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 Shelach/Korachsubscribe


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

The Shulchan Aruch tells us 1that items fit for animals are not muktze, provided that those animals are common. Items fit for animals that are not common, even though the wealthy raise those particular animals (Bengalese tigers?) remain muktze, unless you yourself raise such animals. Therefore, if you own a pet ostrich, since ostriches eat broken glass,2 broken glass for you would not be muktze.

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

The Shulchan Aruch says 3that raw meat is not muktze because there are certain people that would eat it as it is.4 The Magen Avraham says that this is only true for fowl such as chicken or dove, which is soft and can be eaten raw, but red meat is muktze. The Taz disagrees and says that this is true for all meats. The Mishna Berura says that when very necessary one may rely on the Taz.

However, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach Ztz”l says that nowadays nobody eats raw meat – especially when it is not salted, it is therefore muktze. 5(Although we find people who would eat steak tartar, they are certainly a small minority and would not affect this ruling). 6

Therefore, one must organize his freezer before Shabbos in such a way that the ice cream will be in front of the raw meat, because one cannot move the raw meat out of the way in order to get to the ice cream. According to the Mishna Berura who holds that muktze may be moved with one’s body, you would be permitted to move the raw meat out of the way with your elbow, but deftness would be imperative.

Although a dog would gladly receive the chunk of raw meat, but as you do not intend feeding him with it, it remains muktze.

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

We find in the gemora 7that Rav Ashi told his servant to lift a dead mouse by its tail and remove it from the house. This was to emphasize that anything sickening or unpleasant in one’s surroundings may be handled directly and removed, despite it being muktze.

Chazal permitted the handling of muktze items in order to save one from unpleasantness. Rav Moshe Feinstein Ztz”l 8 quotes the case of guests arriving and there is a muktze itemin the living room that isdisturbing, it may be removed in a normal way. The Mishna Berura writes9 that a pile of shells and peels may be removed from the table with one’s hands, even though they are muktze, because one is disgusted by it. Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach Ztz”l 10is quoted saying that if guests are arriving and the housewife is greatly embarrassed lest the guests would see even a small amount of shells and peels, then they too may be removed.

One must not take this leniency too lightly and include everything into “unpleasantness”, because after all we are dealing with muktze.

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

A baby’s diaper is definitely included in this rule, as the very name of this halacha is a “g’raf shel re’i” – a potty, which Chazal permitted its removal because of revulsion. Therefore, after changing a baby’s diaper one may remove it and place it in the garbage can. It does not have to be placed into the first available spot once out of the living room, because its tiltul – handling is a permitted - one and may therefore be placed wherever a person wishes.

[1] Simon 308:29
[2] B’raisso Shabbos 128a.
[3] Simon 308:31.
[4] M”B 308:125.
[5] SS”K 11 footnote 20.
[6] If you would be adamant and say that because of these people raw meat should not be muktze, we would answer that at the utmost it would render steak tartar not muktze but not other raw meats.
[7] Shabbos 121b.
[8] In the back of the sefer written by Rav Pinchas Bodner called “Muktze”.
[9] Simon 308:115.
[10] Ibid.

Food For Thought

Is the sand in a sandpit muktze? In other words, is a child allowed to play in a sandpit on Shabbos?

If my child “sits down” in the middle of a Shabbos walk and refuses to continue am I permitted to carry him home?

May I blow a feather on Shabbos?

Is one permitted to pat a pet on Shabbos?

Answers coming next week.

Vort on the Parsha

The possuk tells us that Aharon’s staff blossomed and bore fruit before everyone’s very eyes. Why was it not enough just to see the fruit? HaGaon Rav Moshe Sternbuch shlita says that it is to show everyone that Aharon’s level of piety was not a gift from heaven, which others could have said that they were as worthy as him to receive it, rather it was the fruit of hard spiritual labor, ascending from one spiritual level to another until he became Aharon HaCohen.

This is a lesson to us all. Through hard work and diligence we can attain our true spiritual level.

For a printed version, click here.

To all those Soldiers and Civilians who were brutually murdered at Megiddo Wednesday the 24th of 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.