What is the halacha with regards to a tablecloth with candlesticks
As explained in
previous shiurim, the table and tray sporting candlesticks turn into
a basis l'davar ha'assur (a base for the muktze) and
may not be moved during the entire Shabbos. The tablecloth however,
is somewhat different.
Seeing that the
tablecloth is spread to decorate the table and not to 'uphold' and
serve as a base for the candlesticks, there is room to say that the
tablecloth is not a basis l'davar ha'assur.
Based on the
the section beneath the tablecloth is a basis l'davar ha'assur
but the rest of the tablecloth is not. Practically, one may
shake any part of the tablecloth that is not beneath the candles.
(e.g. wine has spilled on the tablecloth) one may rely on poskim
who learn that even the section beneath the tablecloth is not a
basis l'davar ha'assur.
Why would the section beneath the
tablecloth not be a basis l'davar ha'assur?
mentioned above is that the tablecloth "serves" the table and not
the candles. This is based on the understanding that a basis
l'davar ha'assur is created when a permitted item is used to
'serve' the muktze, which in this case is not entirely true.
cited by the Shulchan Aruch HaRav and Beis Meir is
that the candles are placed to illuminate the table and are on the
tablecloth for lack of choice.
states that they are one of a kind, based on the concept that a
basis l'davar ha'assur applies only to items that serve the
muktze and not when they happen to be there.
What are the remaining rules of basis
We have learned 3
rules, in brief:
– the muktze is placed on the heter with consent of
the heter's owner.
– Muktze was intentionally placed on the heter.
– the heter must serve the muktze.
– Muktze was placed on a heter intending it to remain
the entire bein hashmashos (twilight – from sunset till stars
out) and it was there for that period.
Intention – if one intended to remove the muktze from the
heter during bein hashmashos,
either by a gentile or through tilting, the heter will not
transform into a basis l'davar ha'assur.
placed on a heter without mentally specifying that it will
remain there for bein hashmashos and was forgotten, will not
be a basis l'davar ha'assur.
Present – the muktze must be on the heter for the entire bein
If not present on the heter for that period, even though one
intended it to be there it will not be a basis l'davar ha'assur.
What is the reason for this condition?
The Afikei Yam
explains that an item not prepared for Shabbos is muktze and
bein hashmashos is the onset of Shabbos. As such, anything
not prepared during that period remains muktze for the entire
What if muktze was on a heter during
Shabbos but not during bein hashmashos?
will not become a basis l'davar ha'assur. One may tilt the
muktze from the heter and carry the heter at whim.
Basis l'davar ha'assur is only determined during bein
What is the next rule?
Rule #5 –
The muktze must be of minimal importance.
cents on a table will not render the table a basis l'davar
ha'assur because it is of no importance and nobody views the
table as "serving" such a trivial amount. Likewise, muktze
items in a drawer but are of little value, might not render it a
basis l'davar ha'assur.
And the last rule?
Rule #6 –
the muktze is the most important item on the heter.
When muktze is on a
heter it becomes a basis l'davar ha'assur. When muktze and a
non-muktze item are on the heter, the heter
"serves" the most important item. If the non-muktze is more
important than the muktze the heter will not be rendered a
basis l'davar ha'assur, but if the muktze is more important, the
heter will be a basis l'davar ha'assur.
How is importance determined?
We find an
interesting machlokes in the matter.
Rav Moshe Feinstein
In the sefer “Tiltulei Shabbos”
it is quoted in the name of Rav Moshe Feinstein ztz”l that
the evaluation is made according to one’s needs on Shabbos.
Therefore, if on a tray or in a drawer there is money and challos,
since one has no need for the money on Shabbos, the challos
are more valuable and the tray is a basis for the heter
and not muktze.
Rav Shlomo Zalman
is quoted as saying that it must be an overall estimation of
what a person would surrender if he had to.
Therefore, in the above case of money and challos, if the
money was a substantial sum, a person would prefer to relinquish his
hold on the challos and not surrender the money. Accordingly
the money would be the important one and the tray or drawer a
basis l’davar ha’assur.