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Folding a Towel on Shabbos


Rabbi David Sperling

Cheshvan 7, 5781
Can one fold a towel after the mikva on Shabbos? By folding I mean in a shape like a square or a round form?
Shalom, Thank you for your question. Folding garments on Shabbat is problematic (see Shulchan Aruch 302, 3). There are many conditions and details involved in this law. The one that applies to a towel is that a garment where the folding does not involve any creasing of the garment (such a regular bath towel, that even after folding it there are no creases on the towel – as opposed to say a tallit), there is no problem folding them on Shabbat. As such you are allowed to fold a towel. This is especially so after using it, when the reason you are folding it is to carry it home, or to put it on the shelf etc. There are some opinions that believe, that even though there is no issue of “folding” such a garment on Shabbat, there may be a prohibition of laboring not for the Shabbat. This would not apply, according to all opinions, when someone is just putting away a towel they used. (It might apply, say, to someone who is folding and putting away a basket of laundry). So, to conclude, you may fold or roll your towel up after using it on Shabbat. (For further sources see Piskay Tshuvot (new edition) 302, (9)). Blessings.
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