Shower on Yom Tov

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    I always showered on Yom Tov (with hot water) assuming that it is a dovor hashoveh l’chol nefesh. This yom tov I was challenged as to my “mekor”, and really had no response. Anyone know of any hetterim to hang my hat on?


    There is an article by Rabbi Michael J. Broyde and Avi Wagner in

    Journal of Halacha & Contemporary Society 39; Spring 2000 – Pesach 5760 in which they argue that in America, showering on Yom Tov might be permitted. The article is available online. I ran their logic past a rav and he agreed with the logic so I have always showered on Yom Tov.

    Relevant excerpt from the article:

    “It is possible that there is no custom to refrain from bathing and showering in cold water on Yom Tov; However, even a person with a clear custom not to bathe or shower on Yom Tov, who is uncomfortable on Yom Tov – because of the heat or because of uncleanliness – is permitted to shower on Yom Tov, rather than to spend Yom Tov feeling uncomfortable. One who is ill certainly may take a hot bath or shower on Yom Tov, if that will make him feel better. There appears to be no more of a reason nowadays for a sick person to take a cold shower than a hot one, given that bathing in hot water is clearly shaveh lechol nefesh. It should be noted that when showering or bathing or even only washing the face, one must be careful not to squeeze water out of one’s hair, nor use solid soap.”


    Squeezing hair – whatever the Chasidim do on Shabbos morning coming out of the Mikva is what you should do.

    Bar Soap – Reb Shloimie Zalman Aurbach said it’s “Dava Hamutar Shenuhagu L’assur.” It’s in the footnote to Rabbi Ribiat’s 39 Melochos sefer.

    tomim tihye

    If you hold that it’s muttar to use a wet toothbrush on Shabbos, you should also be able to squeeze wet hair.


    Not ONE Ben Torah does this — Check it out. It’s for “American” Jews, not Torah Yidden.


    This was started a few hours a go by Rodfe Kesef -u see its by a kal for kalim. THe full name of the blogger is Rodfe Kesef Anshe Mirmah.

    lkwd rabbi

    Rav Shmuel Kaminetzky SHLI”TA was matir on Simchas Torah in a year like this year, where Shobbos followed Simchas Torah. In my Chabura in B.M.G. we learnt this sugya for an Elul Zman, and many concluded to be Matir for many different reasons. There is a Rav in Cleveland who says to take a dirty utensil into the shower with you and wash it first, then to go in. If you learnt up the sugya as i have, Rabbi 108300, you will understand that it makes much more sense to be Matir than to be Oser.



    You are saying that an American Jew can’t be a Torah Yid?

    Are you saying that Rabbi Broyde is not a Torah Yid? He is a very respected talmid chacham and dayan!


    Why are we arguing with him? (the Big Rabbi108300)?

    I specifically came looking for a heter not a musser schmuez. And, frankly, were not interested in your hashkofos on whats a torah yid. Thank you very much.

    so right

    I specifically came looking for a heter

    maybe that’s the problem?


    The rav of our yishuv paskened years ago that it’s muttar to take a hot shower on yom tov, as long as one is careful when drying the hair.



    From what you brought down, for a healthy person it is only Mutar to take a cold shower.

    I saw the same Psak that one may take a COLD SHOWER in

    Guidelines: Yom Tov

    By: Rabbi Elozor Barclay, Rabbi Yitzchok Jaeger.


    I heard from my rav that on a regular 3 day yom tov its mutar to take a shower if ur uncomfortable but on r”h not because we’re being judged so its not a good idea to look for hetairim.


    Are you allowed to use shampoo for the hair and shower gel when you have a cold shower on yom tov?


    there are a few mekoros for a heter of taking a HOT shower. if you look in shmiras shabbas khilchata you will “essentially” find one.

    also, if you look in shulchan shlomo you’ll find what your looking for from RSZ Aurbauch zt”l.

    people, dont be so quick to say bnei torah dont shower b.c you are insulting RSZA…..



    Did you actually read the article?


    I saw in the Kitzer that it is not allowed, of course you can look for heterim if you want one…

    YWN cracks me up…


    It is very “easy” to be machmir and say that everything is asur. It is way more difficult to understand halacha to the degree where one can be “mekil”.


    sac…check what i brought…


    First of all there is nothing wrong with looking for a hetter when confronted with a situation of feeling greasy and dirty l’kovod shabbos. The basic hetter of taking a shower on YomTov, or on Shabbbos too for that matter, is that it’s not ossur in the first place. On Shabbos you’ll have a problem since you can’t use the hot water so it’ll have to be a cold shower. And only if it’s a very hot day and you’re terribly uncomfortable. But on YomTov you can use the hot water. Taking a shower on the second day l’kovod Shabbos, like this year, is no problem. It’s best to use body wash or liquid soap and you can use shampoo. You have to be careful when drying your hair that you don’t actually squeeze out the water but rather pat your hair dry. Of course I’ll make the general qualification of all wannabe poiskim that you shouldn’t rely on my words as a psak halocho but refer to your local orthodox rabbi.


