Am I permitted to insert a new shoelace into a
shoe on Shabbos?
One could easily
think that there is nothing wrong in inserting a shoelace into a shoe, being that it does
not involve craftsmanship or cutting or any other melacha. Nevertheless Chazal
tell us that it involves ???? ??? making a kli.
We find the gemora
Shabbos 48a saying that one is permitted to reinsert feathers into a pillow they
were previously in but not to introduce them into a pillow for the first time. The reason
behind this is because the bond between the feathers and the pillowcase form a kli.
The same applies to the shoe:
complements the shoe and makes it functional therefore the threading of the lace into the
shoe is ???? ???.
No, you may not, for
the same reason. Even though both shoes are functional, by introducing lace A into shoe B
you are again making a kli. If a shoelace came out you may rethread it into
the same shoe because the shoe and the lace have already formed the kli.
Is this halacha applicable in other
areas as well?
Inflating a soccer
ball for the first time invokes the same prohibition. This is because a soccer ball is
blown up once and introducing air into the ball forms a kli. This is only
true of items that are inflated and are not deflated subsequent to use. A rubber
duck, for example, is not subject to this prohibition because it is inflated prior to use
and deflated after use. This last halacha is based on the Magen Avraham (317:7)
who says that one may thread a belt into trousers on Shabbos because the belt is removed
Accordingly it is
permitted to thread a wrong color shoelace (for lack of a more suitable one)
for the first time on Shabbos because it will be removed after wearing.
Likewise if the
shoelace would be thread in such a way that one would not leave it as it is, it is
The idea behind this
is that when the two items are permanently united we say that a kli has been
formed but when they are not permanent, we say that one item is merely aiding the other
and the two together do not form a kli.
If the cord in my pajama trousers came out am I
permitted to restring it on Shabbos?
According to the Mechaber
one may restring a shoelace, a sandal strap and a hood lace provided that he does not tie
a knot in the string. He bases his ruling on
if subsequent to stringing one usually ties a knot to prevent it from slipping out, it is
forbidden to insert the string or lace.