Chapter 20: Miscellaneous laws

Chapter 20: Miscellaneous laws

1. An egg laid on Shabbos:[1]

An egg which has been laid on Shabbos is forbidden to be eaten[2] and is therefore Muktzah.[3] It is even forbidden to merely touch the egg.[4]

Placing a vessel over the egg: Although the egg is Muktzah, nevertheless, it is permitted to place a vessel over the egg to protect it. However, it is forbidden for the vessel to touch the egg in the process.

Taaruvos-Mixed with other eggs: If the egg became mixed with other eggs that were laid before Shabbos, then all the eggs are forbidden to be eaten and they are all Muktzah. This applies even if the ratio of the mixture is 1:1000.[5]

The next day is Shabbos or Yom Tov:[6] If an egg which was laid on Shabbos and the next day is Yom Tov or vice versa, then the egg remains Muktzah also the next day.[7]

Doubt as to when the egg was laid:[8] All the above applies even if there is a doubt as to when the egg was laid, in which case we are nevertheless stringent to forbid eating the egg and its entire mixture.

2. Fruits which fell off a tree:[9]

All fruits which have fallen off a tree on Shabbos are forbidden to be eaten until after Shabbos[10] and are therefore Muktzah[11]. [Furthermore, even if there is doubt as to if the fruits fell on Shabbos or beforehand it is forbidden.[12]]


Are vegetables which have become detached from the ground on Shabbos forbidden?[13]

Yes. Hence, they are Muktzah.

3. Transporting items from one area to another on Shabbos:[14]

From a public area with an Eruv: It is forbidden to carry from a public area [even if it has an Eruv] four bottles of wine in a basket or box.[15] Rather one is to carry the bottles in his hands, carrying either one or two in each hand.[16] Nevertheless if one has many guests [even if they are not from out of town[17]] which are waiting for him to begin the meal, he may bring all the bottles in a box.[18]

From a closed area: If one needs to transport the bottles from a private area, such as from one apartment to another in the same building, or from one room to another room in the house, then one is to carry as many bottles as possible, even in a basket, in order to diminish the number of trips made.


When transporting items on Shabbos from a public area that has an Eruv one may only transfer a small amount at a time, using one’s hands rather than a box. If, however, one has to hurry home for his many guests, then there is no limitation. When transporting from a private area, one is to transport as many items as possible in each trip that he makes.

4. May one read a cookbook?[19]

It is permitted to read it for mere enjoyment, as it is common for women to enjoy reading different ideas of recipes.[20] However, it is forbidden to be read as a preparation for preparing a meal in the coming days.[21]

5. May one wind or unwind twist-ties on Shabbos?[22]

Some Poskim[23] rule it is forbidden to do so. However, there are authorities[24] which defend the widespread custom to allow doing so on the basis that here one has no true intent to make the twist tie into a rope.

6. Making a single knot on food bags, and opening such knots:[25]

A single knot without a bow on top of it, is not considered a knot at all and is allowed to be tied and untied even if made to last forever.[26] [However] all this refers to tying two things together, however if one makes a knot using the single end of a rope or thread or string, then it has the same law as a double knot for all matters.[27] [Thus, one may not make a single knot over a bag, such as a Challah bag on Shabbos. Likewise, one may not open such a knot, even if made from before Shabbos, and rather one is to break through the bag.]

7. Opening and closing a folding chair or table on Shabbos?[28]

Background and details of ruling: It is forbidden on Shabbos to create a roofing or hovering due to the Ohel prohibition.[29] Nevertheless, the extremity of this prohibition is only in a case that the intent of the hovering is to protect a person from a certain matter, such as to protect from rain or from the sun and light, and the like.[30] If, however, the intent of the hovering is not to give protection for people under it, then it may be made on Shabbos under certain conditions, such as if it was pre-attached to its legs/walls before Shabbos, or does not have any walls under it, or is made with an irregularity.[31] Practically, due to these reasons, it is permitted on Shabbos to open and close a folding chair and folding table without restriction, and doing so does not pose a prohibition of Ohel, or any other prohibition.[32] This applies to all forms of folding tables and chairs, even if they form a wall [i.e. box] under them.[33]

If the table/chair surface is not attached to its legs:[34] In the event that the table surface is not attached to the leg frame, and one needs to open the legs and then rest the table on it, then the following is the law: It is permitted to be done on Shabbos without restriction so long as the legs do not form into walls, and one does not actually attach the table surface to the frame using sockets and the like, but simply rests it upon the frame.[35] The same applies if the cushion area of a chair came off, it is nevertheless permitted to rest it onto the leg frame so long as one does not fasten it to the frame.[36] In all these cases, one may likewise remove the table and cushion from the leg frame so long as it is not firmly attached.

