Contact Us

Shabbat - Chapter Nineteen

Shabbat - Chapter Nineteen

Show content in:

We may not go out [wearing] any weaponry on the Sabbath.1 [The following rules apply should one] go out [wearing weaponry]: If they are objects that are worn as garments - e.g., a coat of mail, a helmet, or iron boots2 - one is not liable. If, however, one goes out [carrying]3 articles that are not worn as garments - e.g., a spear, a sword, a bow, a round shield4 or a triangular shield - he is liable.5


כל כלי המלחמה אין יוצאין בהן בשבת. ואם יצא אם היו כלים שהן דרך מלבוש כגון שריון וכובע ומגפיים שעל הרגלים הרי זה פטור. ואם יצא בכלים שאינן דרך מלבוש כגון רומח וסייף וקשת ואלה ותריס הרי זה חייב:


We may not go out wearing a sandal studded with nails to fasten it.6 Even on festivals, the Sages decreed that we should not go out wearing [such sandals].7

It is permitted to go out wearing a belt with pieces of gold and silver imbedded into it as kings wear, for this is a piece of jewelry, and it is permitted [to wear] all jewelry. [This license is granted] provided [the belt] does not hang loosely, lest it fall in the public domain and one go and bring it.8


אין יוצאין בסנדל מסומר שסמרו לחזקו. ואפילו ביום טוב גזרו עליו שלא יצא בו. ומותר לצאת באבנט שיש עליו חתיכות קבועות של כסף ושל זהב כמו שהמלכים עושין. מפני שהוא תכשיט וכל שהוא תכשיט מותר. והוא שלא יהא רפוי שמא יפול ברה"ר ויבוא להביאו:


A ring that has a seal9 is considered to be a piece of jewelry for a man, but not for a woman. A ring without a seal, by contrast, is considered to be a piece of jewelry for a woman,10 but not for a man. Accordingly, a woman who goes out wearing a ring that has a seal and a man who goes out wearing a ring without a seal are liable.11

Why are they liable? They did not transfer them in an ordinary manner12 - i.e., it is not an ordinary practice for a man to wear a ring on his finger that is not appropriate for him, nor for a woman to wear a ring on her finger that is not appropriate for her. [Nevertheless,] there are times when a man gives his ring to his wife to hide at home and she places it on her finger while she is walking. Similarly, there are times when a woman gives her ring to her husband to take to a jeweler to fix, and he places it on his finger while he is walking to the jeweler's store. Therefore, [although the rings are not appropriate for the individuals mentioned above, because they do occasionally wear such rings,] they are considered to have transferred them in an ordinary manner. Accordingly, they are liable.


טבעת שיש עליה חותם מתכשיטי האיש היא ואינה מתכשיטי האשה. ושאין עליה חותם מתכשיטי אשה ואינה מתכשיטי האיש. לפיכך אשה שיצאת בטבעת שיש עליה חותם. ואיש שיצא בטבעת שאין עליה חותם חייבין. ומפני מה הן חייבין והרי הוציאו אותן שלא כדרך המוציאין שאין דרך האיש להוציא באצבעו אלא טבעת הראויה לו וכן האשה אין דרכה להוציא באצבעה אלא טבעת הראויה לה. מפני שפעמים נותן האיש טבעתו לאשתו להצניעה בבית ומנחת אותה באצבעה בעת הולכה. וכן האשה נותנת טבעתה לבעלה לתקנה אצל האומן ומניח אותה באצבעו בעת הולכה עד חנות האומן ונמצאו שהוציאו אותן כדרך שדרכן להוציאן ולפיכך חייבין:


Although a ring that does not have a seal is considered to be a piece of jewelry for a woman, a woman should not go out wearing such a ring, lest she take it off in the public domain and show it to her friends, as women often do.13 If, however, she went out wearing such a ring, she is not liable.14

A man, by contrast, may go out wearing a ring that has a seal, for it is considered to be a piece of jewelry for him and it is not usual practice for a man to show off [his jewelry to others].15 It has, [nevertheless,] become accepted practice for people to go out without wearing any rings at all.


