The Melachah Of Sechitah - Squeezing

Updated: Feb 23

The Daily Halacha Moment - The Melachah Of Sechitah - Squeezing 💦


״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:

What is the melachah of Sechitah?


Answer:

One may not squeeze a wet garment on Shabbat, even if it is wet because of a liquid other than water.[1] This is also not permitted even if the garment is clean. [2]

One may not handle an entirely wet garment on Shabbat.[3] However, there are exceptions when a wet garment may be handled:

a. By two people picking it up at once. This way, one will remind the other not to squeeze the garment.[4]

b. If it is a garment that one does not usually wash or launder.[5]

c. If it is wet because of a liquid other than water or a clear liquid. [6]


If clothing that a person is wearing became wet (such as due to preparation, being caught in the rain, etc.), they are permitted to continue being worn and one is not required to change his clothing.[7]

Similarly, a person may walk around with wet socks, even though he is inevitably squeezing out the water from the sock with every step he takes. [8]


Sources:

[1]. Shulchan Aruch 301:45; ibid. 319:10; Menuchat Ahavah, vol. 2, p. 406; Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 67.

[2]. Shulchan Aruch 302:12; ibid., 320:16.

[3]. Rama 301:46.

[4]. Levyat Chen, p. 45; Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 64.

[5]. Rama 302:9; Mishnah Berurah 301:171.

[6]. Ben Ish Chai, Vayechi, 2:6; Kaf HaChaim 302:270; Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 74.

[7]. Shulchan Aruch 301:45. The reason for this is because it is not usual for one to launder the clothing that one is wearing. Another reason given is that the Chachamim did not want to prohibit a garment that one is currently wearing. However, the Shaar HaTziyun 301:203 points out that one may not put on a garment that is already wet.

[8]. This is permitted since the water itself ends up being soaked back again and therefore there is no melachah being done. Furthermore, it is only a rabbinical prohibition, and in this case one does not have intention to remove the water from the sock, and one is also doing so in a manner which is not the normal way of squeezing. Hence, it is permitted. See in Maor HaShabbat, vol. 2, michtav 32:12 from Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach for more depth on this subject, who also points out that one may step on a wet carpet since the water that is squeezed out gets soaked back up into the carpet afterwards. See also in Ashrei HaIsh, vol. 2, 28:10; Chut Shani, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 210; Orchot Shabbat 13:63.


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