Religious Jews are normally careful not to pull out hairs during Shabbat.

After Mr. Ploni defecates, he wipes his rear end carefully. But he knows that it's impossible for him to clean his bottom to his preferred standards without finding a hair or two on the toilet paper.

What should Mr. Ploni do on Shabbat?


  • Machlokes Rabbi Shimon and Rabbi Yehuda in 4th chapter of Shabbos (depends on Melacha Tzricha LeGufa) Apr 3, 2017 at 3:49

2 Answers 2



He may wipe himself. He should do so lightly [gently?] in a way that it will not definitely cause hair removal. Even if this is inadvertently caused [even definitely] this would be permissible, and should also be done in an unusual way [in this instance when it is definite].

  • Welcome to the Mi Yodeya Michael! Thanks for the answer. Hope you choose to stick around.
    – mevaqesh
    May 15, 2016 at 23:31
  • Michael, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks for your first answers! If you haven’t done so already, you should take a look at the tour. MY places a lot of emphasis on sources (and you provided one here but not on all your other answers). Maybe you will be interested by something I wrote to help you understand the site "A beginner’s guide to MY - How is this site different from other Judaism sites” ? I hope you find more Q&A of interest and stay learning with us!
    – mbloch
    May 16, 2016 at 3:35
  • If you'd like, I can provide the Yalkut Yosef citation on this to edit in to the answer
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Jul 24, 2023 at 9:12
  • @RabbiKaii: The original answerer, Michael, has not posted or commented on Stack Exchange anytime in the past six years. (Source.) I don't think he's likely to ever reply to your kind and thoughtful comment. :) Jul 26, 2023 at 22:49
  • @unforgettableidSupportsMonica no problem, thanks for the question. I had it in yeshiva, asked the sefardi posek and he gave this answer. Decades later I was happy to see it in the YY
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Jul 28, 2023 at 13:08

I think this answers it: (assuming it is psik reisha d’lo nicha lei and kavod habrios and issur d'rabanan) (someone please correct me if this is not an issur d'rabanan)

Rabbi Josh Flug (Sukkot To Go 5770, p. 27) writes that it is certainly permissible to use a toilet with an automatic flusher if no other restroom is available because most assume that using electricity is prohibited only d’rabanan and therefore is permitted for kavod habriyot. He says that perhaps it is even permitted if going to the non-automated toilets is inconvenient, since it may be a psik reisha d’lo nicha lei on a issur d’rabanan.


  • 2
    Looks like this Sabbath business makes people "work" harder than normal. Before, it's simply use the toilet. Now you guys have to be really creative on sabbath. Also, the answer has nothing to do with hair being pulled.
    – user4951
    Oct 29, 2013 at 9:37
  • The answerer is drawing an analogy, and is suggesting that the analogy may also apply to pulling out hairs for a few reasons: p'sik reisha d’lo nicha lei, kavod ha'brios, and (possibly) issur d'rabanan. Dec 20, 2021 at 13:46

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