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 Tetzaveh

What are the conditions to form a basis l'davar ha'assur?

In the previous shiurim we dealt with muktze items left in a pocket before Shabbos and whether the shirt or jacket became a 'base'. We now wish to learn and discuss the conditions that transform a permitted item into a 'base' and muktze.

General rules:

  1. A muktze item placed on top of a non-muktze item transforms the latter into a basis l'davar ha'assur and the non-muktze item adopts the muktze characteristics of the muktze item, provided that all conditions are met. [1] This means that even if the muktze falls off the 'base,' the 'base' remains muktze.

  2. Even when the permitted item is not transformed into a basis l'davar ha'assur one may not remove the muktze with one's hand. [2]

  3. Even when the permitted item is not transformed into a basis l'davar ha'assur one may not carry or handle the base with the muktze and it must first be removed in a permitted manner. [3] We will learn be"H what to do when the muktze cannot be removed.

Please explain and apply these rules?

1. A muktze item imparts its characteristics to a permitted item placed beneath it, even after the muktze is no longer on the permitted item. One may not move muktze on Shabbos and as a result it 'nails down' the permitted item that it is placed upon.

Money placed in a drawer before Shabbos (and if all conditions are experienced, e.g. the money is more valuable than the permitted items in the drawer) renders the drawer muktze and it may not be opened, because one knows that money is muktze and one 'removes one's mind' from handling or moving the drawer as well.

2. The muktze retains its status even when it does not transform the permitted item. A stone placed on papers as a paperweight remains muktze even though the paper is not transformed into a basis l'davar ha'assur. (The stone will lose its muktze status when permanently set aside as a paperweight).

Money in a pocket remains muktze even when the pocket does not become a basis l'davar ha'assur.

3. One may not carry a tray with muktze on it before tilting the muktze or removing it in a permitted manner. When the muktze is valuable and might break on tilting or if, for example it is fresh fruit that will be squashed, one need not tilt the tray and the items may be carried on the tray. [4] The Chazon Ish explains that failing to tilt the muktze demonstrates that one is interested in moving or carrying it. When it cannot be tilted or removed it is unavoidably on the tray and carried through lack of choice.

What is the difference whether one wants it or not, after all one is moving muktze?

The halacha is that muktze may be moved or carried indirectly for the sake of a permitted purpose but not for the sake of the muktze. [5]

For example, an expensive camera was left on the porch before Shabbos and one wishes to bring it inside. Obviously it may not be handled directly but may it be pushed inside with a broom?

Moving it with a broom or spoon is called tiltul min hatzad (indirect handling), and when done for the sake for the muktze it is l'tzorech davar ha'assur (for the muktze) and forbidden. Pushing the camera with the broom is tiltul min hatzad for the sake of the muktze and is forbidden.

Accordingly, explains the Chazon Ish, when the muktze can be tilted or removed b'heter (with the help of a gentile) and is not, it demonstrates that one wishes to move the muktze and is similar to tiltul min hatzad l'tzorech davar ha'assur, which is forbidden.

And when the muktze cannot be removed or tilted?

When it cannot be tilted and one needs to move or carry the tray (when it is not a basis l'davar ha'assur, because the conditions to form a basis were not met) it is considered as if one is not carrying the muktze for the sake of the issur and is permitted. This is very pertinent when moving a table with candlesticks (when the table is not a basis l'davar ha'assur, as we will learn be"H), and one wishes to move the table to another location. Since the candlesticks cannot be tilted, one may move the table even though the candlesticks are on the table.

What if I do not want to tilt the item in its present spot?

The gemora states a case where a stone is located atop a barrel (and the barrel does not become a basis l'davar ha'assur) and one wishes to remove wine from the barrel. Seeing that the barrel is surrounded by other barrels and tilting the stone in its present location would damage the other barrels, one is permitted to lift the barrel with the stone on top and carry the barrel to another location and tilt it there.

Since the stone is not carried for its own sake, it is permitted.

Is this the heter to remove peels on a plate?

Indeed it is. Peels and shells, which are muktze, that are placed on a plate or tablecloth may be carried, utilizing the plate or tablecloth, to the garbage can, even though one is able to tilt the muktze onto the dining room floor. Here too one is carrying muktze min hatzad and it is muter because one is not carrying it for the sake of the muktze rather because one needs to use the table and one does not wish to shake the dirt onto the dining room floor.

[1] Simon 309:4.

[2] Simple, the muktze remains muktze.

[3] Simon 309:3.

[4] Ibid.

[5] This section is according to the Taz and the Mishna Berura, not according to the Chazon Ish.


Food For Thought

So what are the famous conditions needed to make something a basis l'davar ha'assur?

Answers coming be"H next week.

Vort on the Parsha

Moshe Rabeinu was instructed in parshas Teruma to construct all the keilim of the Mishkan except for the gold altar – the mizbach k'tores, which he wrote in this parshaTetzaveh. Why is that? See the Ramban, Malbim and Ohr haChaim haKadosh.

The Seforno (30:1) explains that the purpose of the keilim of the Mishkan was to bring Hashem's shechina amongst the people, as it is says ושכנתי בתוכם. The purpose of the korbanos was to cause His honor to appear in the Beis haMikdash, as it says ונועדתי שמה לבני ישראל. The purpose of the mizbach hazahav was different. It was intended to honor Hashem Yisborach for coming down to His people and accepting their worship with the morning and afternoon korbanos, as it says הבו לה' כבוד שמו, שאו מנחה ובואו לפניו.

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.