Friday, January 14, 2011

SHABBAT and watering plants and flowers (Zore'a)

Today is the 9th day of Shebat , 5771


There are 39 categories of Melakha (creative tasks) that are forbidden of Shabbat.

One of them is Zore'a, which literally means: sowing.

This prohibition includes all activities which will make or help any plant to grow.
It is forbidden to sow seeds, to plant trees or flowers, etc. Trimming a tree, which will cause the branches to regrow stronger, is also considered a derivative of 'sowing'.

One of the most common activities included in this melakha is watering plants, trees, flowers or grass on the ground or in planters: all these activities are not permitted during Shabbat. (As we have previously explained, it is permitted to program before Shabbat a sprinkle or an irrigation system that will be automatically activated on Shabbat).

Although watering plants is forbidden, according to the Sephardic custom, it is permitted to place on Shabbat plants like mint branches or myrtle branches or a bouquet of flowers on a vase with water. It is also permitted to add water into that vase. This is because these plants are already detached from the ground and we are just delaying their dryness, not causing them to grow (rishba, birke yosef).

On that note, many Rabbis will authorize to place flowers on water on Shabbat only if the flowers have already blossomed, and not when the flowers are still incipient and closed. (Yalkut Yosef)

Shabbat Shalom!

Candle lighting in NYC: 4.33 PM
Shabbat ends in NYC: 5.42 PM


Rabbi Yosef Bitton. YMJC | 130 Steamboat Rd. | Great Neck | NY | 11024