A bleeding wound

Treating a bleeding wound on Shabbos:[1]     

Placing a [non-designated] cloth on a wound: It is forbidden to place a garment on a wound that is bleeding.

The Reason is: because the blood will dye it. Now, although one is ruining [the cloth in this dyeing, as he is simply staining it] nevertheless it is Rabbinically forbidden [to be done].[2]

A red cloth: It is certainly [prohibited to place on the bleeding wound] a red garment, being that one is fixing it [by dyeing it with its natural red color].

Squeeze out the blood: It is not allowed for one to squeeze out the blood from the wound prior [to placing the cloth on it] as doing so contains the wounding prohibition as explained in 328 [Halacha 33].

Wrapping spider webs around it: Thus how is one to treat a bleeding wound? One is to wrap around it spiders web and cover with it all the blood and the entire wound and afterwards wrap a rag around it.

Other Opinions: There are opinions which question [whether it is allowed] and prohibit wrapping [the wound in] spider webs being that they have healing powers.

Rinsing off the blood and then applying the bandage: Rather [according to this latter opinion] one is to rinse [off the wound] in water or wine [prior to applying bandage to it] in order to remove the blood which is on the wound and afterwards [one may] wrap on it a rag. [See Q&A regarding if this may be done if one knows that it will still continue to bleed after bandaging it.]

The Final Ruling:  It is proper[3] to suspect for this latter opinion [to rinse off the blood rather than use a spiders web], although the main Halachic ruling follows the first opinion.

Clothes that are designated specifically for wiping on:[4] May be used for wiping blood and is not a problem of dyeing, as we only apply the dyeing prohibition when it is not in a way of wiping, or it is but is done to a random cloth.


Cleaning the blood of a wound:[5]

Is forbidden to be done with any cloth, irrelevant of color, which is not designated for that purpose due to the dyeing prohibition. If thus there are no pre-designated cloths available one is to rinse it off with water and then place the cloth on it prior to it beginning to bleed.



May a bandage be used over a bleeding wound?

Yes, as bandages are designated for this purpose.


May one place a tissue or disposable napkin on the wound?[6]



May one wrap a towel over a bleeding wound?

Seemingly one may not do so as towels are not meant to be used to dry colored liquids but rather to dry water on. Vetzaruch Iyun


One who has cleaned a wound from blood, may he place on it a cloth even though he knows that it will eventually continue to bleed?[8]

Some Poskim[9] require that it be cleaned until the blood stops secreting.

Others[10] however rule that once the wound is clean one may put a cloth on it.[11]


[1] 328/53

[2] Vetzaruch Iyun why here Admur only brings the stringent opinion brought in Halacha 3 regarding wiping stained hands on a cloth, while there in Halacha 3 he also brings a lenient opinion. In any event the final ruling remains as explained there in Halacha 3, like the stringent opinion.

[3] Lit. good

[4] Kuntrus Achron 302

[5] 328/53 and Kuntress Achron 3011

[6] SSH”K 14/19; Piskeiy Teshuvos 320/11 based on Admur Kuntrus Achron 302

This is unlike the ruling of Rav Farkash in Tahara Kehalacha 10/28 and chapter 15 p. 506 which rules that tissues should not be used as they are not specifically designated for this purpose. Vetzaruch Iyun Gadol from where he understood that they must be designated for a specific form of wiping, as opposed to general wiping.

[7] As they are designated for wiping, and thus do not contain a dyeing prohibition.

[8] Ketzos Hashulchan chapter 136 footnote 11

[9] Machatzis Hashekel

[10] Avnei Nezer

[11] As even if it later bleeds this is only Grama and is allowed, and so seems to be the opinion of the Poskim.

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