8. May one add an extension to one’s table on Shabbos?[37]

Yes. It may be inserted even into its sockets which are found in the table for this purpose.[38]

9. May one give a present of food and drink on Shabbos?[39]

It is forbidden to give someone a present of any kind on Shabbos or Yom Tov.[40] Likewise, it is forbidden for the receiver to do an acquisition on a present on Shabbos.[41] Nevertheless, it is permitted to give food and drink as a present on Shabbos and Yom Tov if it is needed as food for that day.[42] [Furthermore, some Poskim[43] rule that any Shabbos need may be given as a present on Shabbos and Yom Tov, even if it is not food or drink. Thus, one may give disposable cutlery, Shabbos clothing, Shabbos jewelry, to someone as a present on Shabbos for the sake of them using it on Shabbos.[44]]


May a guest give wine, or flowers to his host on Shabbos?

Yes. Nonetheless, it is best for the flowers to be given before Shabbos.[45] If the host, however, does not plan on using the wine on Shabbos, then he should intend to not acquire it until after Shabbos.[46] The same applies with flowers.[47]

10. Measuring on Shabbos:[48]

It is forbidden to measure anything on Shabbos whether with one’s hands or measuring tape.[49] Thus one may not use a measuring cup or spoon to measure how much spices to enter a certain food.

Measuring Shiurei Mitzvah-Revius, Kezayis: It is permitted to measure on Shabbos for the sake of a Mitzvah.[50] However, this only applies if one could not do so before Shabbos. Thus, one may not measure Shiurei Mitzvah of weight or volume on Shabbos if he could have done so before Shabbos.[51]


[1] Michaber 322:1; Admur 513:1-3

[2] The reason: The reason for this is because an egg which has been laid on a Shabbos which followed a Yom Tov [i.e. Yom Tov was on Friday], or on a Yom Tov which followed Shabbos [i.e. Yom Tov was on Sunday] then that egg is Biblically forbidden to be eaten. The reason for this is because the egg was already prepared to be laid the day before it was actually laid. Thus, it ends up that Yom Tov or Shabbos prepared the laying of the egg of Shabbos/Yom Tov, and the Torah states “And on the 6th day prepare [for the Sabbath]”. From here it learned that only a weekday may prepare for Shabbos while a Holiday may not prepare for Shabbos. Likewise, Shabbos may not prepare for Yom Tov, as Yom Tov is also called Shabbos. [Admur 513:1] Now, although Biblically an egg which was laid on Shabbos that did not follow a Yom Tov is permitted, nevertheless the Sages made a decree against eating any egg laid on Shabbos or Yom Tov, as a safeguard around the Biblical prohibition. [Admur 513:2]

An egg laid on Motzei Shabbos: May be eaten as only an egg which is being eaten on Shabbos or Yom Tov is forbidden to be prepared on Shabbos or Yom Tov. [Admur 513:1]

Other preparations done on Shabbos: Only matters which are prepared from Heaven are forbidden when done on a Shabbos before Yom Tov, however preparations done through the hands of man are not Biblically forbidden. [Admur ibid]

[3] The reason: Since the egg is forbidden to be eaten it serves no purpose and is therefore Muktzah. [Admur 513:3]

[4] Admur 513:3; Now although all Muktzah is allowed to be touched if one does not shake it in the process, nevertheless by an egg it is forbidden as an egg is oval and even mere touching will cause it to move in the process. [Admur ibid]

[5] The reason: As the egg laid on Shabbos is a forbidden food which will eventually become permitted, of which the ruling is that it is never nullified even in 1000x. [Admur 513:4]

[6] Michaber 322:2

[7] The reason: This is due to a Rabbinical decree, as it ends up that the day before prepared the egg, as it is better to eat an egg which has been out of the chicken for some while then an egg which has just emerged. Nevertheless, this is only a Rabbinical prohibition, as Biblically the egg was already prepared before Shabbos, and it is only when it was prepared to be hatched on Shabbos that it is forbidden the next day. [Admur 513:9]

[8] Admur 513:4

[9] Michaber 322:3; Admur 310:3 The above [cases in which it is allowed to move and eat the fruits] only refer to [fruits] that have been removed from the tree [from before Shabbos], however if it was attached [to the tree on Shabbos] and then [later] got removed on Shabbos, then even if it belongs to a gentile which removed it for himself, and [furthermore] even if the gentile had intention from before Shabbos to pick these fruits on Shabbos, such as in a case that one heard the gentile say on Erev Shabbos that “tomorrow I will pick these fruits”, and even [furthermore, even] if the fruits were fully ripe, in which case they are considered prepared [to be eaten] even when they are still attached [to the tree] as will be explained in Chapter 318 [Halacha 6], nevertheless [despite all the above] they are forbidden to be eaten and moved. The reason for this is because of a decree of fruits that have fallen off [from a tree on Shabbos], as will be explained in chapters 322 and 325 [Halacha 8].”

