Chapter 309

Chapter 309

Is moving an item indirectly permitted on Shabbos


This chapter will discuss the laws of Muktzah items as they relate to being moved in the process of moving non-Muktzah items. For example, may one lift up his child that is holding a Muktzah item in his hand? May one move a non-Muktzah item which has a Muktzah item on top of it? The latter question is dependent on if the non-Muktzah item has the status of a Basis. The details of how an item becomes a Basis will be elaborated in this chapter.

Halacha 1

May one lift a child that has a Muktzah object in his hand?

When the child has a stone in his hand: One may lift his child in a private domain, [even if] there is stone in [the child’s] hand, [as] this is not considered as if one is carrying the stone in his hand. [However] this only applies if it is impossible to [avoid lifting up the child without the stone[1]], such as for example if his child has a [strong] longing for [the parent to lift him up] and [thus] if he does not lift him the child will get sick. [In such a situation it is permitted to lift him up with the stone as] as the [Sages] did not decree against moving [a Muktzah item] without using ones actual hands in a situation where there is danger of [it causing] illness. As well [the situation here is discussing] that it is not possible to remove the stone out of the hands of the child, as [if he does so then the child] will scream and cry.

If the child does not care to be lifted: However if the child does not now long [to be picked up] then it is forbidden to lift him [with the stone].

The reason for this prohibition: It is not similar to other [cases] of moving a forbidden [Muktzah] object, which moves consequently through one moving in his hands a permitted [non-Muktzah] object that is with [the Muktzah object], in which the [Sages] permitted [to move in cases that] it is impossible to shake off the prohibited item from the permitted one, as will be explained [in Halacha 4]. [The reason that it is not similar is] because the [Sages] only permitted this [to be done] when one needs to use the permitted item, however here [in a case that child does not long to be lifted it is forbidden to lift him up with the stone as] it is not considered such a necessity to lift up the child when the child is not longing to be lifted.

Halacha 2

When the child has money in his hand: Even in a case that the child longs for his parent, it was only permitted [to lift him up when he is] with a stone. However if he has a coin in his hand it is forbidden even to hold him by his hand while he [the child] is walking in a private domain.

The reason for this is: due to a decree that perhaps the coin will fall from the child’s hand and the father will forget [that it is Shabbos] and pick it up, which ends up that he has moved [a] Muktzah [item in] a completely[2] [forbidden form of] moving, and [by a case that one may come to] completely move [something Muktzah], [the Sages] suspected [for this] and decreed [against lifting up the child], even in a situation that there is a danger of [it causing] illness, being that the child’s life is not in danger if he is not lifted[3].

Halacha 3

May one move an item that has a stone inserted into it?

A basket: A basket which had a hole in it that was sealed up with a stone from before Shabbos, (then if the stone was strongly inserted [into the hole][4]), it is permitted to move the basket, as the basket has not become a base for a forbidden [Muktzah] item. As (when) the stone (is strongly inserted, it) too becomes [the status of] a vessel, being that the [stone] has become like part of the [baskets] wall.

A bucket to draw water with: Similarly a hollow pumpkin [shell] in which one hangs a stone from in order to weigh it down so one can use it to draw water[5], if the stone is well attached to it from before Shabbos, in a way that it does not fall from [the shell] when one draws water with it, it is permitted to draw with it, as even the stone has become permitted to be moved, as it has become like the pumpkin [shell] itself, to which it is nullified to. [However] if [the stone is] not [well attached] it is forbidden to draw with it, unless one has designated the stone for this purpose forever, as explained above in chapter 308 [Halacha 53].

The laws of a Basis: May one move a non-Muktzah object that has a Muktzah object sitting on it?

Halacha 4-11

Halacha 4

The rules:       

One intentionally placed the Muktzah object there to be there on Shabbos: An item which is forbidden to be moved which is placed on an item that is permitted [to be moved], if it was intentionally placed on it from before Shabbos with the intention that it remain there also on Shabbos, then the permitted object becomes a base for the prohibited object, and is forbidden to be moved exactly just like it, [i.e. the Muktzah object].

