Hot answers tagged chol-hamoed
Sh'miras Shabas K'hilchasah, chapter 66, paragraph 58 and footnote 224, discusses riding in a car on a pleasure trip on chol hamoed, as follows. Rav Sh'lomo Zalman Auerbach suggests that it may be permissible even if one can walk, because the m'lacha involved in riding in a car is hav'ara, burning [gasoline], which is permitted on chol hamoed; but he's ...
Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 104:2 says that one should wear "Begadim Mechuvadim" appropriate clothing on Chol Hamoed, if not he is disgracing it.
Not unlike Yom Tov, Melacha is forbidden on Chol Hamoed with certain exceptions. The opening line of the Shulchan Aruch's discussing these laws is (Shulchan Aruch OC 530): חול המועד אסור בקצת מלאכות ומותר במקצתן Chol Hamoed is forbidden in some labors and permitted in some of them. Violating these Melachot would constitute violating Chol Hamoed.
That depends on how we Pasken. It seems from the Gemera in Chagiga 18a that it's a Biblical prohibition to do [certain] work on Chol HaMo'ed. The Gamara brings about half a dozen verses to prove that. But Rashi and Tosafot already argue as to whether it's really Biblical or Rabbinic [with a Asmachta (hint) on the Torah].
IIRC it's the text shmiras shabbos kehilchasa that allows you to use an ordinary plunger -- but not a professional-grade one -- to plunge a clogged toilet even on shabbos. So you'd certainly be allowed to do so on Chol HaMoed. As for using a professional-grade plunger ... I don't have a source.
I phoned a rabbi — probably one of the top ten rabbis in my city (a North American city of three million people). He's a charedi Ashkenazi rabbi. He said I can unblock it using a plunger, since it's unskillful work.
The seffer Ashrei Ha'ish vol. 3 chapter 8 siff 44 quotes Reb Elyashev that driving a car is muttar on chol hamoed as it is not considered maaseh uman. No further explenation is given.
The source is a zohar in Shir Hashirim Chapter 8. When I looked it up it seemed to me that he wasn't recording normative practice but innovating based on his contemporary the Arizal. That would also explain why so many ashkenazim don't wear tefillin on chol hamoed but litvaks and yekkes who were less influenced by chassidus and hence by the Arizal still do.
As you your self postulate, you cannot bring a proof from a missing clause in a Mishna, as we have the rule of תנא ושייר - a Tana can leave out cases. (Typically followed up with מאי שייר דהאי שייר שייר - what esle did you leave out, as there's always more than one clause left out, if somethig is left out.) By the way: The Gemara in חגיגה on .דף יח seems ...
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