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Weekly Shabbos Halacha Series
Halachos Series on Hilchos Shabbos

shabbos candles

Published by
Pirchei Shoshanim

A Project of
The Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Written by

Rabbi Dovid
Ostroff, shlita


These Halachos were shown by Rabbi Ostroff to
HaGaon HaRav Moshe Sternbuch, shlita



Questions for the Week of Parshas Beshalach


If a pair of good shoes was discarded before Shabbos, do they become muktze?

In this case we are not talking about broken keilim, rather an undamaged k値i was discarded before Shabbos. Here the halacha is that since it is abnormal to discard decent looking items, the k値i does not forfeit its status as a k値i, and is not muktze. [1] Accordingly, if one sees a chair placed next to the garbage, even though the fabric is faded it is not muktze, because it is still considered an unbroken k値i.

May one move shards that present a potential hazard?

Shards of glass are usually muktze due to the potential damage they may inflict and hence people do not use broken glass as keilim. If however broken glass is in one痴 home or in the street, it is permitted to move it out of the way even with one痴 hands, because of the potential danger. [2] As for carrying the shards in the street when there is no eiruv, see simon 308 se段f 18. The Mishna Berura [3] adds that shards of clay do not present a threat and therefore may not be handled. They may however be gathered up with a broom and dustpan, [4] but not with one痴 hands. Plastic dishes would be more applicable to us, and therefore broken plastic, when it does not pose as a threat, is muktze and should not be gathered with one痴 hands.

Is one permitted to use a needle to remove a splinter?

A needle is a classical example of a k値i she知lachto l段ssur (an item used for a prohibited act on Shabbos) and may be used l稚sorech gufo, which in this case is to remove a splinter. [5] The Shulchan Aruch adds an interesting halacha saying, that if the eye of the needle broke the needle is muktze, even though with regards to removing a splinter it is irrelevant whether the needle has an eye or not. This is because a broken needle is usually discarded, and as such it is not a k値i. [6]

What if the broken needle broke before Shabbos?

Even if it broke before Shabbos it is muktze when intended to be discarded. If however one sets it aside, before Shabbos, for splinter removal or other uses it is not muktze.

What if removing the splinter might cause bleeding?

The Mishna Berura writes that one should be careful not to extract blood unnecessarily. If the splinter is causing pain, and blood will surely be extracted during the process of removing the splinter, the splinter may nevertheless be removed, because in this case Chazal did not institute a decree in place of distress. [7]

G'zeiras Keilim shema yetakein.

A leg of a chair came out, may one sit on the chair?

Initially one might say that there could be nothing wrong with sitting on a chair without a leg. However, Chazal were afraid that if one were to sit on a chair whose leg became detached, being that it is uncomfortable and impractical to maintain a proper balance, one would attempt to forcefully [8] reinsert the leg back into the chair. They therefore instituted a decree called shema yitka lest it be reinserted forcefully. The chair is duly muktze, as one is now forbidden to sit on it.

The simon we are now learning does not enter into the intricacies of this decree, it only deals with the muktze aspect, and therefore we will only focus on the muktze aspect.

If the leg of the chair is broken and requires mending before being reinserted into the chair, the chair is not muktze. [9] This is because we are not afraid that a person would go so far on Shabbos and mend the leg or fashion a new one.

The same rule applies if the leg of the chair is not present. Since the 斗eg cannot be reinserted the chair is not muktze.

If the wheel of a baby carriage came off, does the carriage become muktze?

The above rule applies itself to many items, and one must be aware of it. If a wheel of a baby carriage comes off its axle, the carriage in certain instances will become muktze. If the screw for tightening the wheel is present, or if the wheel is usually attached with force, it would be forbidden to restore the wheel to its original place, and the carriage would be muktze. If the screw got lost and no other is available, one would be permitted to place the wheel on its axle, on condition that it slips on and is not placed with force. This is because placing or restoring it with force involves the melacha of either Boneh or Makeh B恥atish.

But if this happens in the middle of the street, what am I supposed to do?

A practical solution is to "lose" the screw. By "losing" the screw one cannot mend the carriage and then placing the wheel loosely on the axle is not a problem. The screw can be kicked out of sight etc. and thus making the carriage impracticable to mend on Shabbos.

[1] M韮 308:51.

[2] Simon 308:6 in the Rama.

[3] Simon 308:30.

[4] This is called tiltul min hatzad l稚sorech davar hamutar.

[5] Simon 308:11

[6] M韮 308:48.

[7] M韮 328:88 and Sha誕r Ha稚siun 63. See also SS葱 35:17.

[8] As mentioned further on, joining parts of a k値i with force involves either the melacha of Boneh or Makeh B恥atish.

[9] M韮 308:69.


Vort on Tefilla

A nice moshol to depict the difference between the rofei cholim we say in g宋uros, the second b喪ocho and refa粗inu. Upon approaching the door of a very prestigious professor who is known to do wonders and upon seeing his many credentials on the door, one fills with reassurance and security that one has arrived at the right place and he is the best person that is able to cure the patient. That is praise shevach.

When inside the office and facing the professor, one can start pleading and crying to have mercy and he should use all his talents to cure the patient. This is bakoshas yeshuah.

It is true that when facing a human professor one has doubts and therefore one痴 praise is not complete, but facing the rofei chol bosor, one痴 praise is complete, because he can really do anything if He wants.

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.