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 Tzav

What does "migo d'itkatzai" mean?

Migo d'itkatzai l'bein hashmashos itkatzai l'culei yomah means that an item that was muktze during bein hashmashos (twilight) remains muktze the entire Shabbos, even if the reason that caused the item to be muktze is no longer applicable. [1]

How is this manifested?

One may not pick an apple from a tree on Shabbos and while attached to the tree it is muktze. This muktze is called muktze machmas issur, (muktze on account of an issur) - in this case picking, which is the melacha of kotzer.

If the apple were to fall from the tree on Shabbos it would remain muktze, as it was forbidden to pick[2] during bein hashmashos.

So if I see an apple beneath a tree on Shabbos may I not eat it?

If you know that it fell off the tree before Shabbos you may eat it. But if it fell on Shabbos or if in doubt whether it fell before Shabbos, it may not be eaten or handled. [3]

But what about safeik d'rabanan l'kulah (see further for the explanation)?

Allow me to explain your question. Handling muktze is a rabbinical prohibition and when there is doubt whether it fell before Shabbos we should apply the rule safeik d'rabanan l'kulah, which means that when there is a safeik (doubt) as to whether something is prohibited or not and it involves an issur d'rabanan, it should be permitted.

The answer is that we apply another rule saying that when the item concerned is permitted after Shabbos we do not say safeik d'rabanan l'kulah. This term is known as דבר שיש לו מתירין (as follows). Muktze does not apply after Shabbos and Yom Tov and the apple will be totally permitted, as such, it does not warrant the leniency of a safeik d'rabanan l'kulah.

May one consume the apple immediately after Shabbos?

Yes. We do not say that one must wait the time of כדי שיעשו – the time it takes to prepare, because it was not prohibited on account of performing a prohibited action.

I'll explain: a known halachic concept called בכדי שיעשו (the time it takes to prepare) is applied – such as when a gentile performs an action for a Jew on Shabbos. If a gentile brings an item for a Jew from outside the eiruv on Shabbos, the Jew may not benefit from that item on Shabbos, nor may he benefit from it after Shabbos until the time period it takes to prepare itבכדי שיעשו, which in this case means bringing it from outside the eiruv. [4]

This halacha is applied when a melacha or prohibition was performed for the sake of a Jew but when it was prohibited because of lack of preparation, such as in the case of the apple on the tree, the rule does not apply and one may consume the apple right after Shabbos.

Are there more instances of migo d'itkatzai?

Olive oil used in a lamp. Olive oil is used for pouring on salad, lighting candles and other uses. When one designates olive oil to light a lamp or candle and the candle is lit before Shabbos, the oil may not be removed from the lamp or candle when alight on account of 'extinguishing'. [5] As a result the oil is also muktze during that time.

Based on migo d'itkatsai the oil remains muktze until after Shabbos, even though the candle has gone out and the reason for the muktze is no longer applicable.

Likewise, oil dripping from the lamp may not be used to pour onto salad, even though 'extinguishing' cannot apply to the escaped oil, because that oil was set aside to burn in the lamp and the rule of migo d'itkatsai will render it muktze till after Shabbos.

What about wet clothes or washing?

Wet laundry or clothes are muktze on account of a g'zeira lest one squeezes them, which is a violation of the melacha of melaben – laundering. [6] Consequently, wet laundry hanging on a line when Shabbos commences will remain muktze even after it has dried, as a result of the halacha of migo d'itkatsai. [7]

[It is important to note that damp clothes are not muktze, [8] and certain heterim apply to wearing wet clothes when others are not accessible]. [9]

But what if I know that the clothes will certainly dry?

The answer to this question involves yet another concept called גמרו בידי אדם – something that will definitely become usable. We have discussed this in past issues but review can never harm.

Take for example raw beans and raw potatoes. They are categorized as muktze machmas gufo, a severe muktze, as they have no use on Shabbos. In certain cases one may place raw or semi raw food in a pot on a covered fire (such as a blech or hotplate) before Shabbos and consume them on Shabbos. The issue is that the beans or potatoes in the pot are inedible when Shabbos begins and yet one may eat that food on Shabbos. What happened to migo d'itkatsai?

The answer is gomro bidei adam, which as stated means that since the food will definitely be edible it is not classed as muktze. [10]

Consequently wet laundry hanging on a line during hot summer seasons should not be muktze (at least when dry) because one knows that it will definitely dry. [11] It is possible that this last section is not accepted by all and a rav should be asked.

[1] Based on simon 310:1.

[2] Simon 322:3.

[3] M"B simon 322:6.

[4] Simon 325:8.

[5] It is a machlokes between Tosefos and Rosh as to whether it is Mechabeh because one diminishes the light or because the oil is designated for the candle and one is extinguishing the candle before its allotted time.

[6] Simon 301:46.

[7] M"B simon 308:63. SS"K 15:17 and see footnote 60, וצ"ע.

[8] M"B simon 301:171 and SS"K 15:15.

[9] See simon 301:45.

[10] See SS"K 22:12.

[11] See SS"K 22:11 and footnote 20.


Food for Thought

Why should oil in a candle be muktze? If I apply the concept of גמרו בידי אדם, I know that eventually the candle will extinguish?

May clothes that became wet on Shabbos and are muktze, be handled after they dry?

If I thought something was muktze and I realized my mistake, may I handle it?

Vort for the Chag

The Haggadah relates that the rabbis’ disciples came to inform them that it was time for the morning Shema.

Rav Sholom Shwadron ztz"l, the famous Maggid, relates that he once had a difficult kushiya and so after davening "neitz" (at sunrise) he went to the Tchebinner Rov (who lived then in Sha'arei Chessed) to discuss it. He knocked quietly on the door so as not to wake the ga'on lest he was sleeping and was told to enter.

The table was full of seforim and the ga'on was totally engrossed in his learning. Rav Sholom posed the question and the Tchebinner Rov responded.

Rav Sholom turned to go when the ga'on remarked, indeed you had a question but could it not wait for the morning, why was it necessary to come so late at night?

The ga'on was shocked when he heard that it was already daybreak and that Rav Sholom had already davened shacharis. He had been so engrossed in learning through the night, he had not realized it was already morning.

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.