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 Korach

May one wear gloves and ear muffs when there is no eiruv?

According to what we have learned there should be no problem because they are worn on the body and are clothing.

Indeed the Shulchan Aruch [1] first cites an opinion who holds that one may wear gloves on Shabbos. He then cites an opinion who says that one should not wear gloves on Shabbos because if one will need to use one’s hands, one will remove the gloves and carry them (ever scratch your ear with gloves on?). [2] The stringent opinion says that the permitted manner is to tie or sew the gloves to the coat. [3]

The Mishna Berura [4] concludes that one should not protest against those that wear gloves but a ba’al nefesh should be stringent.

May one wear contact lenses when there is no eiruv?

One who is accustomed to wearing contact lenses may wear them in a reshus harabim on Shabbos as well. The problem arises for a person not accustomed to wearing them for lengthy periods and who removes them when in discomfort. There is concern that such a person might remove them in the street and carry them. [5]

What about wearing a bandage or cast?

Bandages and casts are labeled as clothing because they serve the body. Plasters and gauze may be worn for the same reason. [6] However, one may not wrap a cloth napkin or handkerchief around gauze to hold it in place because these items have some value and are not batel to the body. One may wrap or tie them directly onto the wound as then they function as clothing. The difference is that in the former case they serve the gauze and not the body and since they have a value they do not serve as clothing, whereas in the latter case they directly serve the wound and body and are considered clothing.

One may wear a sling on Shabbos. [7]

May a physically disabled person be wheeled in a wheel chair?

This is very pertinent for people who wish to go to shul or eat Shabbos meals with relatives and cannot get there on their own.

We cannot consider a wheelchair as a person’s clothing and as such it is not subordinate to the person. Consequently, pushing a disabled person in a wheelchair in a reshus harabim is akin to carrying and prohibited. [8] Even in a place that is not a reshus harabim mid’oraisso such as a karmelis (a reshus harabim d’rabanan) a Jew may not push a wheelchair even for a mitzvah such as going to shul.

A gentile may push a disabled person in a wheelchair to shul or any other mitzvah in an area that is a reshus harabim mid’rabanan, but not in a reshus harabim mid’oraisso. The reasoning is based on a concept called sh’vus dishvus bimkom mitzvah, which means that one may instruct a gentile, which is an issur d’rabanan,  to ‘transgress’ an issur d’rabanan, which in this case is carrying in a karmelis etc. for the sake of a mitzvah.

One must ask one’s local rav whether a gentile may wheel a wheelchair on Shabbos in a reshus harabim d’rabanan, because it is very possible that certain communities have prohibited this practice in order to prevent mistakes.

What about using a walking stick on Shabbos?

It would appear odd to see someone walking with a walking stick on Shabbos as the stick is carried and what could be more ‘carrying’ than that?!

However, it depends if one is able to walk without the stick, albeit slowly and with a wobble. It is forbidden to use the stick on Shabbos if it is used to balance one’s stride - and is considered carrying in a reshus harabim.

The Mishna Berura writes [9] that an elderly person who gets around indoors without a stick may not use one outdoors, even though he would never leave the house without it.

If one is not able to walk at all without the stick, the stick is considered as part of one’s attire and is not considered carrying. [10]

We apply the same ruling to crutches. If one is able to get around without them they may not be used in the absence of an eiruv. If however one cannot walk at all without them, they may be used outdoors as well.

May one use a walking stick to walk on ice?

In other words, do we compare walking on ice or on slippery surfaces to one who cannot walk at all or not? The Taz is of the opinion that the two are comparable because one is afraid to walk without the aid of a stick, but the Elya Rabah and other poskim are of the opinion that the two are incomparable and a stick may only be used where there is an eiruv. [11] Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach explains that since one is able to walk without the stick it is called carrying. The Mishna Berura rules in favor of the Elya Raba and poskim.

[1] Simon 301:37.

[2] See M”B simon 301:138.

[3] This is also problematic, see the Bi’ur Halacha  ã"ä ùéúôøí

[4] M”B simon 301:141.

[5] SS”K 18:17.

[6] Simon 301:22 and SS”K 18:19.

[7] Simon 301:51 SS”K 18:20.

[8] See SS”K 34:27.

[9] Simon 301:64.

[10] M”B ibid.

[11] See M”B simon 301:65. See SS”K 18 cf. 63.


Food For Thought

May an allergenic wear a ticket stating this fact?

May a dignified person carry a silver topped walking stick?

May a doctor wear an identity tag without an eiruv?

What about spare buttons sewn onto a shirt?

Answers coming be"H next week.

Vort on the Parsha

Moshe Rabeinu turns to Korach saying is it not enough that the G-d of Israel has separated you from the community of Israel? The word Moshe used was ha’me’at, which could also mean humble and modest.

The Radomsker Rebbe in Tiferes Shlomo explains that Moshe Rabeinu showed Korach how B’nei Levi’s closeness to Hashem is generated from their humbleness. Lowering oneself before Hashem is the method of preparation for tefilla and the more humble a person is the more effective his tefilla. The Torah and Nevi’im teach us on numerous occasions that Hashem resides with the meek and humble - 'hashochen es daka v'shafal ruach'.

The reason Hashem chose His nation is because “you are the smallest of nations”, again the word me’at – which could also mean you humble yourselves.

Thus by asking to elevate yourselves you will not gain Hashem’s proximity – on the contrary – you will distance yourself from Hashem.

For a printed version, click here.



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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.