According to Conservative Judaism, may one use - unfold, carry, and refold - an umbrella in an eruv-enclosed area on Shabbat? What if it is not raining?

I would appreciate a link or quote from an official responsa or statement by a Conservative rabbinical body.

Related: Is it permissible to use an umbrella on Shabbat?

  • Good question (I don't understand why it was downvoted). I didn't find it in a search of their responsa site, and Google led me to others who couldn't find it either. Apr 14, 2014 at 0:38
  • It's not so clear that umbrellas on Shabbat are forbidden in orthodoxy! (They are, but...) The Chatam Sofer, for instance, ruled that it is permissible, because an umbrella is only a temporary structure. As the line in Conservative Judaism is to take advantage of all leniencies whenever possible, it seems like they would permit it. hettp://www.torahmusings.com/2010/11/umbrellas-on-shabbat/ dailyhalacha.com/Display.asp?ClipDate=3/25/2008
    – Tatpurusha
    Apr 14, 2014 at 1:50
  • @sam, see this meta post on pluralism. I think it's well-established that questions about Conservative Judaism are in-bounds on Mi Yodeya. Apr 14, 2014 at 2:10
  • 2
    @Tatpurusha - I am not sure that your statement that Conservative take advantage of all possible leniencies is correct. I'd appreciate if you could provide a source. Additional information about umbrellas and Shabbat can be found in the "related question" link.
    – Shmuel
    Apr 14, 2014 at 2:16
  • Since the linked question doesn't specify "Orthodox Judaism", isn't this a dupe of that (proper subset)?
    – Double AA
    Apr 14, 2014 at 4:00

1 Answer 1


Yehuda Wiesen wrote a "Guide to Practical Halacha and Home Ritual for Conservative Jews" (available here), from which I quote (from the section concerning Shabbat):

There are many and various so called minor restrictions, some of which the Conservative movement seems to follow and others that it does not. For example, Orthodox typically avoid use of an umbrella on Shabbat due to the prohibitions against erecting a tent (in miniature), and carrying (where there is no eruv). Although opening an umbrella does not seem to have been formally addressed by the Law Committee, it appears to me that most (but not all) Conservative Jews use umbrellas, sometimes reflecting lack of knowledge or concern but sometimes reflecting the view that it is not really erecting a tent. The point here is that there are many Shabbat restrictions and other laws that have not been addressed by the Law Committee, and my observation of prevalent practice among some observant Conservative Jews indicates an implied lenient halachic view concerning many practices. In this category I would include tearing toilet paper and bathing, both forbidden by some but commonly done by some observant Conservative Jews.

This guide was written in 1998 and last revised in 2004 according to its website, and I have found no evidence that the situation had changed since then.

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