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My fingernail broke a thread on the top my polyester hat, did I break Shabbos?


My fingernail broke a thread on the top my mixed polyester hat, did I break Shabbos?



Thank you for your question.

It is understood that one should not do this on Shabbos. However, in retrospect, we cannot say that you broke the Shabbos, and definitely not a biblical level, that you would have to bring a korban. The reason because of several technical halachos regarding hilchos Shabbos. 1. For the Shabbos to be broken on a biblical level, the action has to have been done with intent to do the action you did. From what you are describing, what was done was a sort of accident ( מתעסק), therefore it isn’t biblical. 2. Breaking the thread is not a constructive action, rather the opposite, it was ruining the hat, )  (מקלקלwhich is a second reason that action is not biblical. 3. Additionally, in order to transgress the biblical level the action has to be done in it’s normal fashion (שינוי). It is not the normal way to rip threads on top of a hat using one’s fingernails.

It is noteworthy that some of the above points might not even be for bidden on a Rabinical level either, however that discussion is not for now.

Therefore between all of these factors, you don’t have to be concerned about.


Rashi Shemos 35-13, and numerous gemoras.


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