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Are you allowed to go swimming on Shabbos?

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3 Answers 3

The original prohibition as brought in the Gemarah Maseches Shabbos against swimming on Shabbos has to do with concern that one may perform "Gibul" - mushing the dirt at the side of the body of water into mud which would be a toldah of lash, kneading. As Yirmiyahu said there is also the concern of making a raft. Therefore in an outdoor pool most poskim do not permit it, (although R' Leizer Silver seemingly did. See http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2007_01_01_archive.html). Indoor pools are permitted by a minority although most major poskim do not recommend it. Rav Moshe Feinstein writes that the minhag is that one should not immerse even in cold water on Shabbos unless it is for a mitzvah. (Igroth Moshe, Even Haezer 2,13.) There is also the concern of wringing out one's hair. There are those who say that going into the pool with a bathing suit on is laundering. Also see http://www.dafyomi.co.il/shabbos/insites/sh-dt-041.htm .

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Igros Moshe writes the swimming in a swimming pool is mutar on Shabbos. He then notes that in America, the minhag is not to. But he is quite clear that it is allowed, according to the law. And it seems to me that in many communities today in America, the custom has changed people do swim. –  Curiouser Feb 28 '12 at 20:23

Swimming is prohibited out of concern that one might construct a [makeshift] raft.

Indeed the prohibition against swimming is one of the reasons, as I recall, for the Ashkenazi practice not to bathe even in cold water on Shabbos.

Bli neder I'll try to add sources later.

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Any update on those sources? –  Seth J Feb 28 '12 at 18:52

swimming might lead to fixing the the plumbing.

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~~he's right ~~ –  avrohom Jan 26 '11 at 21:33
Or mixed dancing. #purimtorah –  Seth J Feb 28 '12 at 18:52
If you would add a source then this post would be greatly improved. –  Double AA Jul 30 '12 at 4:38

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