6. Examples of Cases

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6. Examples of Cases:

A. Untying the rope that secures a cover to its vessel:[1]

Seals that are on vessels, such as a chest of drawers, box and portable tower which have their covering tied to them with a rope, it is permitted to cut the rope even with a knife or undo [the rope even] through taking apart its threads[2], in order to open [the box] to remove its content.

Undoing its knot: It goes without saying that it is allowed to undo the knot as it is not a permanent knot being that it is meant to be constantly removed.

B. Untying the knot of a collar:[3]

Made by the launderer: [It is allowed] to untie the collar [of a shirt] from the knot that the launderer knotted as it is not considered a permanent knot being that majority of times it is opened the day that it was done, immediately after the laundering.

Made by the tailor: However, it may not be opened for its first time[4] being that this is [considered] fixing a vessel and one is [thus] liable [in doing so] on [the] “Finishing touch” [prohibition]. However, he is not liable for [the] tearing [prohibition] unless he [tears it] with intent to re-sew as was explained in chapter 302 [Halacha 4].


C. Tying a Lulav:[5]

One may not tie a Lulav on Yom Tov with a double knot or bow over a knot. Rather one is to make a bow over a bow.[6]

D. Tying a rope or thread to the bucket of a pit:[7]

One may tie a bucket to the mouth of a pit with a thread or sash and the like of materials which one does not [plan] to nullify there. However, one may not do so with a rope being that he will nullify it there and it is [thus] a permanent knot being that the bucket is constantly hanging and tied there. [Furthermore] even with a woven rope[8] which is of importance and will not be nullified there it is forbidden [to tie with] due to a decree [that one may come to use also] other ropes.

However, this only refers to buckets that are designated for the pit, however our buckets which are not designated for the pit [and will thus eventually be removed from the pit for another use[9]] [tying a rope on it] is not considered a permanent knot and it is [thus] permitted to tie to it even other ropes as long as the knot is not done professionally. [As if it is professionally done] it is forbidden to be done even if it is not made to last as was explained above [in Halacha 2]

E. Tying a rope to block the passageway for an animal:[10]

One may a tie rope in front of a cow in the width of the passageway in order to prevent it from leaving being that [such a knot] is not made to last as it is meant to be constantly untied in order take the animal out to be given to drink.

Furthermore, even to tie on Shabbos the two ends of a rope on the two posts of the doorway which were not at all tied to the doorway from before Shabbos is allowed, as we do not suspect that one may nullify one end [of the rope] that it be tied there forever and he will only let the animal out through untying the second end of the rope, being that at times he will undo one end and at times the other end [and there will thus never be one end nullified there].

However, if in truth one does nullify one end [there] then it is forbidden.




It is only Biblically prohibited to tie or untie a knot if:

1) At the time of making, it one plans to let the knot remain tied for as long as it can possibly last and does not plan to ever untie it.[11]

2) According to some opinions there must also be fulfilled: That the knot is strong and tough similar to the knots that professionals make in their labor.[12]


It is Rabbinically forbidden to tie or untie any knot that:

1) Is made in a professional manner even if not meant to last at all [even in a scenario that involves pain].[13]


2) Is meant to last temporarily, meaning that one has in mind a set time by when he will undo the knot, and this set time is past 24 hours from when the knot has been made.


3) The knot is a type of knot that is at times left to last forever, then it is forbidden to tie it.[14]


It is permitted to tie and untie any knot which is:

1) Any knot which is only Rabbinically forbidden to tie and untie [i.e. any knot which one has a set date to untie] may be tied for the sake of a Mitzvah.[15]


2) If not needed for the sake of a Mitzvah, then it is permitted if all the following conditions are fulfilled:

A. The knot is not meant to last for 24 hours. In time of need if it is meant to last for 24 hours, but for less than 7 days, then one may tie or untie it through a gentile[16]


B. It is not a professional knot.


C. The knot is never usually left to last forever.[17]


D. It is not the first time that this knot is being open or is but does not make a finishing touch to the vessel. If it does then it is forbidden due to Fixing a vessel.[18]

What is considered a professionally made knot?[19]

Any strong knot which is tightly tied there is doubt that perhaps it is considered a professional knot.

Double knots: Therefore [strong] double knots are forbidden to be tied or untied unless in a case of pain when made to not last 24 hours.[20]

A bow on top of a single knot: Is considered an amateur knot and is allowed to be tied and untied with intention to undo that day.[21]

May one make a bow on top of a bow?[22] Yes, it may be done even with intent to never undo.