לא תצא אשה בטבעת שאין עליה חותם אף על פי שהוא מתכשיטיה גזרה שמא תוציאה ברה"ר להראות לחברותיה כדרך שהנשים עושות תמיד. ואם יצאת בה פטורה. אבל האיש מותר לצאת בטבעת שיש עליה חותם מפני שהוא תכשיט ואין דרכו להראות. ונהגו כל העם שלא יצאו בטבעת כלל:


A woman who goes out [wearing] a pin with an eye is liable,16 while a man is not liable.17 A man who goes out [wearing] a pin without an eye is liable,18 while a woman is not liable, for this is considered to be a piece of jewelry for her.19 She is prohibited against wearing it only because of a decree lest she [take it off and] show it to her friends.

The [following] general principles apply: Whenever a person goes out wearing an item that is not considered to be jewelry for him, and it is not [worn as] a garment, he is liable if he transfers it in an ordinary manner.

Whenever a man goes out wearing a piece of jewelry that hangs loosely and could easily fall and thus cause him to bring it through the public domain, and similarly, whenever a woman goes out wearing a piece of jewelry that she is likely to take off and show [to her friends], they are not liable.

Whenever an adornment that is not likely to fall, nor is it likely to be shown to others, [a woman] is permitted to go out [wearing] it. Therefore, she may go out [wearing] a bracelet that is placed on the forearm or [a garter that is placed on] the thigh if it clings tightly to the flesh and will not slip off.20 These rules apply in other similar situations.


אשה שיצאה במחט נקובה חייבת והאיש פטור. ואיש שיצא במחט שאינה נקובה חייב והאשה פטורה מפני שהיא מתכשיטיה ואינה אסורה אלא גזרה שמא תראה לחברותיה. זה הכלל כל היוצא בדבר שאינו מתכשיטיו ואינו דרך מלבוש והוציאו כדרך שמוציאין אותו דבר חייב. וכל היוצא בדבר שהוא מתכשיטיו והיה רפוי ואפשר שיפול במהרה ויבא להביאו ברשות הרבים. וכן אשה שיצאת בתכשיטין שדרכן לשלוף אותן ולהראותן הרי אלו פטורין. וכל דבר שהוא תכשיט ואינו נופל ואין דרכה להראותו הרי זה מותר לצאת בו. לפיכך אצעדה שמניחין אותה בזרוע או בשוק יוצאין בה בשבת והוא שתהיה דבוקה לבשר ולא תשמט וכן כל כיוצא בזה:


A woman should not go out with woolen strands, linen strands, or straps attached to her head lest she remove them when she immerses herself21 and carry them in the public domain.

She should not go out [wearing] a frontlet on her forehead,22 nor with bangles of gold that hang from the frontlet on her cheeks if they are not sewn together.23 Nor may [she go out wearing] a crown of gold on her head,24 nor with the ankle chains worn by maidens so that they will not take long strides and thus destroy [the signs of] their virginity.

It is forbidden to go out [wearing] any of these articles lest they fall and one carry them by hand.


לא תצא אשה בחוטי צמר או בחוטי פשתן או ברצועות הקשורות לה על ראשה שמא תחלוץ אותה בשעת טבילה ותעבירה ברשות הרבים. ולא בציץ שמנחת בין עיניה ולא בלחיים של זהב שיורדין מן הציץ על לחייה בזמן שאינן תפורין זה בזה. ולא בעטרה של זהב שמונחת בראשה. ולא בכבלים שיוצאין בהן הבנות ברגליהן כדי שלא יפסיעו פסיעה גסה שלא יפסידו בתוליהן. כל אלו אסורין לצאת בהן בשבת שמא יפלו ותביאן בידה:


A woman should not go out [wearing] a necklace,25 a nose ring,26 a flask of perfume27 attached to her forearm, a small round pouch28 in which balsam oil29 is placed, referred to as a cochellet.30

Nor should she wear a wig that will give the appearance that she has a full head of hair,31 nor a woolen pad that goes around her face,32 nor a false tooth, nor a golden crown that she places over a black tooth or a red blemish that she has on her teeth. She may go out with a silver tooth, because this is not obvious.

All these prohibitions were instituted lest {the article fall and [the woman] carry it in her hand or}33 lest she remove it and show it to a friend.


