Is there anything wrong with buying a new hat (or suit, shirt, pants, socks, shoes, skirt, dress) for Shabbos, and then taking one's old Shabbos hat (or suit, shirt, pants, socks, shoes, skirt, dress) and downgrading it for use on weekdays?

On one hand, this seems to be the Middah of Shammai Hazaken (Beitzah 16a):

תניא אמרו עליו על שמאי הזקן כל ימיו היה אוכל לכבוד שבת מצא בהמה נאה אומר זו לשבת מצא אחרת נאה הימנה מניח את השניה ואוכל את הראשונה

It is taught in a baraita: They said about Shammai the Elder that all his days he would eat in honor of Shabbat. How so? If he found a choice animal, he would say: This is for Shabbat. If he subsequently found another one choicer than it, he would set aside the second for Shabbat and eat the first. He would eat the first to leave the better-quality animal for Shabbat, which continually rendered his eating an act of honoring Shabbat. (Sefaria)

On the other hand there is a concept of :מעלין בקודש ואין מורידין and therfore it would be inappropriate to take something designated for Shabbos and downgrade it to weekday. (Perhaps the case of Shammai is different since the food was not yet actually used on Shabbos, just designated for Shabbos and הזמהה לאו מילתא although, if so, perhaps having Shabbos leftovers during the week would be a problem...)

  • When confronted with בל תשחית on the other hand (what will you do with those clothes anyway - throw away?), downgrading is a far better option.
    – Al Berko
    Oct 7, 2019 at 16:47
  • Related to your point of הזמנה לאו מילתא היא in relation to that Gemara of Shammai HaZakein: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/73059
    – DonielF
    Oct 7, 2019 at 19:02
  • @DonielF Interesting. It looks like the answer there attempts to address my question at the end, but I don't really understand their proof.
    – Silver
    Oct 7, 2019 at 19:09
  • @Al How do you understand the concept to wear special clothing on Shabbos; is it not a fulfillment of זכור את יום השבת לקדשו? That makes this a case of אתי עשה ודחי לא תעשה potentially.
    – DonielF
    Oct 7, 2019 at 19:12
  • @Silver Why don't we take this discussion over there? The one who wrote that answer hasn't been so active recently, but maybe he'll chime in.
    – DonielF
    Oct 7, 2019 at 19:13

1 Answer 1


The idea of "מעלין בקדושה ולא מורידים" (see WIKI's summary in Hebrew) is not universal, it applies only to a limited set of holy objects, Mitzvos and people:

  1. תשמישי קדושה (Religious articles) like Teffilin, Torah scroll, etc.

  2. Channukah lights - we go from 1 to 8

  3. Kohen Gadol and King's wife.

As Shabbos clothes are not "Religious articles", this rule does not apply to it. EDIT: as most people don't designate those clothes specifically for the Mitzva (of Nevi'im) of honoring Shabbos. You can wear those clothes for other events, family Simchas, etc. I suspect that if you openly and verbally specified that those items serve solely the purpose of that Mitzvah, you should consult your Rabbi for downgrading to weekdays or even for wearing those to Simchas.

How about a pie that you cooked for and ate on Shabbos can you finish it on a weekday?

  • 2
    I see the Wiki lists those examples, but does the wiki bring a source that it ONLY applies in these situations?
    – Silver
    Oct 7, 2019 at 17:48
  • @Silver No, you're invited to edit. It only refers to when the Halacha forbids it, but since the rule is too general, you can always apply it to other areas like if you bought a Tzitzis for your elder son he can't transfer it to his siblings.
    – Al Berko
    Oct 7, 2019 at 17:53
  • Without a proof that this only applies in these cases, I don't see how this answers the question.
    – DonielF
    Oct 7, 2019 at 19:05
  • Also, you left out the original source for מעלין בקדש, that the pans used by the 250 men in Korach's assembly had to be used for the Mizbeiach (Menachos 99a). So Wiki is definitely not an exhaustive list.
    – DonielF
    Oct 7, 2019 at 19:11
  • @DonielF That was one time, and WIKI speaks of Halocho.
    – Al Berko
    Oct 7, 2019 at 19:18

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