    The easiest thing to do is use baby wash which has the lightest consistency and rinses easily both from hair and body without difficulty. You can just basically pour it on your hair without rubbing it in to just make it smell nice and just use it to wash your body.


    I dont think anyone says you can WASH your hair thats A.

    B. you MAY be able to wash body parts one at a time but your entire body all at once for sure not.

    I’m surprised at all the usual zealots, when it comes to actual Halacha are all of a sudden so Meikil….


    I agree with sacrilige and rabbi108300. This is completely wrong.




    Last year, my rov spoke about this at length. It seems that someone published a pamplet that basically said taking a shower (done right) poses no problem.

    He said that while everything in the pamplet was essentially correct, the idea that bathing, a huge machlokes ha’poskim, one that was been for the most part avoided (or at best, done under extreme need conditions)for centuries, is now a slam-dunk (my words, not his, but that was his jist).

    Is it ok to bathe? It should at least be the subject of a question. His bigger concern is, once heterim get made, there is no telling how / where it will be applied (or mis-applied) down the road.

    Think about it. We as frum jews invest so much time, money and effort into being frum. Why gamble on a sofek d’oraisa? At least ask your own personal rov.


    R’ Yoshe Ber unequivically was matir taking a (hot) shower on Yom Tov for someone who showers every day. It is indeed a davar hashaveh l’chol nefesh…..


    Washing the Body, taken from Halachically Speaking


    The Shulchan Aruch rules that one may not heat up water on Yom Tov in order to wash his entire body, since

    doing so is considered shoveh lechol nefesh. Since washing the whole body is not shoveh lechol nefesh, one Washing part of the body

    One may use water which was heated up before Yom Tov to wash one limb at a time, even if he will end up

    washing all of his body.11 Additionally, some poskim permit one to use water which was heated up on Yom Tov

    to wash one limb at a time, as long as one does not end up washing most of the body, since washing most of the

    body will be considered as if one washed the whole body (which is not shoveh lechol nefesh).12 However, if the

    water was heated from before Yom Tov, we do not consider washing most of the body as washing the whole


    Does Shoveh Lechol Nefesh Change?

    The poskim discuss whether or not shoveh lechol nefesh can change with time.13 In earlier times when houses

    did not have indoor plumbing, people generally did not shower on a daily basis. Therefore, washing the whole

    body was not considered shoveh lechol nefesh. The question is since most people today wash their whole bodies

    (i.e. take a shower on a daily basis) is doing so considered to be shoveh lechol nefesh,14 or are the rules set

    despite all this the gezeirah of chazal is still in effect and unchanged.15

    Face, Hands, and Feet

    As mentioned above, one is permitted to heat up water even on Yom Tov to wash his face, hands, and feet. Some

    say one may only wash the face and not the entire head.16 When washing the hands, one may wash until the

    elbow, and when washing the feet, one may wash until the ankle.17

    One may not walk into a shower (even if he only intends to wash part of his body) since we are concerned that

    he will come to wash his entire body.18 Therefore, if the limbs of the body which he is not allowed to wash are

    covered with a garment, one may walk into a shower to wash the uncovered limbs.19 Alternatively, one may

    stand outside the shower and stick his face, hands, and feet into the shower to be washed.

    There is an uncertainty if a person who is very dirty may shower his entire body on Yom Tov.20

    Modern Water Heaters (Boilers) on Yom Tov

    Our modern water heaters work in the following manner.21 Water is heated up to a certain temperature at which

    it is maintained automatically. When one uses hot water, new cold water enters the boiler causing the hot water

    in the tank to cool that is detected by the thermostat, which then causes the flame to re-heat the water.

    Accordingly, anytime one removes hot water on Yom Tov one causes new water to be heated up in its place.

