Sunday, May 10, 2015

Bathing a Small Child on Shabbat

Bathing a Small Child on Shabbat
Day: Sunday
Date: May 10, 2015
Parshat: Behar/Behukotai
Yalkut Yosef: 326

The prohibition against bathing with hot water on Shabbat applies to everyone, even small chidren. However, a child that got soiled, or that is normally washed daily, may be washed with warm water. This is allowed since washing the child with cold water can cause the child to become sick. Of course, one may not heat up water even to wash such a child. One may only use water heated before Shabbat or heated by the sun. In most cases hot water from the faucet is heated by a boiler on Shabbat and therefore such water may not be used to bathe the child. When one turns on the hot water he inadvertantly casues more water to enter the boiler and become heated on Shabbat. This is called a "Pesik Resha" and is prohibited MiDerabanan. Our Hachamim did not forbid Pesik Resha to be done for a person who is ill. We are also taught that a small child is considered by the Torah to have the same status as a person who is ill. Therefore if there is no other option one may even use hot water from the faucet to bathe the child on Shabbat.

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