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 Pinchassubscribe


If I forgot money on my pillow before Shabbos, is my pillow muktze?

One of the stipulations for transforming an item into a basis l’davar ha’assur 1is that the muktze be purposely placed on the heter.2 Yet, we find a machlokes as to the intricacies of purposely placing items.

One opinion holds that an item will become a basis if the muktze is placed on top of it with the intention that it remain there for the entire bein hashmashos (twilight), even though it is known that it will be subsequently removed (after twilight) either by a child or by a non-Jew. 3

The other opinion holds that the muktze must be placed there with the intention that it remain there for the entire Shabbos otherwise the heter does not become a basis. The Mishna Berura 4rules that the halacha is according to the first opinion but when a loss may be incurred one may rely on the second opinion. For example:

  • If one purposely placed money in a Shabbos jacket intending to remove it before Shabbos, the pocket will not become a basis l’davar ha’assur because there was no intention to leave it there for Shabbos.
  • Money placed on a pillow or blanket in the process of emptying pockets before Shabbos, will not render them a basis, for the same reason.

What am I supposed to do with it? May I tilt it into a drawer?

Since the blanket, pillow or jacket did not become a basis l’davar ha’assur for the reasons mentioned, the muktze items may be tilted onto the floor because one needs to use the items. It is forbidden to carry the muktze by use of the pillow solely for safekeeping the muktze, as that would be tiltul min hatsad 5for the sake of an issur – the muktze item.

I would like, though, to lie on my pillow but would also like to tilt the money into a drawer, is that permitted?

R’ Akiva Eiger learns from Rashi 6that one is permitted to carry the muktze just as much as is necessary and not to wherever he wants. He questions this saying, that once muktze is in one’s hands b’heter, it should be permitted to take it anywhere. He remains b’tsorich iyun. Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach explains that in this case, Chazal only permitted exactly what was necessary, i.e. moving the muktze enough for one’s needs. 7

Does the Shabbos table become muktze because of the Shabbos candles?

A muktze item not only transforms the heter directly beneath it, it also transforms anything below that as well, as long as it serves the muktze. Since the table obviously serves everything placed above it, it becomes a basis as well, and unless certain measures are taken to counter the candles the table will be forbidden to move the entire Shabbos.

What measures are you referring to?

The Mishna Berura 8says that if one places the challas on the table for the entire bein hashmashos, since they are considered more important than the candles, the table becomes now a basis for a permitted item that is more important than the muktze and hence is not a basis l’davar ha’assur.

[1] A basis l’davar ha’assur is a non-muktze item onto which a muktze was placed. The base can sometimes become muktze because of the muktze placed on top of it.
[2] Simon 309:4.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Simon 309:21
[5] Indirect handling of a muktze.
[6] Shabbos 142b. The Mishna talks about a barrel with a rock placed on top of it and it was not a basis. The Mishna says that one may tilt the rock in order to use the barrel, and if there are barrels adjacent to this one, one may lift the barrel with the rock, carry it and tilt it further away from the other barrels.
[7] Shulchan Shlomo 309:8.
[8] Simon 309:18.

Food For Thought

Does the tablecloth also become a basis l’davar ha’assur as well?

Q Is a drawer with money, or other muktze items, muktze?

Q How does one determine which item is more important than the other?

Q If Reuven placed money on Shimon’s table before Shabbos, does it render the table a basis l’davar ha’assur?

Answers coming next week.

Vort on the Parsha

A special covenant of peace was bestowed upon Pinchas for his act of bravery and zealousness. One might think that the reward for murder would not be a peace medal, and yet we see the contrary.

A king set out on a war mission to protect his country and subjects from an onslaught of barbarous tribes. Would you call this a war mission or a peace one? Obviously the monarch wishes that peace reign in his kingdom and is doing his utmost to maintain peace and security. Through war and battle he upholds tranquility.

Pinchas brought peace between Hashem and His people by fighting a battle. The gemora says that enforcing law in the land eliminates the necessity for Hashem to enforce it.

Therefore Hashem demonstrated that such an act is called peace making, because it was performed with the correct intentions and motives.

For a printed version, click here.

Dedicated in memory of Rav Bentsion Abba Shaul and Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel of Mir, 19th Shvat.

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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.