    Therefore, all hot water in our modern day boilers is considered to have been cooked on Yom Tov, since one

    uses water on Yom Tov new water is getting cooked up in its place.22 Therefore, one would not be able to use

    any water from a modern water heater to shower or wash most of the body on Yom Tov.

    it is forbidden to cook up hot water for a shower on Yom Tov is because it is not shoveh lechol nefesh since only

    an istinus needs one everyday. How then can such reasoning be used to permit a shower? This argument will

    refute such statements even during a three-day Yom Tov.24


    Giving a child a bath or shower is only permitted where the water has been heated on Yom Tov for a permitted

    purpose. One is then permitted to use such water to wash his child.25 However, placing the child into a bath or

    shower with water that is heated up on Yom Tov specifically for the child is forbidden.26 One should consult his

    local halachic authority whether water taken from a modern-day water heater is considered as having been

    heated specifically for the child.

    In any case, washing a child in the permitted manner may only be done if the child receives a bath on a daily

    even if it will get wet.28

    One who is very hot is permitted to take a cold shower on Yom Tov.29 One should not take a lukewarm shower

    on Yom Tov since one has to turn on the hot water for this purpose, which is not permitted when one would be

    washing his whole body.30

    1 Sefer Shemos 12:16.

    2 Refer to Rambam Hilchos Yom Tov 1:5, Shulchan Aruch 495:1, Rama, Pri Megadim Eishel Avraham 511:4, Shita Mekubetzes

    3 Mesechtas Kesubos 7a.

    (kuntres achron), Tosefta Chazzon Yecheskel Beitzah 2:7:page 76. See Chinuch mitzvah 298.

    6 Pri Megadim Eishel Avraham 511:4. Refer to Bais Meir Y.D. 197:3.

    7 Refer to footnote 4.

    8 O.C. 511:2, see Mesechtas Beitzah 21b.

    9 Tosfas ibid, Rambam ibid, Prisha 2, Shulchan Aruch 511:2, Levush 2, Magen Avraham 4, Taz 2, Sharei Teshuva 511, Sdei Chemed

    Yom Tov 7:page 213, Mishnah Berurah 10. Refer to Betzel Hachuchma 2:31:pages 61-63.

    Shulchan Aruch 511:2. The Rambam ibid says washing ones whole body is forbidden because of a gezeirah. (Refer to Taz 4, Levush

    10 511:30.

    Rivevos Ephraim 6:265, 8:248:1:page 276, Shulchan Shlomo 511:2:3. Some say even a shower once a week may be considered equal

    to all (Shulchan Shlomo 511:footnote 3). Parenthetically a five minute shower uses about 15-25 gallons of water.

    Eliezer 6:20, 11:64, Opinion of Horav Elyashiv Shlita quoted in Avnei Yushfei 3:55.

    16 Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita.

    17 Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita. Refer to Shulchan Shlomo 511:2:3:2.

    18 Mishnah Berurah 9, Piskei Teshuvos 511:footnote 25, The Laws of Yom Tov page 201.

    19 Natei Gavriel Yom Tov 31:2.

    20 Refer to Shulchan Shlomo 511:2:3.

    the fact that when one takes hot water from the tap etc he is making cold water get heated up since cold water enters when the hot

    water leaves the water heater. Refer to Avnei Yushfei ibid if water cooked in a dud-shemesh common in Eretz Yisroel is considered

    cooked on Yom Tov or before Yom Tov.

    22 Based on a discussion with an expert in the field.

    23 Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita.

    24 Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita.

    26 Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita, see Mishnah Berurah 9.

    2:page 252 if one may give a child a bath if he is very dirty. The Avnei Yushfei 3:55 is lenient.


    “The Shulchan Aruch rules that one may not heat up water on Yom Tov in order to wash his entire body, since doing so is not shoveh lechol nefesh.”

    So if washing ones entire body IS shoveh l’chol nefesh the entire issur vanishes. And as Rabbi Broyde wrote, “Halacha recognizes that the concept of shaveh lechol nefesh is determined by a societal and social norm and not by a fixed and immobile rabbinic decree” and he brings sources that prove this.


    I learned with Rav Schienberg that on Yom Tov one may shower provided that:


    random question. is everyone blind? even in that long post by WIY, just look at ftnote 14. now, its brought that RYSE SHlita is machmir? you have RSZA ZTL who is meikel. does report the facts people…


    In the opinion of the Rav, davar hashaveh lechol nefesh certainly DOES change with the times…..


    I know that I’m new here…but is this what people do here? Why is everyone looking for heterim to shower? Honestly did anything terrible ever happen to someone who did not shower on a 3 day yom Tov? I wold imagine that Reb Moshe Feinstein would not have showered himself, right? Stop looking to get away with things and start enjoying Yom Tov!!!!


    there is nothing wrong for someone who has a need, a problem, to look for a Heter.

    would you rather he didnt care about the Halachah and just go ahead and do it.

    dont be a rodef, enjoy Yom Tov


    the Gedolim have always expended great effort to find heterim for people in need of them. to some, needing a shower can be a significant tzar.




