|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 Ztzl 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 ones body, you would be
permitted to move the raw meat out of the way with your elbow, but deftness would be
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 ones 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 Ztzl 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 ones hands, even
though they are muktze, because one is disgusted by it. Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach Ztzl
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 babys diaper, is
one permitted to handle and discard it?
A babys diaper is definitely included in this rule,
as the very name of this halacha is a graf shel rei
a potty, which Chazal permitted its removal because of revulsion. Therefore,
after changing a babys 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.
 Simon 308:29
 Braisso Shabbos 128a.
 Simon 308:31.
 MB 308:125.
 SSK 11 footnote 20.
 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.
 Shabbos 121b.
 In the back of the sefer written by Rav Pinchas Bodner called Muktze.
 Simon 308:115.
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
Answers coming next week.
Vort on the Parsha
The possuk tells us that Aharons staff
blossomed and bore fruit before everyones 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 Aharons 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
This is a lesson to us all. Through hard work and diligence
we can attain our true spiritual level.