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The Melacha Of Tzove'ah

The Daily Halacha Moment - Intro to the Melachah of Tzove'ah 🎨

״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)


What is the Melachah of Tzove'ah?


One of the 39 Melachot is Tzove’ah (dying). Tzove’ah is the melachah of dying the wool that was needed for the curtains and coverings of the Mishkan. According to the Talmud Yerushalmi, Shabbat, 51a, the melachah of Tzove’ah was performed on the hides of the rams in the following manner: The bodies of the animals were hit with reeds and bruised in order to cause the skin to redden. This redness that resulted on the skin had a sufficient dyeing effect required for its use in the Mishkan. However, according to most Rishonim,

[1] the wool was simply soaked in a dye solution in order to color it.

The Av Melachah of Tzove’ah is accomplished when dyeing the amount of material that can be used for string that is four tefachim long, and the dyeing must be permanent. [2]

Similarly, Any surface or substance that is ordinarily colored, dyed or painted for some purpose is subject to the melachah of Tzove’ah. [3]

Furthermore, The melachah of Tzove’ah can also include soaking ingredients in water in order to make a dye. [4]

In the next couple of days we will Bezrat Hashem be discussing Halachot pertaining to the Melachah of Tzove'ah, for example, wearing makeup on Shabbat etc.


[1]. See Rashi, Shemot, 25:5.

[2]. Rambam, Shabbat, 9:13; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 1.

[3]. Rambam, Shabbat 9:13; Magen Avraham 320:25.

[4]. Rambam and Magid Mishneh, Shabbat, 9:14; Shevet HaLevi, vol. 3, 50:2. See also in Iglei Tal, Lash 9:9.

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