LED
On Shabbat, do not open a refrigerator door that has LEDs that illuminate when the door is opened.  If you forgot to turn off the refrigerator light or if LEDs light up when you open the refrigerator door, consult a rabbi about what to do.
Shabbat: Room Sensors
Shabbat: Preventing Motion Detector from Lighting Up
If a motion detector will light up when you move, you must cover the detector before Shabbat or turn off the device.
Shabbat: Walking into Room with Motion Detector
Do not walk into a room on Shabbat that has a motion detector that causes LED lights or room lights to go on--unless you can enter the room without turning them on.
Note If you enter a room and then find that there is a motion detector that will turn on a light or an LED, you should not move until someone else has entered the room and the light has turned on. You may then leave while the light is still on.
Note Sometimes motion detector lights do not always go on, due to a defective detector or because you can walk slowly enough or out of the detector range.  If so, then it is not a “psik reisha” and you may walk past the detector, even if it sometimes does turn on the lights. However, you may not use the light that goes on unless there is enough ambient light from other sources that you can see without needing the triggered light.
  • If you can avoid triggering the LED by walking slowly, you may enter the room.
  • If you can open a door slowly without triggering the LED, and by letting the door swing closed the LED will light up, you may do so and then walk past the detector while the LED is on, but only if the door takes at least 2.5 seconds to close.

Shabbat: Secular Studies
Shabbat: Secular Studying
Studying secular subjects is not in the spirit of Shabbat but it is not prohibited.
Shabbat: Soap
Shabbat: Hard Soap
You may not use hard soap on Shabbat.
Shabbat: Soap Bubbles
Causing soap bubbles from lather on Shabbat is not a problem.
Shabbat: Sunscreen
Shabbat: Sunscreens
To use a fluid on skin on Shabbat, even sunscreen that may be needed to protect damaged skin, it must flow without lumps and not be more viscous than honey at room temperature. Therefore, apply sunscreen only if fluid (but not a cream or thick liquid).
Note You may dilute sunscreen before Shabbat with water or alcohol, but some sunscreens do not become more fluid even with added water or alcohol.
Note On Shabbat, you may use oil for pleasure, such as for massage, but not for refu'a/healing purposes, such as to heal chapped skin.
Shabbat: Talking
Shabbat: Talking about Weekday Subjects
You may talk about weekday subjects on Shabbat if what you are discussing already happened, but you may not discuss plans to do activities that involve any type of melacha, even d'rabanan.
Shabbat: Taping
Shabbat: Taping Items Together
You may not tape items together on Shabbat if you intend for them to stay attached for more than 24 hours.
Shabbat: Taping Card to Hotel Room Door
You may tape a card to a hotel room door on Shabbat in order to prevent its locking you out.
Shabbat: Telephones
Shabbat: Telephones
If Shabbat is over where you are, you may speak by phone to non-Jews in a place where it is still Shabbat.
Shabbat: Toilet
Shabbat: Flushing Toilet
Flushing a toilet on Shabbat is not a violation of transferring from domain to domain.
Reason It is considered too small a space to be a domain.
Note If the water comes from a pump-operated well, such as in rural or remote areas, consult a rabbi.
Shabbat: Transportation
Introduction to Shabbat: Transportation
Introduction to Shabbat and Transportation
It is best to avoid traveling at all on Shabbat.
Shabbat: Airplanes
When To Leave by Airplane before Shabbat
Flying before Shabbat for Business
You may leave until sunset on Friday if you are flying for business, but you must be VERY careful to avoid doing any melacha while transiting Shabbat in flight!
Flying before Shabbat and Flight Delayed
Situation You are are flying for business on Friday and the flight is delayed. The flight will leave after sunset.
What To Do
You may stay on the airplaine.
Note If you are flying for pleasure, you must get off the plane before sunset (if possible).
Shabbat: Flying for Business
Flying through Shabbat for Business
If you fly through Shabbat (permitted for business only), you must keep even Shabbat d'rabanan while flying over the area of the earth that is in Shabbat.
If you fly east (such as from Asia to the US, across the Pacific) after Shabbat is over, you will re-enter Shabbat and may not do melacha on the airplane. Say the Shabbat prayers and kiddush at the appropriate local time where you are flying.
Shabbat: Flying for Pleasure
How Much Time To Allow When Flying for Pleasure
You must not travel during any part of Shabbat if you are flying for pleasure. You must therefore leave with enough time to land and get to an accommodation before local Shabbat starts at your destination.
Shabbat: Landing
Shabbat: Landing at Connected Jetway
If you land before local sunset on Saturday and the jetway is connected to the terminal building, you may disembark but you must stay in the terminal building until Shabbat is over.
Shabbat: Landing at Unconnected Jetway
If the jetway is a ladder or not connected to the terminal, you must stay on the plane until after dark.
Shabbat: Police Orders To Leave Airport
If you land at an airport on Shabbat and the police or other authority orders you to leave, you may do so.
Shabbat: Taking Luggage from Airport
If you are ordered to take your bags outside of the airport or the building after landing on Shabbat, a non-Jew should take them for you.
Shabbat: Boats
Shabbat: Cruise for Business
Shabbat: Embarking for Business Trip
You may embark on a cruise for business until sunset on Friday. You must be on board before sunset, but the ship does not need to depart before sunset. You may not transact business on Shabbat.
Shabbat: Cruise for Pleasure
Shabbat: Embarking for Pleasure Trip
You must leave by Tuesday at sunset for a pleasure cruise if you will still be on the cruise at Friday sunset. The ship must have departed before sunset on Tuesday.
Shabbat: Docking
Shabbat: Docking before Sunset Friday
If your ship docks before sunset on Friday, you may get off on Saturday. Techum Shabbat is measured from the boat.
Shabbat: Docking after Sunset Friday
If the ship was not yet docked at sunset on Friday, you must stay on board during Shabbat.
Shabbat: Moored before Friday
If the ship was moored (anchored to the sea bottom without being connected to dry land) in shallow water before sunset on Friday, you may wade to shore as long as:
  • You don't get your clothes wet, and
  • You dry off your legs before walking on dry land.
You may not carry anything with you.
Shabbat: Cars/Vehicles
Shabbat: Riding with Non-Jewish Driver
You may ride in a vehicle with a non-Jewish driver on Shabbat only if:
  • He or she doesn't do anything especially for you (for instance, the non-Jew is driving somewhere anyway and offers you a ride for free), and
  • There is no possibility of mar'it ayin (appearing to do something not allowed, even though the act is technically allowed). 
  • You must not open a door (which will turn on a light) or do any other melacha while riding with a non-Jewish driver on Shabbat.
  • You may continue to ride on a bus or other public vehicle driven by a non-Jew even once the sun sets on Friday if you have already paid (or if it is free) and if the vehicle is not being driven just for you.
  • You may not continue to ride in a car or taxi that is being driven for you once the sun sets on Friday even if you have already paid for it or if it is free, unless it will be dangerous for you to get out of the vehicle and walk to a safe place.
  • You may not invite for a Shabbat meal Jews who may drive themselves to your home on Shabbat unless there is more than a 50% chance that they will arrive without driving on Shabbat.
Shabbat: Trees
Shabbat: Tree Rope
You may only use a tree rope for swinging or climbing if separated from the tree by another entity, such as another rope, tire, or board.
Shabbat: Tree House
You may use a tree house on Shabbat only if both the tree house and access to it are completely separate from the tree. You might build such a tree house by putting tires on top of the tree branch and then building the house on top of the tires. The ladder or other access to the tree house must likewise be separated from the tree.
Shabbat: Walking between Trees/Bushes
You may walk between bushes or trees, even if they are close to each other, and you may use your body to make space for yourself to walk. But you may not push the trunks or branches away using your hand.
Reason The trees are muktza.
Shabbat: Videotaping
Shabbat: Being Videotaped by a Jew
You may not be videotaped by a Jew on Shabbat even if it is not for your benefit, but there is no need to cover your face. If there is danger (for example, the town of Efrat in Israel has video monitoring 24/7), it is permissible to be videotaped. You should avoid appearing on a monitor on Shabbat, but being recorded is not prohibited.
Shabbat: Walking
Shabbat: Walking in Long Grass
You may walk on long grass on Shabbat unless by doing so you will definitely tear off some grass.
Shabbat: Walking on Sand or Soil
You may walk on sand or soil on Shabbat.
Shabbat: Water (Pool)
Shabbat: Dangling Legs

