If you have liquid soap in a bottle, would squeezing it out on Shabbat be an act of melacha (sechita)? Would using a pump dispenser instead be sechita?

  • Is pouring milk from a carton into cereal sechita? What's the difference? – Double AA Jun 29 '15 at 23:14
  • @DoubleAA The difference being you're not squeezing the milk out. You're not allowed to milk a cow on Shabbat due to sechita. I usually use bar soap, but this question popped up when I thought of buying liquid. – Echad-Ani-Yodeya Jun 29 '15 at 23:18
  • Bar soap is probably much worse than liquid soap because of Memareach! If you turn the liquid soap upside down it'll just leak out because its not really contained. Like a milk carton. – Double AA Jun 29 '15 at 23:20
  • You definitely can't use bar soap on Shabbos – Daniel Jun 29 '15 at 23:21
  • @DoubleAA Not according to this: http://www.halachayomit.co.il/EnglishDisplayRead.asp?readID=3686 – Echad-Ani-Yodeya Jun 29 '15 at 23:26

Sechita is a term that derives from the labor category of dash, threshing. The technical definition is "removing a product from its natural container." This therefore includes:

  • Removing a wheat kernel from its husk
  • Squeezing grapes for juice
  • Milking a cow

And somewhat differently,

  • Wringing out a wet rag. Apparently water absorbed into a porous material is treated like a natural container.

The soap dispenser is non-porous, and soap has no "natural" container. Therefore it's allowed.

  • So according to this answer, is squeezing a bottle of soap also permitted? – Echad-Ani-Yodeya Jun 30 '15 at 0:14
  • Note that there are other problems with liquid soap on Shabbos; see the question linked to in the comments to the question. – MTL Jun 30 '15 at 3:10
  • @Shokhet How common is it to not use soap at all on Shabbat? I'm the type of person who washes his hands very frequently and tries not to contact washroom handles and door knobs. It would be difficult to give up soap on Shabbat when we come in contact with the Torah. I'd feel like I'm touching a holy object with unclean hands. – Echad-Ani-Yodeya Jun 30 '15 at 5:26
  • @Echad-Ani-Yodeya I think most wash with liquid soap. R Moshe did not say not to use liquid soap; he said to dilute it first. – MTL Jun 30 '15 at 15:29
  • +1 with a caveat - water vis a vis sechita is a special case - only water useable for libun is considered sechita (so your "apparently..." line is inaccurate). So soda, for instance, could be squeezed out of a towel you were using to mop up a spill, but water couldn't. This extends to the machlokes on toothbrushes on shabbos, where many hold that the toothpaste+water mixture is good for libun, and others disagreeing. – Isaac Kotlicky Jun 30 '15 at 20:38

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