One forgot to remove it before Shabbos: However if one did not have in mind that the [Muktzah] object remain on it on Shabbos, and [simply] forgot to remove it from there before the entrance of Shabbos, then [the non-Muktzah object] does not become a base for it [and is thus permitted to be moved in the ways to be explained].

If a Non-Muktzah object was also resting on the base: As well, if [the non-Muktzah object] was a base for [both] a prohibited and  permitted item, such as for example one placed on [the non-Muktzah object] before Shabbos [in addition to the Muktzah item], also an item that is permitted to move, which is of greater importance than the prohibited item, as will be explained in chapter 310 [Halacha 16], then since [the base] has not been made a base only for a prohibited item, [therefore] it still retains its permitted status, and is [thus] permitted to be moved even though that the prohibited item that is on is also consequently moving with it.
Shaking off the object before moving the base: However if it is possible to shake off the prohibited item immediately [upon moving the base], then one needs to first shake it off and [may] then move the permitted [base] alone to the area that it is needed in.

If one cannot shake it off: However if it is not possible to shake it off or if there will be any loss to a permitted[6] [item] if the prohibited item were to be shaken off,  or if by shaking it off one will not be able to fulfill the need for which he wants to move [the base for]; such as for example [one wants] to move the permitted [base], together with the forbidden object that is on it, into another area, being that he needs to clear up this space that the base and forbidden object are now in, in order to use [that space] for some [other] purpose, as well as [any other case like the above] that one needs to move the base for a different use, in a way that if one shakes off the forbidden item then he will not be able to fulfill what he needs to do in that place, then it is permitted to move the permissible [base] together with the prohibited item that is on it.

Halacha 5

Examples of the above laws:

A basket of fruits with a  stone: For example, a basket full of fruit which has a stone inside it, even though it was placed there before Shabbos with intention to remain there on Shabbos, [nevertheless] since there are also fruits in the basket, it becomes a base for a prohibited and permitted object, and does not become forbidden to be moved.

If the fruits are tender: Therefore if the fruits are very moist and soft, such as for example dates and grapes, in which case if one were to shake [the stone off the basket the grapes would also fall and] they will get dirty from the ground and become damaged, then it is permitted to move the basket as it is, together with the fruits and stone that are in it and carry it to the place that one needs the fruits to be in, to be eaten there.

Why we do not make the person carry the fruits without the basket: We do not obligate one to take the fruits with his hands [out of the basket] and carry them, as they may fall out of his hands onto the floor and get dirty.
If the fruits are inside small baskets within the large basket: However if the fruits are inside small baskets within the large basket, then he needs to take the [small] baskets in his hand from within the large basket, and bring them one at a time in a way that there is no worry that the fruits may fall to the ground.
If one needs to use the actual large basket: If one needs to move the actual large basket to a different area in order to use it there for a certain purpose, then one should remove the small baskets from inside it with ones hands and place them on the ground and afterwards shake out the stone from inside it and move it.

If the fruits are hard: If the fruits [in the basket] are dry and thus will not get ruined [if they fall] on the ground, then even if they are not in baskets, one may not take the basket in its current state, together with the fruits and stone, whether one needs the fruit or whether one needs the basket. Rather one must shake them off from inside together with the stone and then if he wants, he may gather up [the fallen fruit] with his hand and return them to the basket.

If one needs to use the space under the basket: However if one needs [to use] the space of the basket in a way that shaking [the stone off] will not allow one to accomplish this need[7], he is permitted to move it from there with all its content in all cases[8].

