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Making Photobook on Chol Hamoed

Question:

Can I make an online photobook on chol hamoed, using pictures on the computer/internet and then designing different backgrounds and embellishments on the website (i.e. snapfish). I will buy the finished product for print after yom tov.

Answer:

There are different opinions regarding doing melacha on Chol Hamoed when it is for entertainment purposes, and the minhag of many is to allow it, (see sources). There would be a few exceptions though. that it would be permitted if the purpose of what you are doing is for the entertainment and enjoyment that you get out of what you are doing it, and not that it is really as a preparation for after. Secondly, if the quality of what you are doing is simple and on a level that anyone can do, then it wold be considered a “maseh hedyot” and permitted, however if it on a level that is above what is “simple” then it would be a “maaseh uman” a professionally done work, and then even for the enjoyment of Yom Tov it would not be permitted.

A gut moed

Sources:

Shmiras Shabbos Khilchoso 67 ftnt. 106 in the name of R’ Moshe Zt”l, and HIlchos Chol Hamoed  responsa from R’ Moshe 13, however see responsa of Beer Moshe 30 in the above sefer and Chol Hamoed Khilchoso pg. 244 in the name of R’ S. Z. Auerbach and R’ Vosner who are stringent about this. On the other hand the poskim say that it is permitted to to fix one’s car (if it doesn’t need a professional to fix it) in order to go visiting on Chol Hamoed. R’ D. Schreiber and R’ M. S. Klein explain the difference between the two, that if the melacha is being done solely for the purpose of enjoying CHol Hamoed then it is permitted, however if it is done as a preparation for after Chol Hamoed, even if it also an enjoyment it should not be done.  O:CH 541-5.

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