לא תצא אשה בקטלא שבצוארה ולא בנזמי האף ולא בצלוחית של פלייטון הקבועה על זרועה. ולא בכיס הקטן העגול שמניחין בו שמן הטוב והוא הנקרא כובלת. ולא בפאה של שיער שמנחת על ראשה כדי שתראה בעלת שיער הרבה. ולא בכבול של צמר שמקפת אותו סביב לפניה. ולא בשן שמנחת בפיה במקום שן שנפל. ולא בשן של זהב שמנחת על שן שחור או אדום שיש בשיניה. אבל שן של כסף מותר מפני שאינו ניכר. כל אלו אסורין לצאת בהן שמא יפלו ותביאם בידה או תחלוץ ותראה לחברותיה:


Whenever the Sages forbade wearing an item in the public domain, it is forbidden to go out [wearing] that item even in a courtyard for which there is no eruv.34 An exception is made with regard to a face pad and a wig; permission is granted to go out [wearing] them to a courtyard where there is no eruv so that [the woman] would not appear unattractive to her husband.

A woman who goes out [carrying] an empty flask with no perfume is liable.


כל שאסרו חכמים לצאת בו לרה"ר אסור לו לצאת בו אפילו בחצר שאינה מעורבת. חוץ מכבול ופאה של שיער שמותר לצאת בהן לחצר שאינה מעורבת כדי שלא תתגנה על בעלה. והיוצאת בצלוחית של פלייטון שאין בה בושם כלל חייבת:


A woman may go out [wearing] strands of hair that are attached to her head.35 Water passes through them and they are therefore not considered to be an interposing substance were she to immerse herself. [Consequently,] she will not remove them. Hence, there is no necessity to prohibit [wearing them lest she remove them] and carry them into the public domain.

This applies regardless of whether [the strands of hair were taken from] the woman's own tresses, those of another woman, or from an animal.36 An elderly woman should not, however, go out [wearing strands of hair from] a young woman, for they are becoming to her, [and we fear that] she might remove them and show them to a friend. A young woman, by contrast, may go out [wearing] strands of hair from an elderly woman.37

Any woven hair-covering may be worn.


יוצאה אשה בחוטי שיער הקשורים לה על ראשה מפני שהמים באין בהן ואינן חוצצין ואינה חולצתן אם אירע לה טבילה עד שנגזור שמא תביאם לרה"ר. בין שהיו החוטין שלה בין של חברתה בין של בהמה. ולא תצא הזקנה בשל ילדה ששבח הן לה ושמא תחלוץ ותראם לחברותיה. אבל ילדה יוצאת בחוטי זקנה. וכל שהוא ארוג יוצאת בו על ראשה:


A woman may go out [wearing] strands38 [tied around] her neck, because she does not tie them tightly,39 and they are therefore not considered to be an interposing substance [with regard to ritual immersion]. If, however, they are colored, she may not go out wearing them, lest she show them to a friend.

A woman may go out wearing a golden diadem, since these are worn only by dignified woman who are not accustomed to removing [their jewelry] and showing them to their friends.40 A woman may also go out [wearing] a frontlet on her forehead with bangles of gold [that hang from the frontlet], provided they are sewn into her head-covering so that they do not fall.41 The same applies in all similar situations.


יוצאה אשה בחוטין שבצוארה מפני שאינה חונקת עצמה בהן ואינן חוצצין. ואם היו צבועין אסורים שמא תראה אותן לחברותיה. ויוצאה אשה בכליל של זהב בראשה שאין יוצאה בו אלא אשה חשובה שאין דרכה לחלוץ ולהראות. ויוצאה בציץ ובלחיים של זהב בזמן שהן תפורין בשבכה שעל ראשה כדי שלא יפולו וכן כל כיוצא בהם:


A women may go out with wadding in her ear42 provided it is attached to her ear, with wadding in her sandal43 provided it is attached to her sandal, and with wadding for her menstrual discharge44 even though it is not attached. [The latter rule applies] even if it has a handle. Since it is repulsive, even if it falls, she would not carry it.


