shabbos candles

The Shabbos Weekly
Halachos Series on Hilchos Shabbos

shabbos candles

Published by
Pirchei Shoshanim

A Project of
The Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Based on the Shiurim Given by

Rabbi Dovid
Ostroff, shlita

developed from the Chabura of the
Pirchei Shoshanim Shulchan Aruch Learning Project

These Halachos were shown by Rabbi Ostroff to
HaGaon HaRav Moshe Sternbuch, shlita


Questions for the Week of Parshas Behaaloscha/Shelachsubscribe


Are bones fit for dogs muktze? Does it make a difference if I personally do not own a dog?

The Shulchan Aruch says 1 that bones suitable for dogs and peels suitable for cattle are not muktze and may be removed from one’s table, providing one either owns such animals or these animals are common in one’s vicinity. Therefore one need not personally own such an animal for the bones not to be muktze; as such bones are identified as animal food. 2

However, particularly hard bones unsuitable even for dogs would be muktze. 3

By the way, if the bones were not completely picked of their meat they are not muktze, regardless whether dogs are common in one’s area or not.

If shells and peels – which I understand are muktze – are on the table, what is the permitted way for removing them?

Certain shells and peels are muktze even if animals are common in one’s vicinity, for example egg peels and nutshells, as these are unsuitable for animals.

The halacha is that when one needs to use a permitted item or to move it from one place to another, and something muktze is placed on it, one is required first to tip the muktze and only then carry the plate. 4See the footnote. 5 If one cannot tip the muktze either because it will damage the muktze (e.g. candlesticks on a table) or because one requires the space the plate is occupying, one may carry the plate with its muktze to a different location where it can be tipped.

Accordingly, if peels are on a plate and one either wants to clean the plate or clear the table, since tipping the peels onto the table or floor is impractical, one may carry the plate to the garbage can and tip the contents into the garbage. It is forbidden to carry the garbage can to the table and tip the contents of the plate into it, because a garbage can is usually muktze. 6

Is one permitted to use a knife or napkin to scrape the peels onto a plate?

The Taz says that using a knife (or napkin) to scrape muktze is called tiltul min hatsad (indirect tiltul) and may be done for a permitted cause, i.e. to clear the table. The Mishna Berura reiterates his p’sak 7and also permits it. The Rav Shulchan Aruch 8and the Chazon Ish disagree with the Taz saying that such a tiltul is considered direct moving of the muktze because the knife (or napkin) is an extension of one’s hand and is forbidden under all regular circumstances. This is opposed to carrying a plate with muktze on top, where the plate is not considered an extension of one’s hand, and hence is tiltul min hatsad. One must refer to one’s Rav as to which opinion must be followed.

I heard that if they are amassed on the table they may be removed, is it only hearsay?

The halacha is that when something vile or disgusting is in one’s immediate surroundings, it may be removed. 9 Even though that particular item is muktze, nevertheless Chazal permitted its removal because of human dignity. The Mishna Berura says 10 that in the event that the peels are piled up in front of one to a point that he is revolted by it, only then may he remove it from the table.

[1] Simon 308:27.
[2] Simon 308:29.
[3] M”B 308:114.
[4] Simon 308:27
[5] Provided that the plate, tray etc is not a basis l’davar ha’assur, i.e. that the muktze was not placed on the heter before Shabbos so as the heter will serve the muktze. There are many particulars to this halacha, which will B”H be learned another time.
[6] If garbage was in the can before Shabbos, the can becomes a basis l’davar ha’assur and is muktze.
[7] Simon 308:115.
[8] Simon 308:60.
[9] Simon 308:34.
[10] Simon 308:115.

Food For Thought

If I own an ostrich, may I handle broken glass?

Is raw meat muktze? Would owing a dog make any difference?

If I encounter a dead mouse in my living room, how am I to remove it?

After changing a baby’s diaper, is one permitted to handle and discard it?

Answers coming next week.

Vort on the Parsha

Aharon HaCohen was told to light the Menora in the Mishkan, which apparently serves no purpose seeing that Hashem “dwells” within and he is the source of all light. The Midrash says that this was done in order to appease the B’nei Yisrael. This is similar to the parable of a blind man being led to his home and before setting out on their journey, the benefactor asks the blind man to please hold the torch to light the way.

The leader did not require his help but he did this to make him realize that he was needed and is not a charity case.

Hashem Yisborach, who lit up the night in the desert and created the sun and all light, asked B’nei Yisroel to “light up” the Mishkan for Him, so that as not to make them feel so degraded and useless.

This is how a Jew is required to do charity – chessed. Even when benefiting another person, make him feel grand and important.

For a printed version, click here.

Dedicated to the Yahrzeit of Rav Yerucham Levovitz, Mashgiach of Yeshivas Mir, 18th Sivan.

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Note:  The purpose of this series is intended solely for the clarification of the topics discussed and not to render halachic decisions. It is intended to heighten everyone's awareness of important practical questions which do arise on this topic.  One must consult with a proper halachic authority in order to receive p'sak.