When and how is person chayav on shabbos for ploughing. For example is a woman with a buggy allowed to push it on the grass, or can she not. The problem for ploughing is that you need to have a intent for improving the ground, So what are the issues for certain things when clearly one who does things on grass isn't doing the actual malacha which needs to be done?

  • See here - outorah.org/p/50648 and refer to footnotes 59 & 60 and here for Rav Ovadia Yosef view - dailyhalacha.com/m/halacha.aspx?id=2275
    – Dov
    Jun 22, 2020 at 10:42
  • This would seem to be identical to the case in the Gemara about dragging a bench over dirt, where you’re not sure if it’s heavy enough to make a furrow.
    – DonielF
    Jun 22, 2020 at 15:04

2 Answers 2


Rabbi David Ribiat in The 39 Melachos, Volume 2, in Choraish says as follows:

"Pushing a carriage or stroller on bare soil (even soft earth) is similarly permissible even if a distinct wheel-mark appears. This is because the rolling motion of the wheels does not loosen the soil, but rather compresses it (similar to a steam roller that compresses the earth beneath it, only a much smaller scale). Compacting the soil does not improve it in any way for planting and is therefore not Choraish. (However, one should take care to lift the wheels of the carriage when turning on the soil so as to avoid scraping up dirt with the sideways movements)."

See also Minchas Yitzchak Volume 2:114:12 where he brings in the name of the Minchas Shabbos that permits this.


A buggy is allowed to be pushed on grass on shabbos even it if causes furrows (Shmiras Shabbos 28:48). Take a look at Shmiras Shabbos 26:19 and the footnotes there to get some idea on what is allowed with respect to walking on moist/dry grass on shabbos. It's not comprehensive but it brings a couple everyday examples that seem to be what you are asking for.

  • Thank you, I wanted to also know the parameters of ploughing
    – Russell
    Jun 22, 2020 at 19:04
  • The following are parameters for ploughing taken from the mishnah brura siman 337. See sefaria.org.il/… אקדים לסימן זה הקדמה קצרה והיא. חורש הוא אחד מל"ט אבות מלאכות וכיון שכונת החורש לרפויי ארעא דאז טוב לזריעה וגם כוונתו להשוות הגומות וליפותו כדי שיהיה המקום שוה ולכן החופר בשדה או שעשה חריץ או שהיה שם תל קטן והשפילו או שהיה שם מקום נמוך והשוה אותו וכן כל המשוה גומות במקום הראוי לזריעה חייב משום חורש [ואם היה זה בבית חייב משום בונה שמתקן הבנין עי"ז] וכן כל מה שעושה ליפות הקרקע הוא תולדת חורש וחייב בכל שהוא [רמב"ם פ"א]:
    – Geltman
    Jun 23, 2020 at 5:48
  • Thank you. On this sugya there is a fascinating idea about burying the dead and putting back the soil over it it the pishkei teshuvos on the magen avraham.
    – Russell
    Jun 23, 2020 at 9:10

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