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Temporary Dying On Shabbat

The Daily Halacha Moment - Temporary Dying On 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 dye something temporarily on Shabbat?


The biblical prohibition of Tzove’ah applies to something that is permanently dyed. If something is only dyed temporarily, then it is only rabbinically prohibited.[1]

Therefore, It is permitted to wear lenses that darken in the sunlight and become clear when returning indoors, even though the coloring effect is a significant benefit, and this is the purpose of the lenses. [2]


[1]. Rambam, Shabbat, 9:13; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 23; Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 366.

[2]. See Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 23; Yechaveh Daat 2:47; Halichot Olam, vol. 4, p. 282; Be’er Moshe 6:46; Tzitz Eliezer 14:31 and 20:14; Shevet HaLevi, vol. 4, 23:5. Some reasons given as to why this is permitted include: 1) This is not an issue of Makeh BePatish since the coloring that occurs is part of its regular designed function. (See Igrot Moshe, O.C. 3:45 and Tzitz Eliezer, ibid.) 2) Regarding Tzove’ah, the coloring effect is only temporary and is continuously dependant on its exposure to the sun. (Tzitz Eliezer 20:14) 3) The coloring effect is an indirect occurrence, which is not the normal way of dyeing something.

(See Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah 18:18) 4) The purpose of the color change is merely to darken the lens, as a protection from the sun, but not to create any coloring effect. (See Igrot Moshe, ibid.; BaTzel HaChochmah 4:4; Az Nidberu 2:30; Mishneh Halachot 8:44 and 11:307)

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