We are setting up a new (money) Gemach. To register as a charity, a bank account is now needed. We were told of this on Thursday around noon. We were unable (too busy getting ready for Yom Tov) to get to the bank on Thursday. Friday is a bank holiday. Are we allowed to open the account on Chol HaMoed?

On the one hand it seems that the answer to this question (already posed to the Rav but no answer yet) should be No because we are arranging to do the work on Chol HaMoed. On the other hand it is a need for the community and a need for a mitzva.

  • 1
    But you aren't delaying until Chol HaMoed specifically; it sounds like this will be the first opportunity you get!
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 16:44

2 Answers 2


The usual rubric for answering this question is whether there's a financial loss involved.

If you can postpone the trip to the bank until after Hol HaMoed without losing money, then you should. If not, then it's mutar to do it on Hol HaMoed.

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    In this cae, the possible loss is presumably to the potential borrowers: they won't be able to get a loan until after Yom Tov. So that might be reason enough for it to be considered a davar ha-aveid.
    – Alex
    Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 19:12
  • What are you basing this on? We definately don't apply this to every mitzvah (if I work on shabbat I'll earn more!). What's the guideline for use of this heter? Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 22:22
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    Financial loss is a justification for permitting melacha that would otherwise be forbidden on Hol HaMoed. Loss of a potential profit is generally not a justification for permitting melacha that would otherwise be forbidden on Hol HaMoed.
    – Chanoch
    Commented Apr 9, 2012 at 2:15
  • Our Rav answered that since we have no-one waiting on a loan (Boruch HaShem) during the Moed, we should delay the visit to the bank. Commented Apr 10, 2012 at 10:14

The Shulchan Aruch in Orach Chaim in סימן תקמד - דין צרכי רבים בחל המועד says:

א צָרְכֵי רַבִּים מֻתָּר לַעֲשׂוֹתָהּ בְּחֹל הַמּוֹעֵד, כְּגוֹן לְתַקֵּן הַדְּרָכִים וּלְהָסִיר מֵהֶם הַמִּכְשׁוֹלוֹת; וּלְצַיֵּן הַקְּבָרוֹת כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּזָּהֲרוּ מֵהֶם הַכֹּהֲנִים; וּלְתַקֵּן הַמִּקְוָאוֹת.

הגה: וְדַוְקָא צָרְכֵי רַבִּים כָּאֵלּוּ, שֶׁהֵם צְרִיכִים לְגוּף הָאָדָם, אֲבָל שְׁאָר צָרְכֵי רַבִּים כְּגוֹן בִּנְיַן בה''כ (בֵּית יוֹסֵף בְּשֵׁם תְּשׁוּבַת הָרַשְׁבָּ''א), אָסוּר לַעֲשׂוֹת בַּמּוֹעֵד; וְהוּא הַדִּין דְּלִשְׁאָר צָרְכֵי מִצְוָה אָסוּר לַעֲשׂוֹת מְלֶאכֶת אֻמָּן בַּמּוֹעֵד (ריב''ש סִימָן רכ''ו). ‏

From what it says - and the Remo clarifies - it seems that the only community work allowed on Chol HaMoed is those activities that directly benefit the person's body; fixing the roads, preventing Cohanim from getting impure and fixing bathing houses / Mikvaot.

Proving a supply of money - or other goods - does not seem to be included.

That said, I'm not sure what work is involved in opening a bank account. It's a procedure that may involve a few signatures and possibly an initial deposit.

Signing documents seems to be allowed, as we see in the next Siman סימן תקמה - דיני כתיבה בחל המועד there's a long list of permissible documents, including:

ה מֻתָּר לִכְתֹּב שְׁטַר קִדּוּשִׁין וְשִׁטְרֵי פְּסִיקְתָא, גִּטִּין וְשׁוֹבָרִים, דַּיְיתִיקֵי, מַתָּנוֹת, פְּרוֹזְבּוֹלִין, אִגְּרוֹת שׁוּם וְאִגְּרוֹת מָזוֹן

Depositing money doesn't seem worse than paying for something which is permissible.

So opening a bank account doesn't seem worse than going to the zoo and paying by credit card; both have nothing to do with the Chag and both involve some money-related signatures.

Reminder: Mi Yodea is not for practical Halachic rulings; just for discussions.

  • re: your reminder, please see my comment above Apr 10 '12 at 10:14 Thanks for the answer +1. Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 14:04

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