יוצאה אשה במוך שבאזנה והוא שיהיה קשור באזנה. ובמוך שבסנדלה והוא שיהיה קשור בסנדלה. ובמוך שהתקינה לנדתה ואע"פ שאינו קשור ואפילו עשתה לו בית יד שאם נפל אינה מביאה אותו מפני מאיסותו:


She may go out with pepper, a grain of salt, or any other substance that is placed in the mouth [to prevent] bad breath. She should not, however, place these substances in her mouth on the Sabbath itself.45

Women may go out [wearing] slivers of wood in their ears,46 or with bells47 on their necks or garments, and with a cloak fastened with a make-shift button.48

Indeed, a woman may fasten her cloak in this manner using a stone or a nut49 on the Sabbath and go out, provided she does not [use this leniency as] a ruse and use a nut for this purpose in order to bring it to her young son. Similarly, she should not fasten her cloak in this manner using a coin,50 for it is forbidden to carry it. If her cloak was fastened [using a coin],51 she may go out wearing it.


ויוצאה בפלפל ובגרגיר מלח ובכל דבר שתתן לתוך פיה מפני ריח הפה. ולא תתן לכתחלה בשבת. יוצאות הנשים בקיסמין שבאזניהן וברעלות שבצוארן או שבכסותן וברדיד הפרוף ופורפת בתחלה בשבת על האבן ועל האגוז ויוצאה. ולא תערים ותפרוף על האגוז כדי להוציאו לבנה הקטן. וכן לא תפרוף על המטבע לכתחילה מפני שאסור לטלטלו ואם פרפה יוצאה בו:


A man may go out to the public domain with a sliver of wood in his teeth52 or in his sandal. If, however, it falls, he should not put it back. [He may go out with] wadding or a sponge over a wound,53 provided he does not wind a cord or a string over them. [The latter restriction applies] because he considers the cord or the string as important and they do not assist [the healing of] the wound.54

[He may go out with] a garlic peel or an onion peel on a wound, and with a bandage on a wound. He may open and close [the bandage] on the Sabbath. [He may go out with] a compress, a plaster, or a dressing on a wound. [Similarly, one may go out with] a sela55 on a footsore, a locust's egg,56 a fox's tooth,57 a nail from a gallows,58 and any other entity that is hung on a person's body to [bring] a cure, provided that physicians say that it is effective.59


יוצא אדם בקיסם שבשיניו ושבסנדלו לרה"ר ואם נפל לא יחזיר. ובמוך ובספוג שעל גבי המכה ובלבד שלא יכרוך עליהן חוט או משיחה שהרי החוט והמשיחה חשובין אצלו ואינם מועילין למכה. ויוצא בקליפת השום ובקליפת הבצל שעל המכה ובאגד שעל גבי מכה וקושרו ומתירו בשבת. ובאספלנית ומלוגמא ורטייה שעל גבי המכה ובסלע שעל הצינית ובביצת החרגול ובשן השועל ובמסמר הצלוב. ובכל דבר שתולין אותו משום רפואה והוא שיאמרו הרופאים שהוא מועיל:


[A woman] may go out with a tekumah60 stone or with the weight of a tekumah stone61, which was weighed [and carried] with the intent that it serve as a remedy. This applies not only to a pregnant woman, but to all women, [as a safeguard] lest they become pregnant and miscarry.

One may go out [wearing] an amulet that has proven its efficacy. What is an amulet that has proven its efficacy? [An amulet] that has cured three individuals62 or that was prepared by an individual who cured three people with other amulets. If a person goes out wearing an amulet that has not proved its efficacy, he is not liable.63 [The rationale:] he carried it out as a garment.64Similarly, a person who goes out [wearing] tefillin is not liable.65


יוצאת האשה באבן תקומה ובמשקל אבן תקומה שנתכוין ושקלו לרפואה. ולא אשה עוברה בלבד אלא אפילו שאר הנשים שמא תתעבר ותפיל. ויוצאין בקמיע מומחה. ואי זה הוא קמיע מומחה זה שריפא לשלשה בני אדם או שעשהו אדם שריפא שלשה בני אדם בקמיעין אחרים. ואם יצא בקמיע שאינו מומחה פטור. מפני שהוציאו דרך מלבוש. וכן היוצא בתפילין פטור:


A person who has a wound on his foot may go out [wearing] one sandal on his healthy foot. If, however, a person does not have a wound on his foot, he may not go out [wearing] a single sandal.66

A child67 should not go out [wearing] the sandals of an adult.68 He may, however, go out [wearing] the cloak of an adult. A woman should not go out [on the Sabbath], [wearing] a loose-fitting sandal,69 nor [wearing] a new sandal that she did not wear for even a short period of time before [the commencement of the Sabbath].70

