The walking regulations on Shabbos



The walking regulations on Shabbos:[1]

  1. The prohibition:

The verse[2] states “Im Tashiv Mishabbos Raglecha…Vechibadeto Meiasos Derachecha etc/If from walking you will rest and honor Shabbos by not doing weekday activity.” From here the Sages[3] learned that one’s walking on Shabbos should not be like one’s walking during the week. Practically, due to this, various regulations are recorded in Poskim regarding different forms of walking.[4] [Many people are accustomed to a certain form of walking during the week, and if this method is not allowed on Shabbos, one is to train and accustom his body on Shabbos to walk differently, according to the permitted ways.[5] These restrictions apply both outside on the street, and inside one’s home.[6]]

  1. Running:[7] It is forbidden to run on Shabbos. It is certainly forbidden to run for the sake of exercise and health purposes.[8] [This applies even if one runs in small strides.[9]]
  2. Jumping:[10] It is forbidden to jump on Shabbos. This refers to lifting both feet from the ground simultaneously.
  3. Skipping:[11] It is forbidden to skip on Shabbos. This refers to lifting the second leg prior to [fully] putting the first leg down.[12]
  4. Large strides:[13] One may not walk in wide strides of more than an Ama distance [48 cm.] from the head of the toe of one foot to the head of the toe of the second foot[14], if one is able to walk in smaller strides. Furthermore, even during the week one is not to walk in wide strides, as doing so takes way 1/500th of one’s ability of sight.[15]
  5. Walking more than necessary:[16] One is not to walk more than necessary in order to get to a certain location. Hence, if there are two ways to walk, the shorter route should always be chosen. Nonetheless, it is permitted to go for a Shabbos walk [and take a longer route for that purpose].[17]



May one who is walking up/down stairs skip steps on Shabbos?[18]

One who is walking up/down a flight of stairs is not to skip steps on Shabbos, unless one of the exceptions apply.[19]


[1] Admur 301:1-2 [printed in the new Edition of the Shulchan Aruch, based on manuscript of Maharil, first published in Yagdil Torah N.Y. 10]; Michaber 301:1-3; Shabbos 113; Ketzos Hashulchan 117:2-3

[2] Yeshaya 58:13

[3] Shabbos 113a; Tur 301; Levush 301

[4] Some Poskim explain the reason behind these regulations is because they all involve physically stressful, or non-relaxant activities, and the Torah instructed us to rest on Shabbos. [Aruch Hashulchan 301:44]

[5] P”M 90 A”A 25

[6] Minchas Shabbos 90:2

[7] Admur ibid; Michaber 301:1; Brachos 6b

[8] M”A 301:5; Beis Yosef in name of Tosefta; Admur 328:47 regarding sweating for exercise

The reason: It is forbidden to exercise in order so one sweats for healing purposes due to a decree that one may come to grind and drink herbs which cause one to sweat. [Admur ibid] This is in addition to the prohibition against running on Shabbos due to the above quoted verse.

[9] P”M 301 A”A 1

[10] Admur ibid; Implication of Michaber 301:3; Brachos 6b

[11] Admur ibid; Implication of Michaber 301:3; Rambam 24:4; Kaf Hachaim 301:4

[12] Admur ibid; M”A 301: Agguda in name of Tosafus; See M”B 301:8 in name of Gr”a

[13] Admur ibid and 90:13; Rama 301:1; Hagahos Ashri Eiruvin  2in name of Or Zarua Eiruvin 143; Rebbe Yishmael Shabbos 113b

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule there is no prohibition against taking long strides on Shabbos. [Aguda Taanis 1:5 in name of Tosafus; implication of Rambam 24:4, brought in Kuntrus Achron 301:1 and M”A 301:2; Minchas Shabbos Shiyurei Mincha 90:1; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 301:1 footnote 8]

[14] Admur ibid; M”A 301:2 that the foot is half an Ama and one may not walk in strides larger than a half Ama between the two feet; Ketzos Hashulchan 117:2; See however M”B 301:3 that the strides are measured each person according to their normal way of walk.

[15] Admur ibid and 90:13; M”A 301:1; Shabbos ibid; Brachos 6b and 43b

[16] Michaber 301:3; Admur Kuntrus Achron 301:1; Ketzos Hashulchan 117:3

[17] Rama 301:2; Beis Yosef in name of Tosefta; Igros Moshe 5:18; Piskeiy Teshuvos 301:5

[18] Piskeiy Teshuvos 301 footnote 2

[19] This is forbidden due to walking in large strides [and thus should not be done even during the week].

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