[10] The reason: The reason for this is due to a decree one may come to pluck a fruit from the tree on Shabbos. Alternatively, it is because the fruit is Muktzah as one did not have it in mind from before Shabbos. [M”B 322:7]

[11] Ketzos Hashulchan 146:23 from Peri Megadim, Upashut.

[12] M”B 322:5; brought in Ketzos Hashulchan 146:23

[13] M”B 322:6 in name of Peri Megadim

[14] Admur 323:4-5

[15] The reason: As doing so appears like a mundane act, as it appears as if one is carrying loads. It is therefore belittling of Shabbos to do so in an area that he can be seen by the public. Likewise, people may come to think one is doing so for a weekday purpose, which is forbidden to be done on Shabbos. [Admur ibid]

[16] The reason: As when carrying with one’s hands he is doing so in a way different than that of the regular week. [Admur ibid]

[17] Admur 510:20 regarding Yom Tov; Ketzos Hashulchan 146 footnote 41 regarding Shabbos.

[18] The reason: As having him make many trips will delay the start of the meal. If, however, one is able to bring the bottles in an irregular way without delaying the meal, then he must do so.

[19] Beir Moshe 6:67

[20] As a) One can view recipes as a matter of wisdom in cooking, and matters of wisdom are permitted to read on Shabbos in accordance with the custom.  [Rav SZ”A in SSH”K 29 footnote 116] b) The Magen Avraham 301:4 allows reading matters which give one pleasure.

[21] As in such a case one is preparing for the week to do a forbidden matter. [Beir Moshe ibid, SSH”K 29:46 forbids it in all cases due to this reason].

[22] Piskeiy Teshuvos 317:6

[23] SSH”K 9:13 writes that tying or untying twist-ties is forbidden on Shabbos if done strongly due to that this is similar to raveling threads together into a rope, which is forbidden due to the tying prohibition. It is therefore likewise forbidden to undo.

[24] Sheivet Halevy brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[25] Admur 317:3

[26] Admur ibid; M”A 317:20; Hagahos Maimanis 10:10; Yireim 274

[27] Admur ibid; Rama 317:1; Semag

[28] Piskeiy Teshuvos 315:7; Biur Halacha 315:5 “Kisei” regarding a folding bed

[29] Admur 315:1; Michaber 315:1; Shabbos 125b

[30] Admur ibid “It is forbidden to make a tent, which refers to [any] roofing which hovers over a person in order to guard him from a given matter, such as [to protect him] from the sun or from the rain or from another given matter.”

[31] Admur 315:9 “A temporary roof which one does not intend in making it for it to be a tent to hover over what is underneath it, but rather only in order to use [this roof] for a certain use, such as for example placing the board of a table on its legs, then even though in doing so one makes a temporary roof this does not pose a problem being that one has no intent to make a tent. Nevertheless, if one also places temporary walls under this roof, then this is similar to a tent and is forbidden to be done in its normal form which is [starting] from below to above, and rather [must be done from] above to below [which is] an irregular form.”; Michaber 315:3 as explained in M”A 315:7; M”B 315:17-19

[32] Admur 315:13 “Any temporary tent which one has no intention into making into a tent [the Sages] only prohibited spreading over walls which one [had already] set up under it on Shabbos if the roofing had not been attached on its walls from before Shabbos. However, if [the roofing] had already been attached to them from before Shabbos but it was placed there folded, then it is permitted to spread it out and set it up on Shabbos. For example a chair made from individual parts and when one wants to sit on it one opens it and spreads and stretches the leather [seating] and when one removes [the seat] he closes it up and has the leather fold, then it is permitted to initially open it on Shabbos even if it has walls under it.”; Michaber 315:5; Tur 315; Shabbos 138a as explains Tosafos; Piskeiy Teshuvos 315:7 [old] 11 [new]; Biur Halacha 315:5 “Kisei” regarding a folding bed

The reason: The reason for this is because it is not similar to making a tent, as one is not doing anything, as the roofing was already set up and prepared together with the walls from before Shabbos and it’s just that one unfolds it on Shabbos and sits on it. [Admur ibid; M”A 315:8] Furthermore, typical folding chairs and tables do not contain actual walls under their roofing and hence are permitted to be set up on Shabbos, even if they are not reattached

[33] See Admur ibid in previous footnote

[34] See Admur 315:9 brought in previous footnotes that if there are no walls under the table, there is no Ohel prohibition to place the table surface onto it; Piskeiy Teshuvos 315:11

[35] This is due to the prohibition of Tikkun Keli.

[36] Piskeiy Teshuvos 315:11

[37] Piskeiy Teshuvos 315:7; SSH”K 24:23

[38] Does this apply even if one plans to leave the attachment in for a long time, or only if he plans to remove it after Shabbos? May it be inserted strongly into its sockets? May one close a clamp over it?