A single knot made with two ends: Is not considered a knot at all and may thus be tied and untied even if meant to last forever.[23]

A single knot made with one end: Has the same law as a double knot for all matters.[24]

What is the law if one does not have any intent upon tying an amateur knot regarding when to untie it?

When making an amateur knot must one have in mind to undo it within 24 hours?[25]

If the knot is a type of knot which is at times opened within 24 hours, and certainly if it is meant to constantly be opened, then there is no need for one to intend upon tying it on Shabbos, to open it within 24 hours. Furthermore, he is not even obligated to open it within 24 hours. Nevertheless, it is forbidden to specifically have in mind to undo it after 24 hours. Thus, it is only remains permitted to make the knot in such a case if one has no intent on when he will untie it. If, however, the knot is never commonly opened within 24 hours, then it is forbidden to be casually tied [unless one has intention to untie it within the same day].

May one untie an amateur knot which was made without any specific intent regarding when to be untied?[26]

If it is a type of knot that one at times unties within 24 hours, and certainly if it is meant to constantly be opened, then he may untie it even if when it was made it was made without any intention of when to untie. This applies even if many days past since the knot was made. However, if made with intention to untie past 24 hours, or it is a knot that is never untied within 24 hours, then it is prohibited to untie.


Q&A on professional knots

Definition of Maaseh Hedyot-What is the law of a knot that can be undone with one hand?[27]

All knots that are forbidden to be untied, may not be untied even if one can do so with one hand. However, seemingly, if the knot can be untied with one hand due too it being a weak knot, then it is not defined as Maaaseh Uman and hence may be untied if it is meant to be opened that day.[28] However, according to some Poskim[29] even in such a case the knot can be defined as Maaseh Uman if it is strong enough to last forever and will not untie on its own.


If a professional knot occurred on its own, like strings became tangled and formed a double knot, or a bow over a knot became a double knot, may one open it on Shabbos?[30]

It may only be undone if:

A. [By the latter case, only if one did not have intention to undo the bow after that day],


B. The current knot is not tied tightly. [Some Poskim[31] however rule it may even be done if tied tightly.]


C. Is tied tightly but is a case that involves pain.

If ones Tzitzis became tied onto another person’s Tzitzis, may it be undone?

According to above answer it may only be undone if the knot is not tight.

If one’s shoes became tied in a double knot and he cannot remove them may he undo the knot?[32]

Even if the knot is tight one may undo it, as in a case of pain we allow to untie double knots.

Q&A on temporary knots

May one make a knot which is usually not undone that day if he intends to undo it that day?



May a knot with a bow on top be made on a disposable bag or the like which one plans to throw out and never actually undo?

Some Poskim[34] rule doing so is forbidden. Others[35] rule that it is allowed to be done, as throwing out an item is equivalent to untying it.

May one tie a Gartel to a Sefer Torah?

Some Poskim[36] rule that when it is done in a way that one makes a bow over a knot then it may only be done to undo that day, such as to undo by Mincha. If, however, one will not be using the Sefer Torah until Monday or later, as is the case when reading after Mincha, then doing so is forbidden.[37] Rather one is to fasten the ends into the binding. Other Poskim[38] however defend the worldly custom in making a bow over a knot even when the scroll will not be opened that day.[39] Regarding making a double knot see footnote.[40]

Untying the Gartel: If the Gartel of a Sefer Torah has been tied in a way that is forbidden to undo on Shabbos, such as a double knot or a bow over a knot, then it is likewise disputed whether it may be untied. Some Poskim[41] rule that if another Torah scroll is available then one is to take it out. Others[42] however rule that there is no need to return the Sefer Torah and remove another one, and one may thus undo the knot even if it is a double knot.[43]

If one took out the Sefer Torah and found that it was tied with a double knot may it be undone?

See above regarding the dispute. The Ketzos Hashulchan[44] rules that one may untie it and does not need to take out another scroll.

May one tighten his Tzitzis on Shabbos?

No and does so it is possibly a Biblical prohibition.[45] [One must be especially careful regarding a new pair of Tzitzis of which it is very common for the upper not to become loose, and hence care must be taken not to tighten it on Shabbos.]

