Carrying Unnecessarily on Yom Tov

By Rabbi Chaim Chazzan


Is one permitted to carry a box of tissues in the street on yom tov, even though he won’t use all the tissues in the box, which means that some of the tissues are not being carried ‘letzorech yom tov’ – for the sake of [use on] yom tov?


One is permitted to carry on yom tov if it is for the sake of yom tov, even if there is merely a possibility one might need it for yom tov.

Even if something is only somewhat for the sake of yom tov it is permitted. For example: a person who desires to take a leisurely walk but is caring for a toddler, may take the child in a stroller even though his intention is not to take the child somewhere, but rather a result of wanting to take a stroll and not having someone else to care for him. Since the walk is a matter of simchas yom tov, taking the child along is considered somewhat for the sake of yom tov.

However something that brings no benefit on yom tov may not be carried. A common example is when items with no use on yom tov were left in the storage compartment of a stroller, they must be emptied out before taking the stroller out. Another example is a key to a locker whose contents are of no use on yom tov.

It is permitted to take out a container of food even if one won’t need all the food in it, provided all the contents is of the same sort of food. But it would be prohibited to take out a container containing various items some of which will be used and some of which won’t. Since a box of tissues contains only one item – tissues, it is permitted to carry it in the street on yom tov, even if one won’t be using all the tissues.

Poskim debate about a key ring that contains some keys that one has no use for on yom tov. Some say that it is comparable to a box of tissues and permitted, since they are all of the same type – keys. Others say that since the other keys will definitely not bring one any benefit on yom tov it is prohibited (unlike the tissues where there is at least the possibility of using all of them if necessary).


שו”ע אדה”ז סי’ תקי”ח סעיף א, שו”ת אגרות משה או”ח ח”ב סי’ קג, שמירת שבת כהלכתה פי”ט הערה יד, תשובות והנהגות ח”א סי’ שמח, משנה הלכות ח”ז סי’ עו. הלכות המועדים (מאת הר”ר שלמה זלמן גרוסמן, י-ם, תשמ”ט) פ”ה הע’ 21.


Reprinted with permission from  Lmaan Yishmeu – a project of Mercaz Anash. To see more articles visit

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