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 Va'eschanansubscribe


If an item was usable when Shabbos began and during Shabbos became unusable and hence muktze, if it becomes usable again does it remain muktze?

An example of this would be when a sock lands into a bowl of water (ever removed your sock into the neggel vasser bowl?). Chazal instituted a g’zeira 1not to handle wet clothes (that one is particular about them being wet) lest he wrings them, and hence are muktze. If and when the clothes eventually dry they will not be muktze any longer. This is based on a rule which says that an item's destiny is decided at the commencement of Shabbos. If for whatever reason an item becomes muktze on Shabbos, as soon as the reason for the muktze is no longer applicable, the item will revert to its original state of not being muktze. 2

On the other hand, when an item began the Shabbos being muktze, it will remain muktze for the entire Shabbos, even though the cause for that muktze in no longer relevant. 3

Is one permitted to cover a newly laid egg on Shabbos? What about placing a plate beneath it to catch it?

There is an often-quoted opinion in the gemora 4who holds that it is forbidden to move a permitted k’li for the sake of a muktze. Accordingly one would not be permitted to cover a newly laid egg (which is muktze) on Shabbos. The halacha is not like this opinion, and therefore one may take a bowl or cup and cover an egg even though it is muktze.

However, because an egg is oval shaped and will move when even lightly touched, one must take extra caution not to touch the egg with the bowl when covering it. 5If, on the other hand, the muktze item would not move when touched, then it is not imperative that the bowl will not touch it. 6

It is forbidden to place a plate beneath an egg that is muktze because of the prohibition of bitul k’li meheichano – rendering a k’li unusable on Shabbos. Since the egg is muktze it causes the k’li placed beneath it to be muktze as well, and one is forbidden to cause a k’li to become muktze on Shabbos. 7

Under which muktze-status do you classify a wallet – with money inside and without?

We must first define the status of money and purses individually.

Money is classified as muktze machmas gufo,8 which places it in the same category as sticks and stones, because it is not called a k’li. The rule applying to this category is that it is forbidden to move it even l’tsorech gufo um’komo – for the sake of using the actual coin or to use the space it is occupying.

A purse is called a k’li she’mlachto l’issur 9– a k’li used for an issur, i.e. storing money. Therefore, if the purse was empty when Shabbos began it has a status of a k’li she’mlachto l’issur and may be moved or handled l’tsorech gufo um’komo. Accordingly it may be removed from one’s trouser pocket in the regular manner. If the purse contained money when Shabbos began, since money is muktze machmas gufo, the purse attains the identical status as the money due to the halacha of being a basis l’davar ha’assur – being a base, a stand, for the muktze. 10In such a case it would be forbidden to remove the wallet or purse from one’s trouser pocket in the regular manner. It would have to be tipped out.

Does money in a jacket pocket render the entire jacket muktze?

In sheet #29 we explained that money forgotten in a Shabbos jacket will not render the jacket muktze, but money in a weekday jacket pocket is different, because it was placed there purposely. Sometimes the entire jacket will become muktze, as follows:

  • If the pocket is the shirt type where the item rests on the actual garment, and the money was purposely placed there, the shirt will be muktze, as it is a basis to the money.
  • If the pocket is the trouser type, which does not rest on the actual garment, and the money was purposely placed there, the pocket will be muktze but not the garment itself.

The Shulchan Aruch HaRav 14 does not require one to shake out the muktze (as far as handling the garment goes, but as for wearing the garment he says that it should not be worn lest one walks out into a public domain with the item in his pocket) but the Mishna Berura 310:29 says that when possible (even just for handling the garment), the muktze should be shaken out of the pocket.

[1] Rama in simon 301:46.
[2] Simon 310:3.
[3] See M”B 310:16.
[4] See R’ Nechemia in Shabbos 43a and 124a.
[5] M”B simon 310:22.
[6] Ibid. This is the opinion of the Be’er Hagolah and the Vilna Ga’on, contrary to the M”A and the Taz.
[7] Simon 310:6.
[8] M”B simon 310:7. See the SS”K 20:20 where he says that paper money is muktze machmas chisaron kis.
[9] Rama in simon 310:7, M”B 27. SS”K 20:16.
[10] Rav Sternbuch Shlita pointed out that if there are other items (even though they may be muktze) of a different status and are more important than the money, the wallet will be a basis to them.

Food For Thought

A pocketknife where some of the items are non-usable on Shabbos, may I handle the pocketknife?

Nail clippers are attached to my bunch of house keys, are they muktze? What about the car key on the bunch?

If I need an onion that is buried in a pile of raw potatoes, by extracting the onion the potatoes will move. Am I permitted to extract the onion?

Answers coming next week.

Vort on the Parsha

The possuk says “and you shall teach your children”, which Rashi explains to be referring to pupils, who are regarded as children.

Rav Sternbuch Shlita points out that we see from here that a teacher must not give up on a difficult pupil, just as he would not admit defeat to his own blood and flesh. Every child has hidden treasures within, and with the correct nurturing and gentleness he can be transformed into a beautiful blossom.

For a printed version, click here.

Dedicated in memory of Rav Chayim Ozer Grodzinski, 5th Av.

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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.