3. Tying and untying a double knot on Shabbos

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3. Tying and untying a double knot on Shabbos:[1]

[Due to that we rule stringently in the above dispute to prohibit tying and untying professional knots in all cases] we are therefore accustomed to be careful not to tie or untie any knot which is a double knot one on top the other even if made [in order] to undo on that same day. [See Q&A]

The reason is: because we are not experts as to which knots are considered professional of which are [thus] forbidden to tie and untie even if not made to last at all, and [thus] any strong knot which is very tightly tied there is doubt that perhaps this is considered a professional [knot][2], and [thus since] a double knot is also a strong knot [therefore we are stringent].

Untying a double knot in a scenario that involves pain:[3] Nevertheless in a scenario [that involves] pain one need not be strict regarding [the dispute of the] Rabbinical [prohibition] and one is [thus] allowed to untie it if [the knot] is not made to last at all in a way that it would for certain be allowed to be done [if it were an] amateur [knot], being that according to the latter opinion it is allowed even if it is certainly a professional [knot]. [See Q&A regarding tying a bandage on a wound]



May one tie or untie a loose double knot?

Yes. If it was tied to undo that day it may be untied, as a knot can only be considered a professional knot when it is strong and tight.[4] However, the Misheneh Berurah[5] learns that so long as it will not be undone on its own, even if it can be undone with one hand, then [knot] is considered a professional knot.

Does the above allowance of pain apply to all professional knots and to all Rabbinical knots?[6]

No. The above allowance in a case of pain only applies to a double knot which is a doubtful professional knot, and only if it is not meant to last for 24 hours. It does not apply to any other professional knot, or an amateur knot that is meant to last more than one day.[7]



[1] Admur 317:2; Rama 317:1; Shiltei Giborim 41b

Other opinions: The Shareiy Teshuvah 317:1 brings from the Bircheiy Yosef 317:1 that their custom is to allow tying a double knot to undo that day as it is considered an amateur knot, and it’s only a minority opinion which argues on this, and their opinion is nullified. However, the Kaf Hachaim 317:23 explains the Birkeiy Yosef to refer to a type of double knot that is not very tight.

[2] Admur ibid; M”A 317:4; Shiltei Giborim ibid; M”B 317:14

[3] Admur ibid; Rama ibid

[4] Ketzos Hashulchan 123 footnote 4; Kaf Hachayim 317:22-23 based on 317: 2

[5] Admur 317:1-see Biur Halacha there,

So too seems to learn the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch who prohibits double knotting a scarf.

[6] Ketzos Hashulchan 123 footnote 5; Implication of Chayeh Adam 26; Kalkeles Shabbos

Other opinions: The Karban Nesanel on the Rosh Shabbos “Eilu Kesharim” writes that according to the Rama all Rabbinical knots may be untied in a case of pain. [See Ketzos Hashulchan ibid]

[7] Ketzos Hashulchan 123 footnote 5 learns that this allowance to undo a knot in a case of pain only applies to a double knot, being that there is doubt as to whether it at all is considered professional. However, by a knot that is certainly professional, then despite that this too is disputed whether it is Rabbinically forbidden when made to last less than one day, nevertheless one is to be stringent even in a case of pain. This is also implied from the ending wording of Admur “being that according to the latter opinion it is allowed even if it is certainly a professional [knot].” Thus, implying that his allowance was only referring to the last case mentioned which involved a double knot which is a questionable professional knot.

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