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)


Question:

May one dye something temporarily on Shabbat?


Answer:

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]


Sources:

[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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