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  1. The three types of actions that are forbidden as ‘Plowing’ are making holes, softening, and flattening the ground to prepare it for planting. [1]
  2. The extensions of the Torah prohibition of ‘Plowing’ include removing rocks or thorns from a field, spreading out fertilizer in a field, and watering a field (in order to soften it). [2]
  3. It's forbidden to remove dirt mounds and stones or fill in holes in the field in order to flatten the ground. [3]


  1. Plowing of any amount is forbidden. [4]

Cleaning off one's shoes

  1. The rabbinic prohibitions on this action are removing dirt from one’s shoe in a field [because you may come to fill a hole]. A tiled courtyard is included in this prohibition but a house isn’t (unless the ground is dirt). [5]
  2. One can’t rub spit into the ground but one can step on it regularly. [6]

Sweeping on shabbat

  1. One can’t sweep in a courtyard even if it’s tiled as a prohibition of sweeping a field but sweeping in a house (with flooring, where majority of houses in the city have flooring) is permitted. One shouldn’t use a broom with straw bristles because it’s definitely going to cause individual bristles to break. [7]

Games on dirt

Playing with marbles

  1. Playing marbles on a dirt floor is forbidden because it may smoothen the ground. Many poskim permit playing on flooring (wood, concrete, carpet), while others impose the prohibition to all floorings. Nonetheless, all agree that it's permissible to play marbles on a table or on a large floor mat. [8]

Playing with dice

  1. Playing with dice on the ground is forbidden because it may smoothen the ground. This prohibition applies even to flooring in a house but not a rug or a table. [9]

Playing with soccer

  1. One should not play soccer on a dirt field. [10]

Dragging heavy objects

  1. It’s permitted to drag a bed, chair, or bench on dirt if you don’t intend to make a hole with it. But a heavy bench or table which will definitely make a hole can’t be dragged even in a tiled courtyard [but is permitted in a house]. [11] It is permissible to push a carraige or wheel chair on dirt befcause the wheels aren't digging up dirt but depressing it. [12]
  2. A children’s toy can be dragged since it has a smooth bottom [because it will not dig up dirt but compress it] even if it will lean to the side and drag. [13]


  1. Kalkelet Shabbat 2
  2. Rambam Shabbat 8:1
  3. Mishna Brurah (Intro to 337)
  4. Rambam Shabbat 8:1, Mishna Brurah (Intro to 337)
  5. S”A 302:6, 337:2, B”HL ibid. “VeYesh”
  6. S”A 316:11
  7. S”A 337:2, Mishna Brurah 337:14, Sefer Hilchot Shabbat (vol 2 pg 51, Choresh note 115, by Rabbi Eider) in name of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein)
  8. 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 2 pg 259)
  9. S”A 338:5, Mishna Brurah 338:20, Kalkelet Shabbat 2
  10. Practical Halachos of Shabbos (pg 21) based on Mishna Brurah 308:158 who says that one shouldn't play with a ball on the ground because of the concern of flattening out the ground.
  11. S”A 337:1, M”B 337:4, Biur Halacha “VeYesh”
  12. Practical Halachos of Shabbat (pg 21) quoting Hilchos Shabbos by Rabbi Shimon Eider (pg 43 par 8)
  13. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 28:42, Sh”t Yechava Daat 2:52