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Makeh BePatish & Clothing

The Daily Halacha Moment - Makeh BePatish & Clothing 👚

״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)


How does the melachah of Makeh BePatish apply to clothing/fabrics?


One may not cut excess strings from a garment on Shabbat, since one generally does not want the strings there and by doing so one is perfecting the garment which is considered Makeh BePatish. [1]

However; One may remove a thorn that became caught in the fabric of one’s clothing, since one is not repairing the garment, but rather just removing a hindrance. Similarly, one may remove a string that got caught in one’s zipper and is creating difficulty to open or close the zipper. [2] Another application of this halachah is that one may remove factory pins from a new folded shirt, since the pins are inserted into the garment only after it is completed, and are meant to keep the shirt properly folded until it is opened.

One may not separate the strings of a newly tied tallit on Shabbat if they are tangled together. However, if one has already separated them once before, then they may be separated even on Shabbat. Some refrain from doing so. [3]

Inserting the stuffing or feathers into a pillow, cover, or the sort, is considered Makeh be’patish and is forbidden. However, replacing stuffing that fell out into its original casing is permitted. [4]


[1]. Shulchan Aruch 302:2; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 329; Halichot Olam, vol. 3, p. 225.

[2]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 353, end of footnote 8.

[3]. Yabia Omer 5:3; Halichot Olam, vol. 1, p. 1 and vol. 3, p. 330; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 330.

[4]. Shulchan Aruch 340:8; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 342.

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