Halacha 6

Further examples:

A barrel with a stone on top and a pillow with money on top: Similarly if one placed a stone on top of the opening of a barrel of wine to cover it and he forgot to move it from there before Shabbos, or [if] he placed money on a pillow and forgot to take it off before Shabbos, and he [now on Shabbos] needs to remove wine from the barrel or he wants to lie down on the pillow, then since the barrel and the pillow have not become a base for the forbidden object, [therefore] he [may] tilt the barrel on its side and [thus] cause the stone to fall off [on its own], and shake the pillow and [have] the money fall off [on its own].
If one cannot tilt the barrel: If the barrel was in-between [other] barrels in a way that one cannot tilt it in the place that it is in, then one may lift up the barrel, as it is with the stone on it, and carry it to another place and tilt it there in order to have the stone fall off of it.
If one needs to use the space that the barrel and pillow are on: If one needs the space of the barrel and the pillow in a way that the shaking will not allow one to accomplish this need, then he may move them the way they are with the stone and the money on top of them, in order to empty up the space [that they are taking up].

If one wants to move the pillow because he fears the money may get stolen: If one does not need [to move the pillow] to use the actual pillow or its space and [rather just wants to move it because] he is worried that [otherwise] the money that is on it may get stolen, then it is forbidden to even shake [the pillow with his hands[9]] in order that the money fall under it [and thus be safe and out of sight], because [the Sages] did not permit to move [a Muktzah item] through [moving] another [non-Muktzah] item unless one is moving it for need of the permissible item and not for the need of the forbidden item, as I have written in chapter 311 [Halacha 14].

Halacha 7

The law if one intentionally left the stone on the barrel and the money on the pillow:

All the above [discussion] is only referring to one who forgot [to remove the item before Shabbos]. However if one intentionally placed it there with intention that it should remain there also on Shabbos, then whether one [wants to move it because he] needs the space of the barrel or pillow, or whether one needs to use the actual thing itself, [such as] to take out wine from the barrel and to lay on the pillow, it is forbidden to even tilt and shake it. As since it has become a base for a forbidden item, it has therefore become forbidden just like it, and is forbidden to be moved at all, even by tilting and shaking it, just like the forbidden item itself [is forbidden to be tilted and shaken].
If one intended to have the Muktzah item removed on Shabbos: [Furthermore] even if one intended that the [Muktzah] item not remain there the entire Shabbos but rather only for the entering of Shabbos alone, meaning that he had in mind that it should remain there only until after Bein Hashmashos, and then he [planed] to remove it from there by shaking [the base that it is sitting on], [nevertheless] this does not help at all to even permit him to do the shaking which he had in mind to do.

The reason for this is: because once the barrel and pillow become a base for a forbidden item during Bein Hashmashos, which is the beginning of the entrance of Shabbos, it becomes Muktzah for the entire Shabbos, and ones intentions [which he previously had] does not help [anymore] to permit it.
Other Opinions: [However] there are opinions which say that it does not become a base for a forbidden item unless one had intent for the stone and money to remain there the entire Shabbos.

However if one intended to remove it from there during Shabbos, whether through a gentile and whether through shaking it off, then the barrel and the pillow have not at all become a basis for them even in the beginning of the entrance of Shabbos, and they have thus not become forbidden to be moved and have not become Muktzah for the entire Shabbos. Therefore if one changed his mind even in the beginning of the entering of Shabbos to tilt the barrel and to shake the pillow, if one needs [to do so in order] to use them for something else or [he changed his mind] to move the barrel and pillow as they are together with the stone and money that are on them, in order to use their space, then it is permitted just like [in the case of one that] forgot [to remove it before Shabbos].
However if one did not have intent to remove the stone and the money off the barrel and pillow through shaking it off or through a gentile, but had intent to move in the middle of Shabbos the barrel and pillow together with the stone and money that are on it into another area, through [asking] a gentile [to do so] or through a Jew if he needs its space, then it does not help at all, as even in that place [that he intends to move it] the stone and the money will [still] remain placed on them, [therefore] the barrel and pillow are a base for the stone and money.
The final ruling: The main [Halachic] opinion is like the first opinion, however nevertheless in a case of loss one may rely on the latter opinion, such as for example if a candle fell on ones table[10], as was explained in chapter 277 [Halacha 6].

