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 Mishpotim

What if a wallet is found on one’s person when in the street on Shabbos?

In the previous shiur we cited the Mishna Berura [1] saying that if one finds money or a purse in one’s pocket when indoors it should be disposed of immediately. If however a loss might be incurred, there are precedents to rely on and one may continue with the valuables to a safe room and dispose of it there.

When this scenario transpires outdoors, if there is no eiruv, additional complexities arise.

Two fundamental rules apply when it is discovered that one is carrying outdoors without an eiruv:

  • If stationary, do not continue walking.
  • If moving, do not stop, continue walking.

What are the reasons for this?

There are two types of ‘carrying’ – carrying from a reshus hayachid (private domain) into a reshus harabim (public domain) and vice versa and carrying more than 4 amos [2] in a reshus harabim. In this context, a carmelis [3] and a reshus harabim share similar rules.

Carrying as per above is not considered a complete violation unless a further circumstance is realized, identified as akira and hanacha. Akira means to lift or begin transporting and hanacha means to set down.

Akira is accomplished either by raising an item from the ground or if it is already on one’s person, to walk with it.

Hanacha is brought about either by placing the item on the floor or ground or by standing still, when the item is already on one’s person.

A violation of carrying incorporates akira of an item from a reshus hayachid, transferring it to a reshus harabim or carmelis and doing hanacha therein.

So if I’m stationary?

If, when outdoors, one realizes that one is carrying something in a pocket and one is stationary, if the item is insignificant like a tissue or a candy, it must be discarded within 4 amos. [4] Walking with it in one’s pocket risks a violation of a biblical prohibition and is forbidden.

If the item is valuable or significant, one may walk and stop every ‘less than four amos’. The Mishna Berura [5] cites an opinion who holds that standing motionless every 'less than four amos' is insufficient; rather one should either sit down or place the item on the floor. By doing so one is not transferring the item four amos at once in a reshus harabim and a biblical prohibition is avoided.

However, seeing that it is very risky to do so, as one is on the verge of violating a severe prohibition, Chazal were not in favor of this method unless one would incur a loss by leaving it in the street. [6]

But what must I do when I reach my house?

It is indeed a problem, because transferring the item from the reshus harabim to the reshus hayachid involves an issur. Seeing that a loss is involved, Chazal permitted the transfer by throwing it with a shinui (a backhanded action) into one’s private domain or any other safe place. A shinui would be turning around and throwing it over one's shoulder.  [7] Another way out is to place the item between one's shirt and body or in one's shoe or beneath one's hat and carry it into the reshus hayachid. [8] These are all methods of carrying b'shinui.

But why would Chazal permit an issur?

Chazal were masters of human nature and appreciated that if one was prohibited from safeguarding possessions, one would violate the Shabbos regardless. [9] They therefore devised a method by which it could be done with a minimum violation. Consequently, when the loss is minute it should be avoided altogether.

What if while I was in motion I realized I was carrying an item?

Don't stop!! By stopping dead in your tracks, an instinct born when realizing that one is carrying b'issur, one is putting hanacha into effect. Continue walking and plan the next move.

  • If the item is insignificant and can be discarded, one should do so with a shinui (as above) in order to do hanacha b'shinui. If the item is in one's hand it should be dropped, not placed. If in a pocket, the pocket should be turned out. [10]
  • If the item is valuable and one does not want to discard it, one should continue (as above) until one reaches a safe place and throw it b'shinui into the designated place or placed beneath one's hat, as above. The Mechaber [11] states that one runs towards one's house in order to remember that hanacha and akira is forbidden.
  • One should not stop before one's house, as that is hanacha, rather while in motion one throws it into a safe place.

The halacha [12] mentions other options, such as handing the item to a gentile or child or using two people to change every 'less than four amos', but in the scope of this shiur, justice cannot be done to the subject.

[1] Simon 266:35.

[2] 57.6cm (Chazon Ish), 48cm (R’ Chaim Na’eh).

[3] A carmelis is a reshus harabim defined by Chazal.

[4] Simon 266:12 in the Rama, SS”K 18:52.

[5] Simon 266:18.

[6] M”B 266:16.

[7] M"B 266:32.

[8] SS"K 18:52 and footnote 230.

[9] M"B simon 266:16.

[10] SS"K ibid.

[11] Simon 266:11. See SS"K 18:52.

[12] Simon 266.


Food For Thought

How is one to discard a muktze item?

Does the shirt with money in a pocket become muktze?

May I move hazardous items out of harms way?

Are there any restrictions as how to move it or them?

Answers coming be"H next week.

Vort on the Parsha

Re: the mitzvah of lending money. The possuk in Tehilim says Happy are they that keep justice, that do righteousness at all times (106:3), where 'that do' is singular and 'they keep justice' is in plural. The K'sav Sofer explains that mitzvos heeded are better performed together with others, as it demonstrates a Kiddush Hashem, hence the first part of the possuk. Chessed and tz'dakah should be performed in private, as it is done for the sake of the recipient and not for the donor.

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.