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What's the deal with showering on yom tov? I am asking not about shabbos, but specifically about yom tov.

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4 Answers 4

here's an audio from Rabbi Nissan Kaplan of Mir Yeshiva, Jerusalem

goes through the whole sugya down to halacha http://ravkaplan.dafyomireview.com/aud/5772-Halacha/5772-20-shower_on_yom_tov.mp3

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Your answer would be much improved if you would summarize the main points of the lecture. –  Michoel Sep 27 '12 at 22:03

My rov told me that showering is yontif is muttar, and kol shekein (all the more so) on yom tov sheini. He said that you have a two or three-day-yontif, and are trying to be "machmir" and refraining from taking a shower, then you are being oveir on bal t'shaktzu and not showing kavod to other human beings. Especially with all that dancing on Simchas Torah!

edit: Also, according to the opinion that permits electricity on yom tov, you could also use a hair dryer to dry your hair, which would get rid of the potential problem of using a towel.

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user1059, welcome to Judaism.SE, and thanks very much for this information! You could make this answer even more valuable by adding any information you have about your Rabbi's reasoning or sources or by identifying who your Rabbi is. Please edit [your user profile] to give yourself a name! –  Isaac Moses Dec 2 '11 at 2:28
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Adam: an interesting suggestion. However that is not a common opinion to be followed nowadays. Do you know any modern (for our purposes let's say living) posek who holds that all electricity is permitted on Yom Tov? –  Double AA Jan 31 '12 at 6:14
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I don't personally know of any, but who says that Lomdus can't be part of Jewish Life and Learning StackExchange? –  Adam Mosheh Jan 31 '12 at 6:19
    
@Adam The Brisker concept (not followed in practice) is that electricity is like actual fire. It follows from this, that turning on a light bulb is merely the transfer of an "existing flame" (the live electric wires in the house) - which is permitted on yom tov. However, that same rationale would prohibit turning OFF that same light bulb, or indeed any electrical appliance, because one would be performing the Torah-level prohibition of extinguishing, which is prohibited on both shabbos and yom tov. So theoretically, you might be able to turn on the hair dryer, but you couldn't turn it off. –  user1095 Jan 31 '12 at 7:15
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@Adam you want to argue over whether kibui is a misdemeanor or a felony? It's illegal, don't do it! ou.org/torah/article/melacha37 –  user1095 Feb 1 '12 at 7:41
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I just found this relevant article on the Five Towns Jewish Times website:

http://www.5tjt.com/component/content/article/25-halacha/6685-showering-on-yom-tov.html

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avast antivirus detects a threat in the "five Towns" link suggested in the answer –  Danield Sep 29 '12 at 22:50

Using the hot water itself is no problem. Some poskim say to use liquid soap (to avoid memareach, smoothing), although I believe that R. Moshe Feinstein did not even allow liquid soap. Some say to avoid squeezing the water from your hair, although R. S.Z. Auerbach allowed drying hair directly into a towel.

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zach, welcome to mi.yodeya, and thanks very much for answering this question so quickly. Please consider clicking "register," above, to create your account. This will give you access to all of mi.yodeya's features and will allow you to take full credit for your contributions. –  Isaac Moses Mar 28 '10 at 17:44
    
@zach: I think the Rav (R' Solovetchik) permitted using liquid soap. –  Azi Mar 28 '10 at 19:49
    
I'm not so sure that hot water isn't a problem in itself. First of all, if you have an electric boiler, then there's that whole issue. (A gas or oil-fired one would probably be less of a problem, since they use a pilot light.) Second, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 511:2 forbids heating water to wash one's whole body, and Mishnah Berurah there :10 says that this is because not everyone is accustomed to doing so all the time - although perhaps today that's no longer the case. –  Alex Mar 29 '10 at 4:42
    
@Alex I don't think the "perhaps" in that sentence is even necessary. Besides, one could always turn on the shower to wash one's hands and then leave it running. –  Double AA May 17 '13 at 18:53

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