Halacha 8

If the Muktzah item fell off the base after Bein Hashmashos:

According to all opinions if the situation is that the base had [Halachicly] become a base for a prohibited item during Bein Hashmashos, then even if afterwards the forbidden item was removed from on top of it, it is [nevertheless] forbidden to move the [base] throughout the entire Shabbos, just like it was forbidden when the forbidden item was on it. As once it has been Muktzah during Bein Hashmashos it is Muktzah the entire Shabbos, as will be explained in chapter 310 [Halacha 4].

Halacha 9

The law of items which have a Muktzah item on top of them but are not meant to serve as a base for it:

The rule: A permitted item only becomes a base for a forbidden item if [the forbidden item] was placed there intentionally for a certain purpose, whether for the need of the prohibited item itself, so that it sit on a good surface, such as for example money that is placed on top of a pillow, or whether [the Muktzah item was placed] for the need of a different item that is permitted, such as for example a stone placed on top of a barrel.[11]

However if one randomly placed [the Muktzah item] on [the non-Muktzah base], without intending [to place it there] for a purpose that requires it to rest on [the base], but rather [for example] as is the custom to place items on top of each other in a box, being that one does have enough space to make place for each object [to sit] on the floor of the box, then [in such a case, the objects under the Muktzah objects] do not become a [Halachic] base for [the Muktzah object], and it has the same law as one which forgot [to remove the Muktzah object from the base before Shabbos, as here too one has no intention to have the Muktzah object on top of the other objects that are in the box]. [However the box itself is Muktzah unless the other items in the box are more important than the Muktzah item, as will be explained in chapter 310 Halacha 20]

The above law as it applies to a tablecloth that has Muktzah items sitting on it: [For the above reason it is] therefore permitted to move a tablecloth even though that the candelabra [i.e. Shabbos candles] is resting on it, being that one has no need for the candelabra to rest on the tablecloth, but rather [it is only needed to rest] on the table [itself], and the only reason that one places it on the tablecloth is because one is not able to make space to place the candelabra on the actual table itself [being that the tablecloth is sitting on the table], or [one is able to make space to place the candelabra on the table itself, such as by a tablecloth that does not take up the entire table] but one feels no desire to make space for it [on the table].

Therefore the tablecloth does not become a [Halachic] base for the candelabra and [the tablecloth] is not forbidden to be moved.

Halacha 10

The law of a nest that has an egg inside of it: A nest of chickens which has an egg with a chick inside of it[12], [in which case the law is] that this egg is forbidden to be moved[13] being that it is not fit even for a dog [to eat] due to its shell, then the nest has become a [Halachic] base for the egg, as since the nest is made for the chickens, it [therefore] is not considered like one forgot the egg there, and rather it is as if one placed it there intentionally. The same applies for all similar cases. 

Halacha 11

What is the law if someone placed a Muktzah item on ones object without his knowledge?

If one placed something which is Muktzah on top of his friends permitted [non-Muktzah] item without his [friends] knowledge, then even if the item which is Muktzah also belongs to his friend, [nevertheless] the permitted item does not become a base for the forbidden item, as one cannot prohibit an item of another person without [that persons] knowledge.

If one would have consented to it being placed there: [However] if one did so for his friends benefit, in which case we can assume that his friend is pleased with this being done [since it is] for his benefit, such as for example if Reuvein took an earthenware vessel of Shimon and placed it from before Shabbos under a candle that is in the house of Shimon, in order that [if] the candle falls, [it should fall] on it [as opposed to on the table or the like], so the house not get burnt down, then if the candle fell on it before Bein Hashmashos and remained on it until after Bein Hashmashos, the vessel has become a base for the candle [which is Muktzah], and it is [thus] forbidden for him to move it the entire Shabbos.

