In the Spirit of Shabbat

From Halachipedia
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The Navi says "If you refrain from trampling the Shabbat, from pursuing your affairs on my holy day".[1] One should refrain from doing mundane activities on Shabbat, and conduct oneself in a manner befitting the Shabbat, which was given as a day of rest to focus on spirituality, and not on the mundane.[2]

Definition of uvdin d'chol

While there are examples of particular activities being prohibited due to being classified as "uvdin d'chol"[3], there is actually no clear definition of this category:[4]

  1. Some define it as follows:[5] if you do something during the week that would be assur on Shabbat, and then on Shabbat you do the same actions with the same objects but just a modify the action slightly in order to get around the melacha concerns, this would still be prohibited due to uvdin d'chol.
  2. Others define it as follows:[6] something that is an easily recognizable weekday activity, and it doesn't appear like you are doing it in a more haphazard way.[7]

Related Pages

Practically speaking, it is very hard to extend uvdin d'chol to things which weren't prohibited by chazal, given the ambiguity in defining the category.

However, here are some practical applications of uvdin d'chol:


  1. Isaiah 58:13
  2. In the introduction to masechet shabbat, the Tiferet Yisrael provides three categories of Uvda Dchol:
    1. Any action which is similar to the 39 melachot
    2. Something which may lead to a melacha
    3. Something which is a tircha yetira
    Tosfot Shabbat 143a s.v. chavit seems to imply that there is an inherent issur.
  3. The gemara (Shabbat 147b) says that one may anoint their stomach with oil on shabbat, provided that they do so differently than they typically do during the week (either by rubbing and then anointing, or by rubbing and anointing at the same time). This seems to be the most explicit reference to an inherent prohibition of doing things on shabbat in the same way that they are done during the week. (1) Mishna Brurah (314:41) says that to chop up wood into big pieces would be uvdin d'chol. (2) Mishnah Berurah in 321:36 he explains that the reason why the Shulchan Aruch (321:10) prohibits using a grinder to grind cheese is because of uvdin dichol. (3) Mishnah Berurah (321:45) says that using a vegetable grinder to grind up onions would violate uvdin d'chol, besides for potentially violating tochein. (4) Mishnah Berura (303:87) says that you can't use a normal weekday comb to lightly brush your hair to one side (such that there is no concern of removing hairs, which would violate gozeiz), but instead should get a special brush for Shabbat with soft bristles, so as not to violate uvdin dichol.
  4. See Dirshu Mishna Berura (siman 321 footnote 48), in which various opinions are cited
  5. Rav Shlomo Zalman (Meor Hasshabbat Letter 2:2)
  6. Rav Moshe (Iggerot Moshe 4:74, tochein 4)
  7. This is the language of rav moshe: שהמלאכה נעשית על ידי זה טובה כמלאכה קבועה דעושין בחול ולא ניכר עניין עשיית עראי שנעשית בלא קפידא כל כך על המלאכה שתעשה יפה
Category Topic
Mitzvot of Shabbat
Kiddush Levana - Enjoying Shabbat - Fourth meal of Shabbat - Havdalah - Having a meal on Friday - In the Spirit of Shabbat - Kiddush - Lighting Shabbat Candles - Making Early Shabbat - Making one hundred Brachot on Shabbat - Preparing foods on Shabbat - Preparing for Shabbat - Shenayim Mikrah - Kavod Shabbat - Shabbos Davening - Seudat Shabbat - Seudat Shelishit - Lechem Mishneh - Motzei Shabbat - When Does Shabbat Start?
Restrictions of Shabbat
Allowing Carrying Using an Eruv Chatzerot - Animals on Shabbat - Asking a Jew to work on Shabbat - Asking a non-Jew to work on Shabbat (Amirah LeNochri) - Benefiting from a Violation of Shabbat (Maaseh Shabbat) - Books, notebooks, and papers - Brushing Teeth on Shabbat - Building a structure on Shabbat (Boneh) - Carrying on Shabbat - Cleaning the dishes - Cleaning and Folding Garments on Shabbat - Clearing the table - Cooking (Ofeh and Bishul) - Cosmetics on Shabbat - Dancing and clapping on Shabbat - Electricity on Shabbat - Eruv Chatzerot - Eruvin - Games on Shabbat - Getting dressed on Shabbat - Giving birth on Shabbat - Grinding (Tochen) - Handling objects on Shabbat (Muktzeh) - Infants on Shabbat - Introduction to the Modern Eruv - Kneading (Lash) - Mail on Shabbat - Medicine on Shabbat (Refuah on Shabbat) - Melacha That Begins Before Shabbat - Opening bottles and containers (Boneh) - Plants on Shabbat (Zoreah) - Preparing for after Shabbat (Hachana) - Reading on Shabbat (Daber Davar) - Recreation on Shabbat - Sechirut Reshut - Separating mixtures (Borer) - Squeezing fruits (Sechita) - Speaking on Shabbat (Daber Davar) - Taking a cruise over Shabbat - Taking measurements on Shabbat - Techum - Transactions on Shabbat - Transportation on Shabbat - Going to and Staying in the Hospital on Shabbat - Wages on Shabbat (Sachar Shabbat) - Washing one’s body on Shabbat
Introduction to Melechet Machshevet - Marbeh Bshiurim - Plowing - Planting - Harvesting - Gathering - Threshing - Winnowing - Separating - Grinding - Sifting - Kneading - Baking and Cooking - Shearing - Laundering - Combing - Dyeing - Spinning - Mounting warp threads - Making two loops - Weaving - Unraveling fabric - Tying - Untying - Gluing, taping, or stapling - Ripping - Trapping - Slaughtering - Skinning - Tanning - Smoothing - Scoring - Cutting precisely - Writing - Erasing - Building - Demolishing - Completing a vessel - Extinguishing a flame - Kindling a fire - Carrying