Chol Hamoed questions

Shavua tov. Just a few arbitrary questions for Chol Hamoed. Sorry for the lengthy list…

For something to be permitted on Chol Hamoed, must it be hedyot and Tzorech Hachag or does only one condition suffice?

Also, it seems like the rules for Chol Hamoed are very tricky and not all sources are consistent with what is and isn’t allowed. Some say that writing by hand it totally forbidden. Would writing for leisure, journaling, taking notes on a book/class/interview be a problem if it’s simple writing? Would it make a difference if one is writing to reference the writing later on after Chag?

Is there an issue with sketching, drawing or painting in a casual manner, for yourself and not to publish anywhere?

What about typing? I’ve heard it’s okay, but what about typing to publish for a blog or to profit from the blog?

And if I have photos on a memory card that I want to sort and edit to save on my computer, is that ok? I’ve been working on some family history / family tree and stuff and want to interview some family members by recording their voices on my phone and maybe writing some things down. Is that ok? Are there any limitations to what I can do on my laptop on Chol Hamoed? Does creative work change the circumstances of what is and isn’t allowed on the computer?

Thanks for the help! It’s truly appreciated.

Hedyot or Tzorech Hachag. Either would be OK.

Any typing / editing / recording on the computer is OK. No Ksiva there.

Regarding writing in general - as you mentioned the rules are tricky and I never got a clear opinion from the Rav. Always a case by case basis. So I can’t answer. Maybe one of the other moderators can add here.

If only one Condition is needed, why is purchasing products that aren’t for Chag not allowed? And isn’t writing also considered hedyot?

Would driving around for leisure be considered ok because it’s hedyot? I’m just trying to get a feel for what is and isn’t ok, but it seems a bit confusing and inconsistent and times…

Purchasing not for chag is not permissible as you point out, but not because it’s hedyot. Because it takes away from the chag. The focus is on the mitzvos of the day.

As to your driving question, it is hedyot. (As to it’s permissibility or not is a different discussion)

It can definitely “seem” confusing and inconsistent but that’s because one needs to review the source material. Not an easy task but an absolute doable project for chol hamoed. (Especially in light of the fact that there is no where to go these days :smiley:)

1 Like

Can you point me in the right direction for starting to learn this topic? Where should I look first? Is Moed Katan the place to start or is there other sources more worthwhile?

Also, would highlighting and taking notes by hand for learning this be ok? Or best to just type?

Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 530-548

1 Like