Ask the Rabbi

  • Shabbat and Holidays
  • Halachot of Yom Tov

Yom Tov rules


Rabbi Dr. Aharon Adler

20 Iyyar 5763
I have heard that Yom Tov rules are different than Shabbat rules insofar as one can prepare food/use the stove on Yom Tov but no on Shabbat. Are there other differences as well [use of electricity/computers/etc, use of car, etc.?
Yes, there are other differences between Yom Tov and Shabbat, both in theory as well as in practice. While on Shabbat, one may not carry things (whether in one's hand, or in one's pocket) any item (including, keys, handkerchief, tissues, books, Talit, etc.), from "private domain" to "public domain" (and vice versa) without a prescribed arrangement known as an "Eruv" (string or wire completely encircling the town/city limits, thereby rendering the entire "public domain" as "private"), on Yom Tov, however, it is perfectly permissible to carry things "outside" provided that you have some direct need on that day of Yom Tov for whatever is being carried. Traveling (in vehicles) is as prohibited on Yom Tov as is on Shabbat. There is some Halachic discussion regarding the permissibility of electricity on Yom Tov. However, the accepted custom is not to allow the direct use of electrical appliances on Yom Tom, similar to that of Shabbat. Of course, one may use the "Shabbat clock" timer arrangement on Yom Tov freely. One can make a halachic case that the use of a dishwasher (set on a timer) would be permissible on Yom Tov, while on Shabbat it may remain prohibited due to the automatic switch in the door that does not allow the operation of the dishwasher unless the door being closed. An aparatus has been devised by the Tzomet Institute in Alon Shevut, Gush Etzion, that by-passes this problem. You could contact them directly for further information.
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