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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 Tetzaveh


If my child sits down in the middle of a Shabbos walk and refuses to continue, am I permitted to carry him home?

The answer to this frequent scenario will greatly depend on where it takes place. Obviously we are not talking about a case where there is a kosher eiruv, because in such a case he may be picked up and taken home. Likewise in a life-threatening situation, he may be lifted and taken home.

If he is in a reshus harabim (a public domain where carrying four cubits is biblically prohibited) you are forbidden to carry him. You will have an opportunity to practice your coaxing/ threatening/ pleading abilities, because there is not much else you can do. If he leans on you while walking in a way that one foot is always on the ground, it is permitted as long as you do not drag him.

If he is in a carmelis (a public domain where carrying four cubits is rabbinically prohibited) carrying is likewise prohibited, but you may ask a non-Jew to carry him home. [1]

If my child is carrying a stone in his hand, may I lift him up? Is it as if I am carrying the stone as well?

The Shulchan Aruch [2] teaches us that if a child is yearning for his father, the father may pick him up even though the child is holding a stone in his hand. However, it states, that this is on condition that the child would become ill if not lifted up. The reason it is otherwise forbidden is because it is considered as if the father himself is holding the stone. If the child would not become ill, even though the child is yearning for his father it is forbidden to lift him as long as he is holding muktze.

Tosefos in Shabbos 142a asks that one should first make the child discard the stone and only then pick him up. Tosefos answers that the child would cry if he were made to discard the stone.

In other words we have a chain reaction: the child may be lifted while holding muktze if he would become ill, and the muktze need not be discarded if the child would cry.

Why is it considered as if the father carrying the stone, the child is?

Although it seems to be a classic case of tiltul min hatzad (carrying indirectly), however, the father is content for his child's sake that he is carrying the stone.

What if he is carrying money?

The Shulchan Aruch continues that if the child is holding money [3] it is forbidden to pick him up even though the child would become sick, because if the money would fall from the childs hand the father would stoop and pick it up, which involves handling muktze directly. In contrast, if the stone would fall from the childs hand the father would not be concerned enough about it to pick it up. (It does not mean that one must stand idly by while his child becomes sick, it means that lifting him with money in his hand is forbidden and it is up to the parent to either make him discard the money or substitute it for something else).

Rashi holds that even holding the childs hand is forbidden when he is holding money lest the money falls and the father will pick it up, but the Ramban disagrees and permits it.

The Elya Raba (quoted by the Biur Halacha) says that the Ramban can be relied upon where a case of illness is involved.

If holding his hand is forbidden, maybe I should not walk next to him either? What is the limit?

Let us answer that with another example.

Halacha says that one may not smell edible fruits on trees on Shabbos lest one picks and eats it. Why then are you permitted to walk within four amos of a fruit tree, are we not concerned that one might pick fruit to eat?

The answer is, when one is involved with something, in a "moment-of-forgetfulness" one might perform a prohibited action, but when not involved with the item there is no reason to be concerned that one will forget it is Shabbos.

Consequently, when smelling edible fruits, since one is already bending over to smell the fruit, we are concerned that one might forget and remove the fruit. Likewise, when holding a child's hand and the child is holding money, Chazal were concerned that since one is "involved" with he child, one might "forget" and lift the money if it falls.

[1] Simon 308:41, and MB 154. In a carmelis there is more of a leniency as far as dragging a child goes, but it will depend on the age and a few other factors. In this limited space we cannot delve into it.

[2] Simon 309:1. These halachos are based on the gemora Shabbos 141b 142a, and is worthwhile seeing it inside.

[3] It makes sense that we are referring to money that would disturb the father if it were to remain on the floor. If however the coin is of insignificant value and the father would normally not stoop to pick it up, it would have then the same rule as a stone.


Something We Can Learn From the Mishkan

Every letter is accounted for in the Holy Torah and yet the story of the construction of Mishkan and its keilim are repeated, several times, in great detail. To what purpose?

It is said of Betzalel that he knew the secret of creation, and this talent was utilized to construct the Mishkan. But why, the Mishkan was an assortment of planks and material?

The Nesivos Sholom (S'lonim) explains that the Mishkan was to be a place where Hashem's shechina would be present in Olam Hazeh! and a unique, incredibly holy creation needed to be fashioned to contain Hashem's shechina!

When the possuk says , and Chazal teach us that it means within each and every one of us, it means that we must sanctify ourselves to the point that we can contain the Holy Shechina. That takes a master craftsman to do, but how do we go about it?

The Mishkan was a single unit that was comprised of many small parts, some of more importance and some of less, but they were all part of a single, holy Mishkan. Each item complemented the other.

Kabolas hashechina can only take place when there is complete achdus between all parts. If a part grows a bump, i.e. it expands a bit; it thinks too much about itself, it will not fit with everyone else; the Mishkan will not be complete.

Within the Mishkan resided the Holy Ark, and inside the Ark there were the Holy Luchos haB'ris the Torah Hak'dosha. The raison d'artre was to live a life of Torah.

We must care for each other with all our hearts. We should minimize ourselves to cater for another individual and try to place their needs before ours we will never lose from that and together we will gain. Then we will be a sanctity for the shechina and torah.


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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.