Doing laundry on Erev Shabbos-Part 1

Doing laundry on Erev Shabbos:

  1. The general law:[1]

Ezra instituted for laundry to be done on Thursday [or prior[2]] in honor of Shabbos, in order so one have clean white clothing to wear on Shabbos.[3] [This comes to negate doing laundry on Erev Shabbos[4]], as on Erev Shabbos there is no time to do laundry due to the need for one to deal with the Shabbos preparations.[5] [The same applies regarding Erev Yom Tov, that one should do laundry before Erev Yom Tov on behalf of Yom Tov. This, however, is only initially required, however Bedieved if one did not do laundry before Erev Shabbos, it may be done on Erev Shabbos[6], and according to some Poskim may even initially be done today as explained in the Q&A. It is permitted to do laundry on Erev Shabbos even if one does not need the clothing for Shabbos, but rather for after Shabbos.[7]]



May one in today’s times do laundry on Erev Shabbos using a washing machine?

Although today it is possible to wash clothing with much less effort and time then was required back in the times of the Sages, nonetheless one is to still try to fulfill the decree to not push off the laundry to Friday.[8] Nevertheless, there is no prohibition to do laundry on Friday if one needs. Furthermore, some Poskim[9] rule that today with the use of washing machines there is no restriction at all in doing laundry on Friday rather than Thursday.


May one launder his Shabbos clothes prior to Thursday?[10]

Yes, even according to the Takana of Ezra, laundry may be done any day before Friday, and is not required to specifically be laundered on Thursday. Nonetheless, it is proper to do the laundry on Wednesday or Thursday in order so it be more recognizable that it is being done for the sake of Shabbos, and so it be done on the days that we already receive the Divine lights for the coming Shabbos.[11]


[1] Admur 242:11; Michaber 242:1; Bava Kama 82a “Ten Takanos were instituted by Ezra…and on Thursday we launder.”; Rosh Bava Kama 7:19; Levush 242

[2] See Q&A!

[3] Admur ibid; Elya Raba 242:9; Mamar Mordechai 242:3; Shaar Hatziyon 242:16

[4] M”A 242:3; Kaf Hachaim 242:19

[5] Admur ibid; M”A 242:3; Rosh ibid; Machazik Bracha 242:7 in name of Poskim; M”B 242:5; Kaf Hachaim 242:19

[6] Mateh Yehuda 242:4; Kaf Hachaim 242:20

[7] Shevet Hakehasi 2:104; Piskeiy Teshuvos 242:10 and footnote 84; See SSH”K 44 footnote 13 in name of Rav SZ”A

[8] Mishneh Halachos, brought in back of Piskeiy Teshuvos Shabbos, and so rules Rav SZ”A in SSH”K 42 footnote 13 on the basis that today we are accustomed to wash clothing for many days’ worth, and that there are many reasons behind the Takanos of the sages and we cannot nullify them. However, earlier on in the footnote a suggestion is given that the decree perhaps no longer applies today. It seems from Ketzos Hashulchan 73 footnote 22 that he too learns that the decree of the Sages is applicable at all times; Chut Shani 3:1; Piskeiy Teshuvos 242:10

[9] SSH”K 44 footnote 13; Or Letziyon 2:16; Yechaveh Daas 7:18; Avnei Yashpei 1:49; Shevet Hakehasi 2:104; Birureiy Halacha 25; See Piskeiy Teshuvos [new edition] 242:10

[10] Machazik Bracha 242:7; Elya Raba 242:9; Kaf Hachaim 242:19; Rav SZ”A in SSH”K 42 footnote 13; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that according to Takanas Ezra, laundry is to be done specifically on Thursday. [Yad Eliyahu Tikkun 21, brought in Kaf Hachaim 242:19]

[11] Kaf Hachaim 242:19

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