The same applies to all similar cases. 

 [1] Lit. “In any other fashion”

 [2] Meaning a direct moving with ones hands as opposed to indirect moving, through lifting up the child.

 [3] Meaning that the illness is not life threatening.

 [4] Magen Avraham. Vetzaruch Iyun as this is not written in the Gomorrah. [Admur]

 [5] Seemingly this is referring to using the shell to draw water from a well. A stone is needed to weigh the shell into the water, as otherwise the shell will simply float on top of the water.

 [6] An example of such a case will be explained in the next Halacha.

However in Chapter 308 Halacha 5, the Alter Rebbe applies this same law even if there will be a loss in the Muktzah item. So too in chapter 277 Halacha 6 the Alter Rebbe adds in parentheses even if a loss will be caused to the Muktzah item. Vetzaruch Iyun

 [7] Such as if the stone will fall in the area that one wants to use.

 [8] Meaning even if the fruit is dry and hard.

 [9] However one is allowed to shake it off using his body, as by such an irregularity the Sages did not decree against even directly moving a Muktzah object as explained in chapter 308 Halacha 15. Now even though in chapter 308 Halacha 61, shaking of a Muktzah item with ones hands is also referred to as an irregularity, nevertheless this is not as much of an irregularity as shaking it off with one’s body, and is thus not permitted when done for the purpose of the Muktzah.

 [10] And one fears that the table may burn, he may then tilt the candle onto the floor, if the candle is made of wax, if one has in mind on Erev Shabbos when he placed the candle there that the candle be removed from the table. [To note however that today if there is danger of death due to fire, then in all situations one may even extinguish the fire. The above is only referring to a case that there are no lives endangered by the fire.]

 [11] Vetzaruch Iyun Gadol from 259 Halacha 3 and 311 Halacha 14 where Admur rules that an item only becomes a basis if it benefit’s the Muktzah item and not vice versa if the Muktzah item benefits it. See Ketzos Hashulchan 112 footnote 11 which mentions this contradiction and refers one to see Rav Akivah Eiger which discusses the contradiction and leaves the matter inconclusive. The Tehila Ledavid [on Chapter 259] also brings up this contradiction in Admur and suggests [bidochek] that perhaps since here both the stone and the barrel serve the wine in it therefore the stone is considered Muktzah, while there in 259 since the cover itself serves also to heat up the food, it therefore is not considered Muktzah. In any event he concludes that since anyways there are opinions which say that when one intends to remove the Muktzah on Shabbos it does not become a basis, therefore in the case of 259 which deals with food insulated for Shabbos which one intends to uncover on Shabbos, therefore one may be lenient. [Nevertheless this cannot be used as the explanation behind the contradiction in Admur being that a) Admur should have mentioned this in his reasoning there, and b) In chapter 311 Halacha 14 Admur rules a similar ruling to 259 that a radish which as insulated with earth may be removed on Shabbos and in that case there is no reason to assume that one intended to remove it on Shabbos, as opposed to the case in 259. Vetzaruch Iyun why this opinion was not mentioned in the above footnote of the Ketzos Hashulchan. This possibly further verifies what is said that the Ketzos Hashulchan did not have the Sefer Tehila Ledavid available to him. [See Shabbos Kehalacha Vol 2 page 348] In the Sefer Hilchasa Kirav [R. Terbodavitch] he explains that the difference between the two cases are that here in 309 the barrel is specifically made to have a cover placed on it, and thus becomes a Basis being that it is now serving the stone. [However Tzaruch Iyun why this was not mentioned specifically by Admur, and furthermore in the wording of Admur it implies that in any case that the Muktzah serves the permitted item it is allowed, and is not limited to a scenario that the Permitted item was made to serve it.]

 [12] Meaning that it has developed to the point that a chick has begun to form inside it.

 [13] However an egg that does not have a chick inside, is fit for even humans to eat, and is thus not Muktzah.

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