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Showering and Swimming on Shabbos

1. Can I swim/dip in the pool on Shabbos and/or Yom Tov to refresh myself?

2. Can I shower on Shabbos and/or Yom Tov to refresh myself?


1. It is permitted to dip in a pool (provided the water is not warm/hot), but one should avoid swimming.

See Shulchan Aruch (339:2) where we find distinctions based on different types of pools, but poskim are generally stringent concerning swimming today (see Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasah 14:12; Yaskil Avdi 6:1), seeing it as something inappropriate for Shabbos.

It is also forbidden to exercise on Shabbos (see 301:2).

2. It is permitted to take a shower on Shabbos, but the shower has to be cold. This is based on the ruling of the Shulchan Aruch (326:1).

It is preferable to avoid showering and dipping in a pool where this is not required for relieving discomfort.

In addition, one should be wary not to dry one’s hair on Shabbos after dipping in the pool or taking a shower. However, it is permitted to dab one’s hair gently with a towel.

Join the Conversation


  1. Hi Rabbi,
    I learned once that one may not wet more than one body part at a time on shabbos. So if he were to shower, he would first wet his arm, then his other arm etc.
    Is this true?

    1. The original prohibition against showering with hot water on Shabbos was made specifically concerning most of the body. For the smaller part of the body, and where each part of the body is washed by itself, the prohibition does not apply (see Shulchan Aruch 326:1). I did not mention this in the answer, because it is not generally practical.

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