    R’ Yoshe Ber unequivically was matir taking a (hot) shower on Yom Tov for someone who showers every day. It is indeed a davar hashaveh l’chol nefesh…..

    I’m not getting involved in the debate here, but I’d just like to point out that your statement contradicts itself – the quote, “for someone who showers every day” clearly admits that not everyone showers every day. Therefore, it is by definition not “shoveh l’chol nefesh”. It is simply faulty heter logic (FHL), akin to the “but I’m an istanis” argument.



    Yes, that’s what some people do here. Those who shower every day feel dirty w/o a shower for 3 days and it takes away from their simchas Yom Tov. That’s not looking for heteirim…



    As many have said in the past….”kocha d’heteira adif”


    I do not mean anyone who has a problem and needs to shower…..I mean regular people who just feel a little dirtier than they usually do! Trust me I shower every night and more, but I know that on Yom Tov I can’t so I control myself and eventhough it may be hard- so what! Yiddishkeit might sometimes seem hard and too bad!


    thats great for you and your circumstances coke

    but there are others who are different, dont judge everyone by your specific circumstances. thats why there are Poskim to ask shailos. thats why Poskim give heteros when they determine it is in order.

    it is not necessarily laudable to suffer when it is not necessary, it may even mark one as a fool.



    BP Totty quotes his Rav: “Is it ok to bathe? It should at least be the subject of a question. His bigger concern is, once heterim get made, there is no telling how / where it will be applied (or mis-applied) down the road.”

    I’m not trying to be caustic, but has he said the same thing about chumrot?

    Ben Torah

    mamash: Kulos are far far more abused than chumros by a long-shot.


    even during the aseres ymei teshuvah one can be ignored…i hope its not a sign for my coming year…


    For Halacha sheilos, ask your rav. If you aren’t capable of paskening yourself you shouldn’t be looking for people to hang your hat on. Find someone to rely on consistently, and finished.

    That being said, assuming those who don’t have a rav aren’t listening to this and getting one anytime soon, I will state my rav’s opinion.

    It is 100 percent mutar to take a hot shower on yom tov, being that nowadays it is clearly shaveh l’chol nefesh, unlike the way it was in the times of the gemara and the mechaber. – ??”? ??? ???? ?”? ??”? ??’ ??. He also said that since it is mutar it is a mitzva, kibud yom tov.

    Ben Torah

    Does Shoveh Lechol Nefesh Change?

    [Shulchan Shlomo 511:footnote 3]. Parenthetically a five minute shower uses about 15-25 gallons of water) or are the rules set down by Chazal regarding shoveh lechol nefesh unchangeable.

    Cold Shower

    (From “Showering on Yom Tov”, Rav Moishe Dovid Lebovits/Rav Benzion Schiffenbauer Shlita/Piskei Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita Reviewed by Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita)



    Read Rav Broyde’s essay; he brings sources that disprove your assertion.


    Concerning the nine days, Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and Rav Pinchas Sheinberg both hold that today we all fall under the category of istenis due to our hygienic standards and bathing is, therefore, a hygienic necessity.



    My wife and I have never used mechiros chametz. It really hasn’t been a burden to eat it all up, or give it to a non-Jew.

    But I’m not going to insist that others take on my chumrah.


    “1. Throw out your shabbos clocks 2. stop taking advantage of the heter of mechiros chametz 3. stop using eruvs”

    Really poor examples, is that all you can come up with? and those really arent even parallel to what we are discussing here…

    And yes I do think Yiddishkeit is supposed to challenge us, not necissarily a burden, but challenge us. How else do you expect to grow? If everything that is a little bit inconvenient you make easy where is the growth?


    My wife and I have never used mechiros chametz. It really hasn’t been a burden to eat it all up, or give it to a non-Jew.

    I’m not sure what you mean. Do you mean you simply get rid of all chametz food in your house, or do you mean you don’t even sign the contract with a rav to sell your chametz?



    The story with Rabban Gamliel has no relevance here. In hilchos aveilus the issur is on something that brings extra enjoyment. In those days a shower for a normal person was for enjoyment. R’ Gamliel was saying he is an istenis so he is not simply doing it for enjoyment and therefore it is permitted for him. Showering on yom tov presents an entirely unrelated problem, that is, one may not heat up water on yom tov (at least). Istenis therefore is an irrelevant argument, just as it is not an argument to be matir plowing on shabbos.

    Nonetheless, I have previously stated my rav’s position that showering on yom tov is permitted.

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