Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Why can I open a bag of potato Chips and not rip toilet paper?

share|improve this question
5  
Because you're bad at ripping things?? –  Double AA Mar 28 '12 at 3:49
    
Your joke got snubbed @DoubleAA –  Hacham Gabriel Jun 19 '12 at 3:34

3 Answers 3

You ARE allowed to rip toilet paper, but only as long as you do not rip from the perforated lines on the toilet paper. I think that the problem from ripping the paper at the perforation is that it constitutes measuring, which is a melacha. I don't know the source of this answer, it's just what I heard from a couple orthodox Rabbis.

share|improve this answer
3  
It could also be a problem of "tikun maneh" which is a subcategory of "makeh b'patish". –  HodofHod Oct 12 '12 at 22:50
    
Here is a source, which actually notes both. –  JNF Oct 14 '12 at 6:38
    
@JNF, both what? It mentions "מתקן מנא" but not "measuring" AFAICT. –  msh210 Oct 18 '12 at 15:01
    
@msh210 both paper and food packages. –  JNF Oct 20 '12 at 20:11
    
It seems like you can't rip toilet paper even if you don't use the perforated lines because it becomes a utensil: chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/484233/jewish/… –  Ani Yodeya Aug 21 at 18:38

A discussion about opening a bag of potato chips, according to various poskim, can be found on the YUTorah.org website. A related discussion by Rabbi Dovid Ostroff regarding tearing toilet paper is also available.

From the first link:

Furthermore, there may be no violation of koreya here either: the Tosefta (Shabbos 17:9), cited in the Mishnah Berurah (314:25), allows tearing the leather covering of a barrel without concern for koreya, and many understand the reason to be that even if the covering is not destroyed, it is batel (subordinate) to the barrel, and tearing the covering is therefore like the mere removing of a nut from its shell (though see Chazon Ish above and 61:2 for a different explanation). Some poskim claim that our case is comparable, and thus permit tearing the bag (see Igros Moshe, Orach Chaim 1:122, R’ Neustadt in The Weekly Halachah Discussion p.134-138, and Tikunim u-Miluim to Shemiras Shabbos ke-Hilchasah 9:11). Others (cited in Shemiras Shabbos ke-Hilchasah, ad loc. note 11) employ other factors for leniency, combining the opinions that the biblical prohibition of koreya only applies when doing so al menas litfor (in order to sew it later), that it is not koreya when the tear itself constitutes a tikkun, and that koreya is not violated when tearing one entity into two (rather than the tear separating two attached items).

If we take this first reason, we can understand why it would not apply to toilet paper. It is not batel. I'm uncertain about how it differs given the other two reasons.

share|improve this answer

there is a leniency that you are allowed to tear for the purpose of eating food so long as you destroy the vessel (and not tear letters!!). i believe you must tear the bag in a way that makes it unusable

share|improve this answer
    
Does that mean you can't open packages of snacks by pulling on the two sides and have to rip it (should this be a separate question?) –  yydl Jan 26 '11 at 0:08
    
@yydl i think u can since u are destroying the vessel –  avrohom Jan 26 '11 at 0:09
1  
Where is this Heter stated about food I have heard and never seen it –  SimchasTorah Jan 26 '11 at 0:57
    
avrohom, mi.yodeya is a forum for answers with sources when possible. "They say", "I have heard", "I once learned" "There is" are all fine when accompanied by sources. I am not saying I have been perfect in this regard but for common she'ailos such as this, a little effort with regard to sources would be greatly appreciated! –  Yahu Jan 26 '11 at 2:00
    
does anyone know where the heter for food allowing ripping on SHABBOS and not YOM TOV where I know it exists comes from –  SimchasTorah Jan 26 '11 at 3:17

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.