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 Chukas

On Shabbos, where there is no Eiruv, may an allergenic wear a ticket stating this fact?

In general one may go outdoors wearing clothing and decorative items, because these items are subordinate to the person. Most other items may not be worn outdoors on account of carrying. As stated before, we are referring to places that are not within an eiruv or when one does not wish to rely on an eiruv.

There are opinions that permit wearing medals of honor and society badges as they dignify the person and are similar to jewelry and ornaments. [1]

On the other hand, a doctor may not go outdoors with his nametag pinned to his jacket nor may a warden with an armband around his arm because these items do not decorate the people wearing them. [2]

In which category would you place the allergic tag?

The allergic tag does not decorate its wearer and as such it should be forbidden to pin to a jacket and go outdoors. If however the information is engraved or written on a bracelet and worn around the arm, since the wearer hardly ever removes it and it is worn in a decorative fashion, there is room to say that it is incorporated in the rule of an ornament and may be worn outdoors. Halacha is that it most probably should not be worn as it is neither ornament nor clothing.

May a dignified person carry a silver topped walking stick?

On the one hand (excuse the pun) it provides decoration for the bearer but on the other hand it is carried in the hand when it is prohibited to carry anything outdoors in one’s hand on Shabbos. [3]

What about spare buttons sewn onto a shirt?

The problem with spare buttons is that they do not serve the shirt or the wearer. One may argue that certain clothing has dangling straps that do not serve a function, or buttons sewn in different places that do not close pockets and we do not find that one must be certain that every button serves a function and every strap is used.

The answer is that these straps and buttons decorate the clothing (beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder) whereas spare buttons do not.

One way to permit going outdoors with such buttons is if the buttons were considered unimportant and subordinate to the clothing. This is quite true with common shirt buttons which are easy to come by, but not so for expensive clothing and rare buttons.

Yet we find a machlokes (dispute) over this matter and one should ask one’s rav as to the correct conduct. [4]

What is the situation if the drycleaner’s tag was not removed before Shabbos?

Drycleaner’s tags, price tags and quality tags are all subordinate to clothing and one may wear clothing outdoors with these items attached. The same applies to stray pieces of thread.

If however the band sewn into the neck of a coat tore and one intends on repairing it, one may not wear this coat without an eiruv, because the band does not have the status of an insignificant loose piece of thread. [5] This too is subject to a machlokes [6] and one should therefore either repair the noose before Shabbos or ask one’s rav.

This halacha is learned from another halacha that says that if the tzizit strings are torn to the extent that they become possul, one may not wear the garment on Shabbos where there is no eiruv. [7]

What am I to do if I discover a tissue in my pocket when in the street?

The initial reaction is to shout “oi vey” and stop dead in your tracks. It is the wrong thing to do. The correct procedure is to continue walking quickly or run and discard the tissue b’shinui, meaning in a deviating manner. The reason is as follows:

The prohibition of carrying without an eiruv has two aspects: carrying an item from a private domain (reshus hayachid) into a reshus harabim and vice versa and doing akirah and hanachah – removing and setting down. If one were to carry something into a reshus harabim and not set it down (this is normally accomplished by putting it down or by standing still) one would not be liable for the violation. [8]

By standing still one is doing hanacha and therefore one must continue walking. But even when continuing one may not “set it down” because that would also be hanacha - rather one should turn one’s pocket inside out, which will allow the tissue to drop and by being a shinui (deviation from the norm) it will not be a biblical transgression. If one is carrying the tissue in one’s hand, one should merely open the hand letting it drop.

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[1] See the SS”K 18:25 and footnote 103.

[2] SS”K 18:25 * and footnote 105.

[3] M”B simon 301:66 and SS”K 18 footnote 54.

[4] See the SS”K 18:30 footnote 131 where Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach permits them on account that they are permanently sewn into the clothing and even when needed they are sewn onto another place onto the clothing. Machzeh Eliyahu and other seforim.

[5] M”B simon 301:150, SS”K 18:41.

[6] See Oruch haShulchan simon 301:107 and SS”K 18 footnote 138.

[7] Simon 301:38.

[8] It is ossur to do this even without hanacha – setting it down, yet the biblical violation is only with akira and hanacha.


Food For Thought

What is the purpose of erecting an eiruv?

What is an eiruv chatzeiros?

May I carry food from my apartment to a neighbor’s apartment?

Answers coming be"H next week.

Vort on the Parsha

And this is the Torah: “when a person dies in a tent (19:14)”. Chazal teach us that this possuk refers to learned men who weaken their bodies (until death) over Torah, The K’sav Sofer explains that the possuk used the word ‘tent’ as opposed to house, building etc. because Talmidei Chachamim who view this world as a tent, a temporary dwelling place, are able to perceive Torah and fathom its greater depths.

Even if we simple mortals cannot entirely view this world as a mere tent, we should nevertheless try and focus our bearings in this direction as much as possible. Chazal say, one who wishes to live should die, which means that the less a person is attached to the niceties of this world, the easier it is to live in this world.

In the end, it is the true believers in Hashem who are granted this world as much as the next, as it says 'v'atem hadveikim baHashem chaim kulchem hayom'  - those truly close to Hashem enjoy this world as well, because they are not emotionally bound to worldly pleasures.

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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.