Learning the Halachot of Chol Ha Moed I have read on Chabad.org and other w ebsites that generally the same prohobitions of the 39 melachos apply except:

•Anything done in order to prepare or cook food.

•Anything done for medical purposes.

•Any non-strenuous work which, if not performed at the time, would cause loss (unless it could have been done before the festival, and was deliberately delayed until Chol Hamoed).

Why then is everyone using e.g Facebook,twitter their mobiles, driving their car etc. ( for none of thereasons described above) I'm definitly missing something. can you please help?

  • Similar: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/57128
    – msh210
    Apr 7, 2015 at 3:19
  • 1
    Addiction should not be considered normative behaviour. Apr 7, 2015 at 8:50
  • Couldn't the same question be asked regarding trips and vacations? The same answer would then apply. It's leisure, and it allows us to enjoy the Mo'ed. Your list is short: there are 5 major categories of permitted work, each with limiting considerations. It can easily be argued that utilizing social media falls under the general umbrella of permitted work for the Mo'ed that is not too strenuous or difficult.
    – Seth J
    Apr 7, 2015 at 14:59

1 Answer 1


From http://www.darchenoam.org/working-on-chol-hamoed-sources-status-nature-and-rules/

The Halakhot The the laws of Chol Hamoed are unique among the Torah’s work prohibitions. The default work prohibition includes the 39 forms of forbidden work. On Shabbat and Yom Kippur all 39 forms of forbidden work (the 39 melakhot) are prohibited. On the Yamim Tovim (the first and last days of Pesach, on Shavuot, Rosh Hashana, the first day of Sukkot and on Shemini Atzeret) the Torah permits work activities that are needed for food. On Chol Hamoed five types of work are permitted, although, once again, the starting point is the 39 prohibitions. However, after the exceptions, quite a lot ends up being permitted.

The five (permissible) exceptions (listed in the Mishneh Brura’s introduction to Chol Hamoed in Orach Chayim #530) are:

  1. “Davar Ha’aveid” – work that will be lost if not done now. [example: If the produce of a field will be lost if not irrigated, that irrigation is permitted.]
  2. “Tzorkhei Hamoed” – things needed for the holiday [example: If needed, a sukka can be totally rebuilt.]
  3. “Bishvil poeil she’ein lo ma yokhal” – work created to enable a worker to make enough money to eat
  4. “Tzorkhei rabim” – public needs [example: Fixing a broken city water main is permitted.]
  5. “Maasei hediot” – simple acts [example: Flipping on a light switch, which involves no craftsmanship is permitted.]

So it could be argued (depending on your Hashkafah) that certain things fall into category 5 above.

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