Gathering Fuit

Gathering scattered fruits: 

A. From under the tree which they grew on:[1]

One who gathers fruits and joins them together in the area where they fell off the tree [has transgressed the Meameir prohibition].


B. From an area which they have not grown in:[2]

Gathering fruits which scattered in courtyard: One’s whose fruits scattered in his courtyard, one [fruit going] to one area and another to another area, may gather a small amount of them at a time and eat [them]. However he may not place [the gathered fruits] into a basket or into a box.

The reason for this: Is so one not [gather the fruits] in the same way that he does so during the week [which is considered a mundane act[3]].

Gathering fruits which have fallen into one area: However if the fruits have fallen into one area [and did not scatter] then one may place them even into a basket or box.

If they fell into one area but is amongst pebbles and dust: However one whose fruits have [fallen] into pebbles and dust, may only be gathered one at a time [in order] to eat [right away[4]]. However he may not place them into a basket or box. [See Q&A regarding if this applies to other foods]

The reason for this is: [5] So he does not do a mundane act [which resembles Borer[6]].

Summary-Gathering scattered fruits:

From area of growth: Is always forbidden

Out of area of growth:

  • Scattered to different directions: Fruits which have scattered to different directions, not within their area of growth, may only be gathered a small amount at a time in order to eat and may not be placed into a basket or box.
  • Fell into same area: Fruits which have fallen into the same area, then if the area does not contain dust and pebbles, one may gather the fruits in order to eat and he may place them into a basket or box. However fruits which have fallen into pebbles and dust may only be gathered one at a time in order to eat but may not be placed into a basket or box even if they have fallen into the same area.



May one gather the fruit into his pocket or shirt in a case that it may not be gathered into a basket?

Some rule[7] that this has the same ruling as does a basket, and is thus forbidden.

Others[8] rule that in a case that the fruits scattered and are not mixed with pebbles and dirt then they may be gathered into ones shirt.


If the fruits are in danger of being ruined if left un-gathered may one be lenient to gather them into a basket?[9]

Seemingly one may be lenient in such a case. Certainly one may be lenient to gather them into ones shirt.


Does the above restriction to only gather items a little at a time and not to place them in a basket apply by all scattered items or only by fruit?[10]

Some[11] learn that if it is troublesome to gather the items then it has the same restrictions as fruits.

Does this restriction against placing a selected food into a basket apply to other foods as well or only to fruits that have fallen into earth?[12]

From the letter of the law it does not apply to any other situation other than the one listed above, and thus so long as one plans to eat the selected item right away he may place it any where he wishes.[13]

However there are opinions[14] which are stringent in this with regards to all cases to restrict one from placing the selected food in ones pocket or designated basket even if he plans to eat it right away. Nevertheless even according to them it is allowed to place the food on the eating table or ones plate and he does not have to literally place it his mouth directly following the separation.

[1] 340/15

[2] 335/5

[3] Some explain that the intent of this mundane act prohibition is due to it being troublesome to gather all the fruits. [Bris Olam Meameir 7] According to this all scattered items which are troublesome to be gathered would carry the same restrictions as gathering fruits and it would thus be forbidden to gather them a lot at a time and place them into a basket. [Az Nidbaru 14/17 brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 335/1]

[4] Shabbos Kehalacha 14/45

This requirement for it to be done for right away use is due to the Borer restrictions, and is irrelevant to the laws of Meameir. Thus in a case that the fruits scattered on a clear floor in which the fruits are not mixed with any other items, it may be gathered for even later on use, so long as it is done for a Shabbos need. [Compiler]

[5] 335/5

[6] Ketzos Hashulchan 146 p. 98 number 2; However the M”B explains that this is forbidden simply because of Uvdin Dichol. The Ketzos Hashulchan ibid questions this explanation of the M”B and thus gives his alternative explanation mentioned above.

[7] M”B 335/18; See Shabbos Kehalacha 12/45 in the stringent opinion there!

[8] Ketzos Hashulchan 146 footnote 50 -7

[9] Ketzos Hashulchan 146 footnote 50 -7, brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 340/24

[10] Piskeiy Teshuvos 340/24 and 335/1

[11] Az Nidbaru ibid

[12] Shabbos Kehalacha 12/45

[13] So rules the Beis Yosef and Tosefas Rid, and so rules Rav Farkash proving that this too is the opinion of Admur.

[14] So rules the Igleiy Tal, brought in Ketzos Hashulchan 125 footnote 8

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