Is one to check his Tallis on Shabbos?[46]

One is required to check the validity of the Tzitzis also on Shabbos, and so is the widespread custom.[47] [Upon checking the Tzitzis strings on Shabbos, one is to hold the upper knot of the Tzitzis and then check each string, in order to prevent tightening that knot on Shabbos.[48]]

Is one to separate the strings of his Tallis also on Shabbos prior to the blessing?

Some Poskim[49] rule one may not separate the strings on Shabbos, [even if they are loosely entangled].[50] Others[51] however rule that one may separate [loosely] entangled strings on Shabbos. Practically one is to do so[52] although one must beware not to untangle any strong knots that may have formed, and also not to tighten the top knot of the Tzitzis which commonly becomes loose.[53] [Upon checking the Tzitzis strings on Shabbos, one is to hold the upper knot of the Tzitzis and then check each string, in order to prevent tightening that knot on Shabbos.[54]] If however this is a new Tallis and it is the first time one is wearing it, then one is not to separate the strings at all on Shabbos, and is rather to do so on Erev Shabbos.[55]

May one make a tie on Shabbos?[56]

If not made in way of a double knot [or any type of tight knot] then it is allowed when done to untie within 24 hours. If the tie was made before Shabbos in a double knot, then the other side of the tie may nevertheless be loosened and tightened.

May one tie a scarf around his neck, or a tichel on one’s hair?

It is best to do so with a bow over a knot. However, there are Poskim[57] which allow one to make even a double knot as long as the double knot is not tight. Other Poskim[58] however forbid a double knot. In all cases, neither a double knot nor a bow knot, may be done with intent to undo the next day [past 24 hours]. Thus, those women that do not undo their Tichel knots may not make any form of knot on their Tichel on Shabbos, even a bow knot.[59]

May one tie a bandage onto a wound?[60]

One is to do so through making a bow over a single knot, and not through a double knot, as doing so may involve the tying prohibition. If, however, it is not possible to make a single knot with a bow then if one is in pain one may make a double knot with intent to remove that day[61], or at the very least in a time of need within seven days.[62]



[1] Admur 314:17

[2] As opposed to untying the actual knot, which will explained below. 

[3] Admur 317:6

Back then it was the custom for the launderers to tie the collars with a knot in order to have it be shaped. The question here thus is if such a knot may be undone on Shabbos.

[4] Meaning that if one had just bought this shirt from the tailor then one may not undo the collar knot on Shabbos.

[5] Admur 651:6; Michaber 651:1; Sukkah 33b and Rashi there; M”B 317:29

[6] The reason: As one never plans to undo the knot from the Lulav, and it is thus considered made to last forever. [Admur ibid based on Rashi ibid] Vetzaruch Iyun why one cannot simply make a Kesher Hedyot with intent to undo that day.

[7] Admur 317:8

[8] This refers to a rope which is not usual to be used to draw water with. [Rashi Pesachim 11a]

[9] Mishneh Berurah 317:28. This applies even if one plans to leave the bucket there for more than one day. [Biur Halacha]

[10] Admur 317:9

[11] Admur 317:1

[12] Admur 317:2

[13] Admur 317:2

[14] Admur 317:10

[15] Admur 317:4

[16] Admur 317:1

[17] Admur 317:10

[18] Admur 317:6

[19] Admur 317:2

[20] Admur 317:2

[21] Admur 317:3

[22] Admur 651:6; Mishneh Berurah 317:29

[23] Admur 317:3

[24] Admur 317:3

[25] Admur 317:2

[26] Admur 317:1-2

[27] See Biur Halacha 317:1 “Hakosher”

[28] As in such a case it is not a strong knot,m and is hence not a Maashe Uman, as rules the Taz and Admru ibid

[29] M”B 317:1 and Biur Halacha ibid

[30] Ketzos Hashulchan 123 footnote 11 in explanation of Chayeh Adam, brought in Mishneh Berurah 317:23


The Chayeh Adam, brought in Mishneh Berurah [317:23] as well as in the Ketzos Hashulchan [chapter 123 footnote 11], writes that if one usually ties a bow [over a single knot] and accidentally tied a knot [over the single knot thus forming a double knot] then it has the same law as a knot made with intention to undo that same day. However, the Ketzos Hashulchan ibid explains this to mean that only if it was not tied strongly and is thus not a professional knot may it be untied. Alternatively, even if tied strongly it may be untied in a scenario of pain. [However, this is only referring to a double knot, which is questionable as to whether it is considered professional or not. However, by another type of strong knot which is for certain a professional knot then even in a case of pain seemingly untying it would be forbidden, as explained above. Vetzaruch Iyun Gadol as according to this explanation of the Ketzos Hashulchan there has been no novelty said in the words of the Chayeh Adam, as it has the same exact law as one who intentionally tied a double knot, of which if strong may not be undone unless in a case of pain and if lose may be undone?] The Chazon Ish 52:17 however explains that the allowance applies even by a tight double knot being that avoiding a double knot is a mere stringency, and hence in a case that it occurred without intent one may be lenient.

