The top of my hat got knocked in, may I straighten it on
are easily repaired may be repaired on Shabbos. One may
return feathers etc. to a pillow slip (as opposed to placing
therein for the first time) because it is easily performed.
spectacles that often fall out, may be returned provided
that one does not tighten the screw. When the lens often
falls out, it is easy to replace and does not require force,
thus its repair is not makeh b’patish – fashioning a
permitted to push out an indented hat for the same reason,
i.e. it is easy to repair.
May I inflate a rubber duck on Shabbos?
discussed this in detail in Volume II issue 12 and volume
III issue 12. Winding a toy is mentioned in the same issue.
May one open letters on Shabbos?
poskim relate to two types, an aerogram and an envelope.
Slitting the sides of an aerogram is a serious violation of
tearing for a beneficial purpose and possibly makeh
b’patish – making a k’li. The melacha of
tearing is detrimental, but when the benefit is derived from
the torn item, it is called a beneficial tearing and one
would be liable to bring a korban chatas.
What if I discard the letter after
It makes no
difference. Tearing in a beneficial manner is ossur even
when the benefit derived is for a short period.
Is an envelope different?
contains a letter unlike an aerogram which is the letter
itself. Tearing the envelope enables one to extract the
letter and it must be viewed in a similar manner as opening
a bag of potato chips, as we will see.
an envelope by slitting the top thus enabling the letter to
be returned to the envelope for safekeeping. Such an action
is making a k’li.
Even if one would slit the top but have in mind to discard
the envelope and not reuse it, it would still be making a
k’li and forbidden.
And if I rip the envelope in a
wrote that it would be permitted to open an envelope if one
did not intend to reuse it (or in a manner that might
destruct it). He compared it to a famous halacha
÷åøò òåø òì ôé çáéú
– ripping the leather covering a barrel.
would occasionally be covered with leather and the
halacha is that one may slit this leather in order to
extract the barrel’s contents. The leather is destructed in
this manner and not made into a k’li. Compare it to a
coffee jar sealed with paper. The paper may be slit on
Shabbos as one is not creating a k’li.
Sounds like a good analogy.
but the Chazon Ish had something else in mind. The
Chazon Ish explains that opening an envelope and
intending to reuse it is an issur d’oraisso
and therefore we cannot take the liberty to open it in the
normal manner thinking that we don’t care if it tears
because we won’t reuse it. In other words, if one opens an
envelope by ripping the top part, since many times it
remains usable one is making a k’li.
And if I rip it to pieces?
Chazon Ish writes that one may open it in such a way
that it is rendered useless. Such is the opinion of many
poskim, but it appears that the Mishna Berura
does not permit opening letters at all.
the envelope to pieces is not creating a k’li and is
analogous to tearing the leather covering the barrel.
may not slit the sides of an aerogram.
may not open an envelope by ripping the top, whether
with a knife or by hand.
may destroy an envelope to extract a letter.
But is there a problem in reading
the letter on Shabbos?
there is, as pointed out in previous sheets. But let’s say
that the letter contains torah insights etc. which one
obviously may read on Shabbos.
May one ask a gentile to open a
that when necessary one may say to a gentile – I cannot read
a closed letter – and if he understands and opens the letter
it is permitted.