On Shabbat, you may dangle your feet or legs into a pool (or other body) of water up to whatever garment you are wearing. However, you may not let the garment get wet. 

Shabbat: Water Filters
Filtering Potable Water on Shabbat
You may use a non-electrical water filter on Shabbat. The water must be potable before filtering.
Shabbat: Watering
Shabbat: Waste Water
On Shabbat, do not pour waste water onto any area where plants can grow.
Shabbat: Preparation Checklist
Preparing For Shabbat
Here are some suggestions (these are NOT halachot!) of what to prepare in advance of Shabbat. Add or delete to suit your needs!
Candle Lighting
  • Check candle lighting time
  • Set the candles in their holders (and have matches nearby)
Set the Table
Set the table, including the challa and its cover and the wine cup.
Kitchen Preparation
  • Sharpen knives
  • Tear paper towels
  • Refrigerator: Turn off or unscrew lights; disconnect any LEDs or fans
  • Set up blech
  • Set up hot water urn
  • Turn off stove, oven
Food Preparation
  • Thaw frozen meat, fish, and other food that might take hours to defrost before being cooked
  • Cook whatever can be cooked ahead of time on Thursday night, Friday morning, or earlier in the week
  • Squeeze lemons; do any other boreir-type preparations
  • Chill wine
  • Open bottles and cans that will be needed on Shabbat
  • Prepare tea essence
  • Make beds
  • Sweep or vacuum
  • Dump garbage
  • Do laundry
  • Empty pockets of muktza (or if there is no eruv, of everything!)
  • For men, set out Shabbat talit
Check that nothing you will need is beneath a muktza item
Personal Care
  • Cut hair and nails, if needed
  • For men, shave or trim beard and mustache, if needed
  • Tear dental floss
  • Tear toilet paper or put out tissues in bathrooms
  • Open any new boxes of tissues
  • Set heat or air conditioning
  • Turn on or off lights, or set timers for them
  • If desired, turn off or disconnect:
  • Alarms 
  • Cellphones and phones
  • Computers
  • Microwave detectors
  • Other electronics
Check that the eruv (if any) is good