[31] Chazon Ish 52:17 in explanation of M”B ibid

[32] Mishneh Halachos 3:38

[33] So is implied from Admur 317:1: However knots that are always for certain left [tied] for a certain amount of time and it is never usual to untie it that same day, then it is forbidden to tie them on Shabbos even casually or to untie them.

[34] See Maharil Diskin Kuntrus Achron 5:35; Rav SZ”A in SSH”K 35 footnote 63, brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 317 footnote 24

Opinion of Admur: It can be implied from Admur 651:6 [and Rashi Sukkah 33b] which considers the knot of a Lulav made to never be undone, even though after Sukkos it has no use, that throwing out is not considered like destroying. However, see Tzitz Eliezer 15:17 which explains that possibly one keeps a Lulav to inherit to his children. Vetzaruch Iyun.

[35] Minchas Yitzchak 8:27; Tzitz Eliezer 15:17; In Minchas Yitzchak 8:27 he brings that Rav SZ”A ruled to him that when the item is thrown out it is considered destroyed, and thus should be allowed, and is brought by Rav SZ”A himself in Tikkunim Umiluim of SSH”K.

[36] Minchas Shabbos 80; Minchas Yitzchak 8:19; Beir Moshe quoted in Piskeiy Teshuvos 317 footnote 19; Mentioned in Betzeil Hachachma 3:112.

The reason: Seemingly they do not permit this on the basis that it is being done for the sake of a Mitzvah being that it is possible to not tie it at all.

[37] As rules Admur in 317:1 that it is only permitted to make even an amateur knot when doing so to undo that day.

[38] Ketzos Hashulchan 123 footnote 9; Shut Mahrshag 60 although in his conclusion he suggests to be stringent although not to protest against those which are lenient. Rav SZ”A in SSH”K 15 footnote 178 says the custom is to be lenient.

[39] The reason: Doing so is considered an honor for the Sefer Torah, and any knot which is only Rabbinically forbidden is allowed to be done for a Mitzvah. However, it is honorable to merely stick the endings into the binding was suggested above. [ibid] This is also implied from the ruling of Admur in chapter 651:6 that Admur rules that by a Lulav such a knot may not be made because one never plans to untie it. Thus, implying that if done to eventually untie is allowed because doing so is a Mitzvah. [so learns also Ketzos Hashulchan ibid; Shut Maharshag ibid]

[40] On the one hand one can claim that according to all it would be forbidden when done with intent to undo that day as since one can tie it in a permitted way which is by making a bow over a knot, it is no longer considered a need for a Mitzvah. If, however, it is done after Mincha, to be undone 2 days later, then since whatever knot one makes is the same Rabbinical prohibition, which may be done for the sake of a Mitzvah then there is no difference in regards to which knot one makes, and so rules Shut Maharshag 1:60 that one is not to protest over one who makes a double knot.

[41] Kaf Hachaim in name of Ruach Chayim, brought in Ketzos Hashulchan ibid; following the above mentioned Poskim which are stringent regarding tying the Gartel on Shabbos. However, if no other Sefer Torah is available then obviously according to all one may untie it, as it is for the need of a Mitzvah.

[42] Ketzos Hashulchan ibid

[43] As one is doing so for the sake of a Mitzvah.

[44] 123 footnote 9

[45] Ketzos Hashulchan 123 footnote 4. However if done to untie that day then even to make the entire Tzitzis initially is only Rabinically forbidden. Now although one is doing so for the sake of a Mitzvah, nevertheless this was only allowed by an item that is normally eventually untied while by Tzitzis we suspect that he may leave it there forever. [Peri Megadim 317 A”A 20 brought in Ketzos Hashulchan 123 note 9] See however Biur Halacha 317:1 “Hakosher” that learns it is Biblically forbidden even if intended to undo that same day.