Seemingly if it is only meant to be left there over Shabbos and then removed it is permitted even if it gets strongly attached. However perhaps we say that this allowance only applies by attachments that are not common at all to last even temporarily however attachments which are common to be left attached temporarily and it’s just that the owner does not plan to do so, then perhaps the allowance does not apply.

[39] Admur 306:15; 444:9; 448:16; M”A 306:15 in name of Beis Yosef 527 and Mordechai Beitza 676; Elya Raba 306:19; Tosefes Shabbos 306:20; M”B 306:33; See Mahariy Asad 83; Kesav Sofer 59; Binyan Shlomo 17; Aruch Hashulchan 306:17; Pischeiy Teshuvah Even Haezer 45:1; Kaf Hachaim 306:44; SSH”K 29:29

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule there is no prohibition against giving a present on Shabbos. [Beis Meir E.H. 45; Beis Shlomo ibid; Maharam Shick 24; Piskeiy Teshuvos 306:22]

[40] The reason:source: It is forbidden to even sanctify something towards G-d [i.e. Hekdish] on Shabbos, and Hekdish is similar to a present which completely leaves one jurisdiction, to the jurisdiction of his friend. Now, the reason doing so is forbidden is because one may not make any acquisitions on Shabbos, as it is similar to business. [Admur 306:15]

[41] Admur 306:15 that one who is given a room may not close the door to perform an acquisition. See Q&A!

[42] Admur 306:15; 323:1; 517:1; 527:28; M”A ibid

[43] M”A 306:15; Elya Raba 306:19; Tosefes Shabbos 306:20; M”B 306:33; Kaf Hachaim 306:44; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid; VeTzrauch Iyun from Admur 306:15 who changed the wording in M”A and wrote food and drink instead of Shabbos need.

[44] Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[45] The reason: As it is unclear from Admur if this in included in the allowance.

[46] The reason: As Admur ibid rules one may only receive food and drink if it has a need for Shabbos.

[47] One may place flowers in a vase on Shabbos only if the vase had water placed in it before Shabbos and the flowers have sprouted open. [See Admur 336:18; “The Laws of Shabbos” vol. 3]

[48] Admur 306:18; 506:1; Rambam Shabbos 23:13; Shabbos 157b

[49] The reason: As this is considered a mundane act and desecration of Shabbos.

[50] Admur 396:18; 308:88; Michaber 306:7; Mishneh 157a

[51] Admur 456:9; 506:1 [based on Michaber 506:1; Shmuel Beitza 29a] that this applies even when measuring for the sake of a Mitzvah, if one could have measured it before Yom Tov; Kaf Hachaim 486:3; See Kinyan Torah 5:22; The following Poskim rule that one is not to Lechatchila measure on Yom Tov, and it is hence to be done before Yom Tov: M”B 618:21 in name of Achronim; Kaf Hachaim 486:3; 618:37, 45; Piskeiy Teshuvos 306:25;

The reason: As one is able to measure them before Yom Tov. [Admur 506:1]

Other rulings of Admur: Admur 306:18 and 308:88 rules that it is permitted to measure for the sake of a Mitzvah, seemingly contradicting the above rulings of Admur ibid. In truth, however, one can answer that the two rulings refer to different cases, as only if one could not have done the measuring before Yom Tov is it permitted to measure on Yom Tov, and that is the ruling in 306:18, while the other rulings refer to a case that one could have measured before Yom Tov, as explicitly stated by Admur in 506:1.

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule it is permitted to measure on Shabbos and Yom Tov for the sake of a Mitzvah, such as to measure the Shiur for Matzos, Maror and the four cups. [Simple implication of Michaber 306:7 and Admur 306:18 and 308:88; Implication of M”A 308:78; Rav SZ”A in SSH”K 29 footnote 103; Piskeiy Teshuvos 306:25; 506:2; Or Letziyon 2:25-2; Yechaveh Daas 1:16] Nonetheless, even they agree that initially one is to measure before Yom Tov. [M”B 618:21 in name of Achronim; Piskeiy Teshuvos 306:25] Some Poskim limit the above allowance and rule that one may only measure in volume and not weight. [Kaf Hachaim 306:63; Kinyan Torah 5:22; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 306:25; 506:2] Other Poskim, however, are lenient even regarding measuring in weight. [Pesach Hadvir, brought in Kaf Hachaim ibid; Rav SZ”A ibid; Or Letziyon ibid; Yechaveh Daas ibid] Rav Ovadia Yosef was accustomed to weigh a few of the Matzos on the night of Pesach on a mechanical scale, and to then distribute the rest of them according to estimation. [Heard from his son Rav Yitzchak Yosef Shlita]

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