DailyHalacha.com for Mobile Devices Now Available

Click Here to Sponsor Daily Halacha
"Delivered to Over 6000 Registered Recipients Each Day"

(File size: 1.52 MB)
Is It Permissible to Measure on Shabbat or Yom Tob?

The Shulhan Aruch (306:6) discusses the prohibition of "Medidah"-measuring on Shabbat. Different reasons are given as to the reason for this prohibition. The Rambam learns that it is out of concern that one may record the measurements by writing. The Tosafot understand that it is "Uvdin D’hol"-a mundane weekday activity. Applications of this prohibition include standing on a scale to measure weight or to measure one’s height.

Nevertheless, Maran states that "Medidah Shel Misva"-measuring for the purpose of a Misva is permissible. For example, a person is allowed to use a (non-electric) food scale to measure the amount of bread to fulfill the minimum requirement for the Shabbat meals or the minimum measure of Massa and Marror for the Seder night. Likewise, it is permissible to use a measuring cup to measure the volume of wine contained in a Kiddush cup for Kiddush on Shabbat or the four cups of the Seder night.

An additional example of measuring for a Misva is a case where a small of amount milk fell into a meat dish. It is permissible to measure and calculate whether the milk constitutes less than 1/60 of the mixture. It is also permissible to measure a Mikveh to determine whether it contains the requisite 40 Se’ah of water. This is only permitted if one intends to use the Mikveh on Shabbat.

The Halacha also permits measuring for the benefit of someone who is ill. Therefore, it is permitted to take someone’s temperature with a non-digital thermometer on Shabbat. It is even permitted to shake down the mercury to reset the thermometer. Similarly, it is permitted to measure blood pressure, with a non-electric apparatus. The Sis Eliezer (R. Eliezer Yehuda Waldenberg, 1915-2006, Jerusalem, Vol. 11:37) permits a woman undergoing fertility treatments to take her temperature on Shabbat to determine the time of ovulation.

It is permissible to measure a baby’s milk in the bottle, if the doctor advised tracking and adjusting the baby’s food intake. However, if there is no medical reason, one should not use the measuring lines on the bottle when pouring the milk; rather he should ignore the lines and approximate. Likewise, one may use a food scale to measure his food if he is on a medical diet, but not if it is a regular diet.

It is prohibited to measure on Shabbat, unless for the purpose of Misva or someone who is ill.


Recent Daily Halachot...
Ereb Yom Kippur – Immersing in a Mikveh; Wearing Gold Jewelry; Preparing the Home
Yom Kippur – Customs Relevant to the Musaf Prayer
Should Children Fast on Yom Kippur?
Yom Kippur- How Much Should a Sick Person Eat on Yom Kippur?
Yom Kippur: Lighting Candles
The Misva to Eat on Ereb Yom Kippur
Learning Torah on Yom Kippur Night
Yom Kippur – Guidelines for One Who Needs to Drink
Laws and Customs of Kapparot
Yom Kippur – Guidelines for Ill Patients Who Need to Eat
May the Kohanim Wash Their Hands for Birkat Kohanim on Yom Kippur?
Yom Kippur-Kohanim &Levi’im Washing Their Hands
Yom Kippur: The Prohibitions of Melacha, Eating and Drinking
Yom Kippur-Halachot of Eating and Smelling
Reciting the Beracha Over a Candle on Mosa'e Yom Kippur
Page of 240
3586 Halachot found