For instance, you take toilet paper for granted. I promise you do. But then someone (or a book or website) will tell you, "Oh, you can't tear toilet paper on Shabbat." And then you will be confused.
Rinse and repeat for most Shabbat "rules." This is why knowing other observant Jews is so important. They can help you learn the "tips and tricks" required to implement the halachot of Shabbat. But since toilet paper is a fundamental issue, let's discuss it here.
You have a couple of options:
- Put out a box of tissues. Cheap, store-brand tissues are less likely to leave behind pieces when used as toilet paper.
- Don't use tissues whose corners are connected (like a perforation). In that case, you can take the tissues out of the box ahead of time, separate them, and lay them in a pile on top of each other.
- Pre-tear the toilet paper and place it in a basket/pile. (You can use a razor to cut a whole roll of toilet paper at once!)
- In an emergency, you can tear it in an unusual way. I recommend an elbow or corner of a wall. Of course, this should not be your regular Shabbat method.
The problem is when you mindlessly reach for the toilet paper and tear it like normal. I recommend removing the toilet paper from where it normally sits. When you reach for the toilet paper and you're half-asleep, it won't be there.
Enjoy using the bathroom guilt-free on Shabbat! Don't bother trying to explain this to your friends and family. They will think you're insane.