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 Beha'aloscha

May children run on Shabbos when playing?

We mentioned in the last shiur that one should not run on Shabbos as normally it is a weekday work related activity, [1] as when a person is under pressure.

Children who run in their course of play may do so because playing is their recreation. On the contrary, not being able to run would cause distress, the opposite intent of this halacha. It follows therefore that an adult may run to see something pleasurable [2] (a parade, an impressive view) because running in such a case is part of an enjoyable pastime.

May one wear a watch outside when there is no eiruv?

We must first set the rules of carrying and then see whether one may wear a watch on Shabbos.

An eiruv transforms a public area to a private one and thus enables carrying as if in one’s private domain.

All the halachos mentioned from hereon deal with public domains that do not have an eiruv, or they have an eiruv and one does not wish to rely on.

  • It is prohibited to carry an item from a private domain to a public one and vice versa.

A private domain includes an enclosed area such as an apartment, house, hospital, hotel, building lobby and stairway, shopping center, [3] shul, beis midrash etc.

A public domain includes all open public areas such as streets, parks, open squares, walkways etc.

  • It is prohibited to carry an item more than four amos [4] in a public domain.

One may not lift an item that is already in a public domain and carry it over a distance greater than four amos and set it down. Nor may one carry an item from a stationary position over the same distance and stand still.

  • It is prohibited to carry

One may wear clothing and certain jewelry, even if one’s purpose is to “transfer” a certain clothing item from one domain to another. [5] If it is worn it is not called carrying.

Carrying includes: an item in a pocket, in one’s hand, food in one’s mouth (chewing gum, candies etc.).

  • Carrying or wearing in an abnormal manner is prohibited mid’rabanan.

Carrying an item between one’s shirt and body is not conventional and prohibited mid’rabanan. Carrying is also prohibited beneath one’s hat as is an item in one’s mouth.

A load on one’s head or shoulder is prohibited mid’rabanan when not common in that country and prohibited mid’oraisso when commonly transported in that manner.

One may not stuff a tissue beneath a watchstrap or bangle.

Which clothing may be worn outside on Shabbos?

Clothing worn to protect the body or worn for the body’s sake may be worn on Shabbos. [6] Likewise one may wear clothing when its sole purpose is to protect other clothing, provided that it is worn in the regular manner. [7]

Consequently, one may wear a raincoat above a woolen coat even if its purpose is to prevent the woolen coat from getting wet. Galoshes may be worn over shoes. [8]

What about a hat cover?

Clothing worn to protect other clothing may only be worn in the conventional manner. It is prohibited to drape a handkerchief over a hat or shtreimel to prevent it from getting wet because a handkerchief is not normally worn. [9] Likewise one may not drape cloth over a scarf or between one’s collar and neck to prevent the collar from absorbing sweat. [10]

We find a machlokes. Some say that a hat-cover is unlike a handkerchief placed on a hat as it is made to size and is intended solely for hats. [11] This is provided that one would continue to wear the hat cover after the rain stops, as then it is considered clothing. If one would remove it when the rain stops, one may not wear it at all. Others say that since its purpose is only to prevent the hat from getting wet, it is prohibited. [12] They explain that galoshes are different because without them, feet would get wet, not only the shoes.

Accordingly, one must ask one’s rav how to conduct oneself.

What about wearing a plastic sheitel cover?

The obvious advantage over a hat cover is that the sheitel cover prevents the head from getting wet not only the sheitel. However, we will learn that there is a g’zeira (rabbinical decree) that in certain cases we are afraid that one will carry the item in one’s pocket or hand once it is not needed. We will discuss this be”H in the next shiur.

[1] Simon 301:1.

[2] Simon 301:2.

[3] This example is mentioned to demonstrate that a place used by many can also be a private domain. Obviously shopping on Shabbos is strictly forbidden.

[4] 4 amos: R’ Chaim Na’eh – 6.29ft, 1.92m. Chazon Ish – 7.54ft, 2.30m.

[5] Simon 301:36 and M”B 132.

[6] See the SS”K 18:3.

[7] Simon 301:14 and M”B 52.

[8] SS”K 18:10.

[9] If it would be draped and tied in a way to prevent rain from wetting one’s body it would be permitted, M”B 301:53 and Sha’ar Hatsiun 57.

[10] SS”K 18:10 and footnote 49.

[11] Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach in the SS”K 18 footnote 46.

[12] Rav Moshe Feinstein in Iggros Moshe Orach Chaim 1 simonim 108-11. Minchas Yitschak vol. 3 page 57.


Food For Thought

May a woman wear a plastic sheitel cover?

May one wear a watch?

What about wearing sunglasses when there is no eiruv?

May one wear gloves and ear muffs?

Answers coming be"H next week.

Vort on the Parsha

“And B’nei Yisroel should place their hands on the Levi’im”. This seems out of place because the distinguished usually places his hands on the less distinguished, which in this case would require the Levi’im to place their hands on the B’nei Yisroel.

The Shem Mishmuel (Sochatchov) answers that B’nei Yisroel dealt with the Levi’im with the middah of Ayin Tova – a generous eye, by standing back and allowing them to take position around the Mishkan. It was in this merit that “B’nei Yisroel” is mentioned five times in the same possuk (Rashi).

The Levi’im’s duty is to elevate the B’nei Yisroel and this can only be done through ayin tova. The Ayin Tova demonstrated by the B’nei Yisroel at that moment elevated them, in a certain sense, to a higher level than the Levi’im and it was for them – the B’nei Yisroel – to place their hands on the Levi’im.

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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.