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Weekly Shabbos Halacha Series
Halachos Series on Hilchos Shabbos

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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 Terumah


Muktze continued

Is raw meat muktze? Would owning a dog make any difference?

The Shulchan Aruch says [1] that raw meat is not muktze because there are certain people that would eat it as it is. [2] The Magen Avraham says that this is only true for fowl such as chicken or dove, which is soft and can be eaten raw, but red meat is muktze. The Taz disagrees and says that this is true for all meats. The Mishna Berura says [3] that when very necessary one may rely on the Taz.

However, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach ztz”l says that nowadays nobody eats raw meat – especially when it is not salted, and therefore it is muktze. [4] (Although we find people who would eat steak tartar, they are certainly a small minority and would not affect this ruling). [5]

Therefore, one must organize one's freezer before Shabbos in such away that the ice cream will be in front of the raw meat, because one cannot move the raw meat out of the way to get to the ice cream.

Is there indeed no way to get to ice cream behind muktze in the freezer?

According to the Mishna Berura [6] who holds that one may move muktze with one’s body, one would be permitted to move the raw meat out of the way with one's elbow, but deftness would be crucial.

If I have a dog, is the meat still muktze?

Although your dog would be glad to receive the chunk of raw meat, but as you do not intend feeding it to him, it remains muktze. [7]

May one handle a soiled diaper or is it muktze?

A baby’s diaper is definitely included in the rule of g'raf shel re'i (one may handle a revolting item and discard it) as the very name of this halacha is a “g’raf shel re’i” – a potty, which Chazal permitted to move because it is revolting. Therefore, after changing a baby’s diaper one may remove it and place it in the garbage can and it does not have to be placed into the first available spot once out of the living room.

Is the sand in a sand pit muktze? In other words, is a child allowed to play in a sand pit on Shabbos?

The Shulchan Aruch [8] teaches us that one may bring sand into one’s house before Shabbos and use it for covering dirt or slime on Shabbos. [9] Even though sand is usually muktze, if prepared for use it is permitted to handle.

Accordingly, sand in a sand pit was prepared for children’s use and is not muktze. [10] On the other hand sand on the beach or building site is muktze.

Might there not be a problem of digging holes and making shapes with the sand?

Soft sand is not a problem, because as soon as one removes sand, other sand slides in and takes its place. [11] Coarse sand poses a problem of "hole making", which has to do with Boneh. There might be a leniency in the sense that children's games have no importance and do not last, thus the hole dug is "not really" a hole and the mound created is not really a mound. [12] A rav must be asked whether this is permitted. [13]

May I blow a feather on Shabbos?

Blowing muktze is permitted. [14] The question is; is it because it is irregular to move muktze through blowing or is it because it is not considered handling at all and Chazal only forbade the handling of muktze? The nafka minah [15] would be blowing a feather. Since it is normal to blow a feather it would not be called handling muktze irregularly and according to one side of our query should be forbidden.

The Eshel Avraham (Butchatch) says that one may move anything through blowing, because blowing is better than kilachar yad (irregular handling of muktze), as it is not considered moving muktze at all.

It is therefore permitted to blow feathers, dust etc. from one’s clothes on Shabbos even though they might be muktze. As for brushing muktze from one’s clothes, according to the Shulchan Aruch HaRav [16] it is forbidden, because it is considered handling muktze, and according to the Chazon Ish [17] it is permitted. He understands that it is as if one is dealing with the garment and not with the muktze.

According to the Chazon Ish one may remove feathers that fell from birds onto clothing on Shabbos, or gently pat dust etc. even though they are muktze, because one is dealing with the garment, not with the muktze and it is not called handling.

[1] Simon 308:31.

[2] M”B 308:125.

[3] Ibid.

[4] SS”K 11 footnote 20.

[5] If you would be adamant and say that because of these people raw meat should not be muktze, we would answer that at the utmost it would render steak tartar not muktze but not other raw meats.

[6] Simon 311:8 M"B 31, simon 308 M"B 13.

[7] See M"B 308:127.

[8] Simon 308:38.

[9] This was common practice in their times when the flooring was sand.

[10] SS”K 16:4.

[11] M"B simon 308:143.

[12] Based on SS"K chapter 17 footnote 53.

[13] Rav Sternbuch shlita does not accept this leniency.

[14] Simon 308, Rama se’if 3, and Mechaber se’if 43.

[15] Aramaic for outcome. In other words, the difference between the various explanations materializes in the following case.

[16] Simon 302:3.

[17] Orach Chayim 47:15.


Vort on the Parsha


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