Koreah

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Definition

  1. Separating any two objects that are glued or sewn together is considered an act of tearing, Koreah.[1] However, this is only an issue if they were attached with at least some permanence.[2]
  2. For example, it’s permissible to open an envelope or a booklet that was stapled shut just for transmission by post by removing the staples. However, it’s forbidden to remove the staples from two papers that were stapled together permanently.[3]

Separating pages of a book

  1. It’s forbidden to cut or rip pages of a book that were not properly cut through in binding. [4]

Toilet paper

  1. Toilet paper or paper towels may not be ripped along perforated edges or not along perforated edges on Shabbat. [5] Some say in a situation where there’s no other option it’s permissible with a shinui (such as ripping with one’s elbow). [6]
  2. According to Sephardim, one should really rip toilet paper before Shabbat, however if one didn’t then, it’s permissible to rip in order to wipe yet one may not rip on the perforations and preferably this should be done with a shinui (like with one’s foot). [7]

References to practical examples

  1. Regarding removing the plastic tabs from the band aid edges, see Medicine on Shabbat.

Related Pages

  1. Opening bottles and cans
  2. Opening and Reading Mail on Shabbat

Links

Sources

  1. Shulchan Aruch 340:14
  2. Mishna Brura 340:45
  3. Shemirat Shabbos KeHilchata 28:5
  4. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 28:1. Biur Halacha 340:14 s.v. vechayav because of koreah and metaken.
  5. Mishna Brurah 340:41 writes that ripping toilet paper in order to wipe is forbidden (Deoritta) as Kore’ah. This is also the opinion of Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 9:25, Or Letzion 40:6, Orchot Shabbat (vol 1, 11:21), and Shalmei Yehuda (10:9, pg 171) in name of Rav Elyashiv
  6. Orchot Shabbat (vol 1, 11:22; 353) quotes Rav Elyashiv who holds that in a situation where there’s no other option it’s permissible with a shinui (such as ripping with one’s elbow). See Sh”t Tzitz Eliezer 11:30
  7. Yalkut Yosef (Shabbat vol 5, pg 146) in name of Rav Ovadyah Yosef, Sh”t Chelkat Yacov 3:123, Sh”t Hillel Omer 199