Saw in Piskei Teshuvos not to use deodorant on Yom Kippur. Are there leniencies? (I teach Halacha in High schools)
Many thanks for your amazing work!


Although some authorities are mentioned as being stringent on this matter, others are lenient (see Mikraei Kodesh 6 note 60), and where a person knows that he will suffer from bad odor, one can be lenient with spray deodorant.

Stick deodorant should not be used, because of the concern of sichah. Spray deodorant is distant from the concept of sichah (embalming with oils for pleasure), and is therefore certainly permitted for the purpose of dealing with bad odors.

[Although it is permitted to clean an area of the body that is soiled with water, and the same should apply even for stick deodorant for removing bad odors, the level of odor is hard to determine, and a person might come to apply deodorant without need. This is the reason why stick deodorant, which is closer to sichah, must be treated with added stringency.]

if a person does not suffer from bad odor, yet wishes to ‘smell good,’ deodorant should not be used on Yom Kippur.

4 Responses to “Deodorant on Yom Kippur”

  1. Many thanks for your response.Even if there is no problem of sicha,do we need to be worried about the issue of rechitza?
    Kol tuv!

    • Not every case of applying something wet to the body is rechitzah. This depends on how we define the action in question. Therefore, not every case of sichah, which is the application of oil to the skin, is also rechitzah: one action is ‘washing,’ and the other ‘annointing.’ The application of deodorant is not considered ‘washing,’ there being no process of cleansing involved, and therefore there is no problem of rechitzah. At the same time, it can hardly be considered ‘annointing’ (sichah) which is why several poskim permit it. However, if there is no need, it is better to avoid it on Yom Kippur, which is not an appropriate day for ‘grooming.’
      Warmest regards, Y.P.

  2. You have mentioned there are a number of poskim who permit deodorant. Do you have any mekoros ?
    many thanks

    • See Mikraei Kodesh 6 note 60; Shut Chaim Sha’al 74:56; Shut Machazeh Eliyahu; Sefer Kol Ha-Torah Vol. 51, p. 140.
      Best wishes.

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