|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
ones table, providing one either owns such animals or these animals are common in
ones 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 ones
area or not.
If shells and peels which I
understand are muktze are on the table, what is the permitted way for
Certain shells and peels are muktze even if animals
are common in ones 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 psak 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 ones 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 ones hand, and hence is tiltul min hatsad. One
must refer to ones 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 ones 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.
 Simon 308:27.
 Simon 308:29.
 MB 308:114.
 Simon 308:27
 Provided that the plate, tray etc is not a basis ldavar haassur,
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 BH be learned another time.
 If garbage was in the can before Shabbos, the can becomes a basis ldavar
haassur and is muktze.
 Simon 308:115.
 Simon 308:60.
 Simon 308:34.
 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 babys 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 Bnei 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 Bnei 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.