Shabbat: Tearing Paper and Plastic Wrap

You may tear paper, plastic, foil, or other wrappers around food in order to eat that food on Shabbat.

You may tear plastic and foil (but not paper) around napkins, plasticware, etc., that you need on Shabbat.

But you may not:

  • Do so if you will inevitably tear through any words or pictures on the package.
  • Use scissors.
Except for wrappers for food or eating utensils, do not tear paper, foil, toilet paper, parchment paper, plastic wrap, paper towels, etc., on Shabbat.
Note If there is a perforation, that makes the tearing worse.
Note If you do not have any torn toilet paper, tear it is an unusual way:
  • Tear using the back of your hand.
  • Spread the toilet paper across your knees and then spread your knees apart.

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