|Does the tablecloth
become a basis ldavar haassur as well?
Two rules apply to this particular question. Rule 1: the gemora in Shabbos
47a says that because a flame is muktze, the wick, the oil and the lamp all become
a basis ldavar haassur.1 In other words, anything placed
beneath the muktze becomes muktze as well, not only the item directly
beneath the muktze.
Rule 2: When the item beneath the muktze is
not there to serve the muktze but for another purpose, it does not become a basis
Application: A table serves everything placed above
it and therefore the table becomes a basis to the candles. Even though the candles
might be placed on a tray, nevertheless the table becomes a basis.2
However, the tablecloth was not placed to hold up and be a base to the candles rather to
cover and decorate the table, and just as we find that a turnip buried in the ground does
not become a basis ldavar haassur to the muktze-soil covering
it, for this very reason the turnip 3is not there to hold up the soil
so too the tablecloth is not there to serve the candles.4 Accordingly
the tablecloth would not be muktze at all. 5
However, we find poskim who say that the entire
tablecloth does become muktze,6 and others 7who say that only
the section of the tablecloth beneath the candles becomes muktze. The Mishna
Berura says 8that when necessary one may rely on the lenient poskim
who do not consider the tablecloth muktze at all.
Is a drawer with money, or other muktze
Since the drawers purpose is to store items, it
becomes a basis ldavar haassur. A drawer will not become a basis
when items that are not muktze are in the drawer as well and are more important
than the muktze items.
How does one determine which item is
more important than the other?
In the Sefer Muktze 9we find two
HaRav Moshe Feinstein Ztzl: the
evaluation is made according to ones present needs. Therefore, if on a tray or in a
drawer there are money and plates, since one has no need for the money on Shabbos and the
plates are needed, they are considered more valuable.10 Accordingly the tray
and drawer are a basis for the heter and not muktze.
Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach Ztzl: is
quoted as saying that it must be an overall estimation of what a person would surrender if
he had to. 11Therefore, in the above case of money and plates, if the money
were a substantial sum, a person would prefer to relinquish his hold on the plates and not
surrender the money. Accordingly the money would be the important one and the tray or
drawer a basis ldavar haassur.
If Reuven placed money on Shimons
table before Shabbos, does it render the table a basis ldavar haassur?
Another rule is that a basis ldavar haassur can
only be instigated by the owner or his agent of the permitted item. Therefore, when Reuven
placed money or other muktze items on Shimons permitted items without
Shimons consent or knowledge, it will not become a basis, and the muktze
may be tilted off the heter.
The Mishna Berura says 12that many poskim
agree that if Reuven placed a muktze item on Shimons heter for
Shimons benefit it becomes a basis, even though Shimon knew nothing about it.
For example: If Reuven placed a plate beneath a
burning candle in order to prevent a fire, and the candle fell into the plate from before bein
hashmashos (twilight) until nighttime,13 since it is obvious that Shimon
would have wanted Reuven to place it there, the plate becomes a basis ldavar
 As was explained in the previous sheets, a permitted
item beneath a muktze item becomes muktze when certain rules are complied
 Unless the measures in sheet #29 were taken to counterbalance the candles.
 Simon 311:8.
 Shaar Hatsiun 309:24 in the name of the Bais Meir.
 The Shulchan Aruch HaRav 309:9 rules according to this opinion.
 Levushei Srad on the Taz.
 Pri Megadim.
 Simon 309:18.
 Written by Rav Pinchas Bodner
 If he had other plates and the money was a substantial sum, the money would take
 See also the Shulchan Shlomo Simon 310:28/3, and not as it says in the SSK
20 footnote 203.
 Simon 309:27.
 Shulchan Aruch HaRav. Otherwise the plate would not be a basis.
 The Torah has many reasons for mentioning certain events, but at face value pshat
it appears only to be a historical event.
Food For Thought
Is fruit sold as merchandise muktze
Is there a difference between food
products and other merchandise? I.e. if I can obtain paper and plastic plates from a local
storeowner on Shabbos it is muktze?
If I placed apple pieces on my porch to
dry before Shabbos, may I eat them on Shabbos?
If one erroneously believed that a
certain item was muktze and subsequently learned that it is not. May he handle that
item on Shabbos?
Answers coming next week.
Vort on the Parsha
Why is it that when Bnei Yisroel
arrived at Eilim the possuk says that they found 12
and when they arrived at Refidim there was no water and
yet when they arrived at Midbar Sinai (33:15-16), where the most paramount event in
the history of the Jews took place, it does not mention the acceptance of the
Rav Dov Eliezrov Ztzl says that at face value 14these
events took place in the past and are only mentioned historically, whereas the acceptance
of the Torah is an everyday commandment and occurrence and was not a one time, historical
event. Therefore it would be incorrect to say that the Torah was accepted in Midbar
Sinai, because it is, and must be, accepted everyday, always!