- Question: [Tuesday, 1st Sivan, 5781]
Is it permitted for a woman to iron clothing on Rosh Chodesh?
The custom is to avoid all clothing related work, including ironing, unless you have a specific custom in your family to permit doing so. Nonetheless, the above is only regarding ironing clothing that are not planned to be worn that day on Rosh Chodesh, however all clothing that one plans to wear on Rosh Chodesh are permitted to also be ironed.
Explanation: Although there is a debate amongst Poskim as to the exact list of actions that women abstain from on Rosh Chodesh [and some explicitly permit ironing and even laundry on the basis that doing so is not considered a Melacha even on Chol Hamoed and certainly the abstaining from work on Rosh Chodesh should not be more severe than Chol Hamoed], nonetheless, practically the custom is for women to avoid all clothing related work on Rosh Chodesh which would include ironing, unless one has a specific family custom to permit doing so. Nonetheless, the Poskim rule that those clothing which are needed to be worn on Rosh Chodesh itself may be cleaned and ironed.
Sources: See regarding the prohibition to iron: Halichos Bas Yisrael 16:2; Ruling of Rav Chaim Kanievsky, recorded in Ela Daled Amos 40:12; See the following sources which permit ironing: Aveni Yashpei 5:74 permits without restriction even not for the sake of Rosh Chodesh; Chazon Ovadia Chanukah p. 250; Sefer Rosh Chodesh p. 261 in name of Rav SZ”A; See Ashel Avraham Butchach Tinyana 417 who writes “The same applies for other matters relating to laundry, such as ironing and the like, that it is permitted for women on Rosh Chodesh without issue.” This follows his ruling brought next that whatever Melachos that are permitted on Chol Hamoed are likewise permitted on Rosh Chodesh, and on Chol Hamoed it is permitted to iron clothing for the need of the Moed. [see Rama 541:3; M”B 541:9 in name of Chayeh Adam; Kaf Hachaim 543:11; Aruch Hashulchan 541:2; Piskeiy Teshuvos 541; English book on Chol Hamoed; Chol Hamoed Kihilchasa] However, it is unclear if he permits it without limit, or only for clothing needed to be worn on Rosh Chodesh. See regarding cleaning and ironing clothing to use that day: Ashel Avraham Butchach Tinyana 417; see regarding the general custom of women to avoid work on Rosh Chodesh: Rama 417:1; Biur Halacha 417 “Vahanashim Nohagos; Elya Raba 417:5; Olas Shabbos 417; Kaf Hachaim 417:32; Tashbatz 3:244 brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah 417; Sheivet Halevy 6:50