[46] Admur 8:13 in Kuntrus Achron 2; See also 275:1; Bach 8; Implication of Rama 13:2; M”A 13:5; 275:3 in name of Mateh Moshe and Rashal; Mamar Mordechai 8:9; Ben Ish Chaiy Bereishis 3; Kaf Hachaim 8:36; M”B 8:20 and 13:7 that so is implied from M”A ibid; Daas Torah 8:9 that so is implied from Taz 13:3; Mate Efraim 584:17

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule one is not required to check the Tzitzis on Shabbos unless one has another Tallis available. [Beis Yaakov 84 as explained in Admur ibid; Koheles Shlomo brought in Kaf Hachaim ibid] As on Shabbos, if one does not have another Tallis available he will anyways be allowed to wear the Tallis. [Biur Halacha below] Admur in Kuntrus Achron ibid negates this opinion, as nevertheless one must check in order to save himself from a blessing in vain. Some Poskim record that the world is not accustomed to check the Tzitzis on Shabbos. [M”B ibid; Siach Yitzchak 4 that so was custom of Kesav Sofer; Rabbanim in Piskei Teshuvos 13 footnote 18] However Admur ibid records that the custom is to do so.

Ruling of M”B: In M”B 13:7 he writes that although from the Poskim ibid it is proven that one should check the Tzitzis even on Shabbos, nevertheless the custom is to not do so. The M”B in Biur Halacha 13:2 “Kodem Sheyeitzei” writes that one is to check the Tzitzis on Erev Shabbos for the sake of Shabbos. If one did not do so then he is to check it at home prior to going to Shul with the Tzitzis. If the Tzitzis is already in Shul then according to the M”A there is no longer a need to check, although according to the Taz one is still to check. [ibid]

[47] So writes Admur ibid in Kuntrus Achron; The M”B ibid however concludes that the custom of the world is not to check the Tzitzis on Shabbos. See Ketzos Hashulchan 7 footnote 21

[48] Kovetz Oholei Lubavitch 3:5 that the Rebbe showed a young married student this order of checking on Shabbos. [printed in Shulchan Menachem 1:40]

[49] Gan Hamelech 65; Kesher Gudal 2:3; Shalmei Tzibur 29; Shesilei Zeisim 8:13; Chesed Lealafim 8:8; Shaareiy Teshuvah 8:8; Kisei Eliyahu 8:5; Ben Ish Chaiy Bereishis 3; Kaf Hachaim 8:30; Artzos Hachaim 8:7

[50] The reason: This is forbidden due to a possible Shabbos prohibition of fixing a vessel. [ibid]

[51] Implication of Mateh Moshe 443; Kneses Hagedola 281:4; Kisei Eliyahu; Yifei Laleiv 8:16; Chayeh Adam 8:17; Mamar Mordechai 8:9; brought in Kaf Hachaim ibid; Shulchan Hatahor 8:5; Halichos Shlomo 3:5; Yabia Omer 5:3

[52] So is implied from Admur 8:13 in Kuntrus Achron 2

[53] See Shulchan Aruch chapter 317 for the laws of tying and untying on Shabbos; Ketzos Hashulchan 123 foonote 4; SSH”K 15:7; Az Nidbaru 3:22; Toldas Shmuel Kosher 9; Piskeiy Teshuvos 13 footnote 17

[54] Kovetz Ohalei Lubavitch 3:5 that so showed the Rebbe to a young married student the order of checking on Shabbos. [printed in Shulchan menachem 1:40]

[55] See Poskim ibid of lenient opinion that when the strings are being untangled for the first time it is possibly Tikkun Mana. [Mamar Mordechai ibid in his explanation of the Gan Hamaelech]

[56] SSH”K 15:58

[57] Ketzos Hashulchan 123 footnote 4; brought also in Shaareiy Teshuvah in name of Birkeiy Yosef;

[58] Kitzur Shulchan Aruch; and so would seem from the Mishneh Berurah definition of a Maaseh Uman as stated in the previous Q&A.

[59] SSH”K 15:54

[60] Piskeiy Teshuvah 328:21, see also Tzitz Eliezer ibid which writes that a bow knot is to be made.

[61] However there in Piskeiy Teshuvos he writes “if the bandage is a type which is meant to be removed that day”. However, based on chapter 317:1 -2 it makes no difference if the bandage usually is made to last more than one day so long as ones intent is for it to last less than one day. 

[62] So is implied from Admur 317:1-2. Vetzaruch Iyun as there Admur only permits for a gentile.

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