Meleches Uman, skilled labor, is not permitted on Chol Hamo'ed even for the needs of the mo'ed (M.B. 540:1).

Common practice indicates that driving on Chol Hamo'ed is allowed. However, driving is a melacha (burning) and it seems to be a skilled activity, as it takes practice to learn how to do it. So why is it allowed on Chol Hamo'ed?

I have a theory as to why it is accepted as being permitted, but I am looking for a source that discusses and permits this explicitly.

  • The fact that it is a learned action does not make it skilled labor. Whether or not the average person can do it or only a skilled laborer who is involved in that work can do it is the criteria. See chol hamoed kihilchaso chapter 2 siff 141 and onward, but especially see note 280.
    – user6591
    Oct 14, 2014 at 2:58
  • @user6591 Can the average person not write? I don't have the sefer you are referring to, but I have heard my description of meleches uman explicitly made by some prominent Rabbonim. And some things which the average person can not do are permitted if they don't require learning. Oct 14, 2014 at 3:01
  • Whether or not writing is maaseh uman is the machlokes in the begining of siman 545.
    – user6591
    Oct 14, 2014 at 3:08
  • From the explanation of the opinion to say it is not maaseh uman given in the mishna berurah because people aren't makpid to write perfectly, we can assume any learned work which isn't done with a skilled laborers precision is not called maaseh uman. The other opinion believes all writing is done perfectly making us all skilled laborers as far as writing goes. But I don't think we all drive perfectly:)
    – user6591
    Oct 14, 2014 at 3:16
  • Burning is not a prohibited melacha on Yom Tov. Starting a new fire is Nolad and there is no Nolad concerns on Chol Hamoed TTBOMK.
    – Double AA
    Oct 14, 2014 at 3:20

1 Answer 1


The seffer Ashrei Ha'ish vol. 3 chapter 8 siff 44 quotes Reb Elyashev that driving a car is muttar on chol hamoed as it is not considered maaseh uman. No further explenation is given.

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