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Dirt On One's Clothing & Shabbat

The Daily Halacha Moment - Dirt On One's Clothing & Shabbat👚

״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן

העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)

“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


May one rub off dust or dirt off one's clothing on Shabbat?


Strictly speaking, according to Sephardic custom one may brush off dust from one’s garment (See source 1 for the Ashkenazic custom), even if one’s garment is black and new. [1] One may even brush it with a brush. However, preferably one should only remove the dust from one’s garment in an indirect manner, such as with one’s sleeve instead of using a brush. [2]

Similarly, one may remove feathers that are on one’s clothing or that have even gotten stuck in one’s clothing. [3]

According to the Sephardic custom, if one’s clothing got dirty by some dry food or other dry substance, then one may remove it with one’s nails, but without water as we mentioned in a previous Halacha Moment. [4]


[1]. Shulchan Aruch 302:1, who only specified shaking off rain and dew, but not dust. Unlike the opinion of the Rama who does not allow one to shake off dust from garments on Shabbat. See also in Mishnah Berurah 302:7.

[2]. Halichot Olam, vol. 3, p. 224; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 6, p. 95; Ohr LeTzion, vol. 2, 24:1. The Chazon Ovadia even adds that even if after brushing off the dust there still remains a stain of dust, then one may even be lenient and brush it off using force and scrubbing (without water).

[3]. Rama 302:1; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 6, p. 98.

[4]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 6, p. 99; Halichot Olam, vol. 3, p. 226. See also Menuchat Ahavah, vol. 2, 12:55. For the Ashkenazic custom see Minchat Yitzchak, vol. 5, 38:3; Chut Shani, vol. 2, 33:1 p. 211.

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