- Question: [Thursday, 5th Teves 5783]
I was learning from a Sefer on Shabbos and needed a clip to help hold down the pages of my book so it does not flip shut. My wife suggested that I take a laundry clip from the laundry line to use for this purpose. I was not sure if the laundry clip is considered Muktzah, being that it is designated for hanging wet clothing to dry, which is forbidden to be done on Shabbos. What is the law?
It is permitted for you to use a laundry clip on Shabbos as a placeholder for your book.
Explanation: Muktzah contains various categories, each with their pertinent laws and moving regulations. Now, an item which is designated for a use which is prohibited to be done on Shabbos but one is not particular against using it for other purposes due to fear of damage is under the category of Keli Shemilachto Le’issur. The law of a Keli Shemilachto Le’issur item is as follows: The item may not be moved for the sake of saving it from damage [i.e. Liatzmo], although may be moved for the sake of doing a permitted use with it [i.e. Legufo], or for the sake of using its space [i.e. Limikomo]. Now, a typical laundry/drying clip falls under this category, and hence may be moved on Shabbos for the sake of a permitted use, such as to use as a placeholder. Furthermore, some argue that that perhaps a laundry clip is not considered Muktzah at all, being that hanging clothing is only forbidden due to Maaras Ayin, and hence perhaps the clips should not be Muktzah.
Sources: See regarding laundry clips: Piskeiy Teshuvos 308:17; SSH”K which asks on this as hanging clothing is only forbidden due to Maaras Ayin, and thus the clips should not be Muktzah; See regarding the general laws of Keli Shemilachto Leissur: Admur 308:2; 12; Michaber 308:3; M”A 308:5; M”B 308:10