A one-legged man may not go out [wearing] his wooden leg. We may not go out [wearing] wooden shoes,71 because it is not the ordinary practice to wear them. If, however, one goes out [wearing] them, he is not liable.72


מי שיש ברגלו מכה יוצא בסנדל יחידי ברגלו הבריאה. ואם אין ברגלו מכה לא יצא בסנדל יחיד. ולא יצא הקטן במנעל גדול אבל יוצא הוא בחלוק גדול. ולא תצא אשה במנעל רפוי ולא במנעל חדש שלא יצאה בו שעה אחת מבעוד יום. ואין הקיטע יוצא בקב שלו. אנקטמין של עץ אין יוצאין בהן בשבת מפני שאינן מדרכי המלבוש ואם יצאו פטורין:


[A man] may go out [wearing] tufts of flax or a woolen wig worn by men with sores on their heads.73 When does this apply? When he colored them with oil and wound them,74 or he went out [wearing] them [at least] momentarily75 before the commencement of the Sabbath. If, however, he did not perform a deed [that indicated his desire to use these articles], nor did he go out [wearing] them before the Sabbath, it is forbidden for him to go out [wearing] them.


יוצאין בפקריון ובציפה שבראשי בעלי חטטין. אימתי בזמן שצבען בשמן וכרכן או שיצא בהן שעה אחת מבעוד יום. אבל אם לא עשה בהן מעשה ולא יצא בהן קודם השבת אסור לצאת בהן:


We may go out [wearing] coarse sackcloth, tent-cloth,76a thick woolen blanket,77 or a coarse wrap78 [as protection] against rain.79 We may not, however, go out [wearing] a chest, a container, or a mat, [as protection] against the rain.80

When a pillow and a blanket are soft and thin as garments are, one may go out [wearing] them as a wrap on one's head on the Sabbath. When they are firm, they are considered to be burdens and it is forbidden.


יוצאין בשק עבה וביריעה ובסגוס עבה ובחמילה מפני הגשמים. אבל לא בתיבה ולא בקופה ולא במחצלת מפני הגשמים. הכר והכסת אם היו רכין ודקין כמו הבגדים מותר להוציאן מונחין על ראשו בשבת דרך מלבוש. ואם היו קשין הרי הן כמשאוי ואסורין:


We may go out with bells woven81 into our clothes.82 A servant83 may go out [wearing] a clay seal84 around his neck,85 but not with a metal seal, lest it fall and he carry it.

[The following rules apply when] a person wraps himself in a tallit86 and folds it, either [holding the folds] in his hand, or [placing them] on his shoulder: If his intent is that [the ends of the garment] should not tear or become soiled, it is forbidden.87 If his intent is for the sake of fashion, since this is the style in which people of his locale wear their clothes, it is permitted.


יוצאין בזוגין הארוגין בבגדים. ויוצא העבד בחותם של טיט שבצוארו אבל לא בחותם של מתכת שמא יפול ויביאנו. המתעטף בטליתו וקיפלה מכאן ומכאן בידו או על כתיפו אם נתכון לקבץ כנפיו כדי שלא יקרעו או שלא יתלכלכו אסור. ואם קבצן להתנאות בהן כמנהג אנשי המקום במלבושן מותר:


A person who goes out [to the public domain] with a garment that is folded and placed on his shoulders is liable. He may, however, go out with a wrap [folded] around his shoulders even though a thread is not tied to his fingers.88

Whenever a wrap does not cover [a person's] head and the majority of his body,89 he is forbidden to go out [wearing it]. A cloth that is worn as a head covering90 that is short and not wide should be tied below one's shoulders. Thus, it will serve as a belt and one will be permitted to go out [wearing] it.


היוצא בטלית מקופלת ומונחת על כתיפו חייב. אבל יוצא הוא בסודר שעל כתיפו אע"פ שאין נימא קשורה לו באצבעו. וכל סודר שאינו חופה ראשו ורובו אסור לצאת בו. היתה סכנית קצרה שאינה רחבה קושר שני ראשיה למטה מכתפים ונמצאת כמו אבנט ומותר לצאת בה:


It is permitted to wrap oneself in a tallit91 that has unwoven strands92 at its edges, even though they are long and do not enhance the appearance of the tallit, because they are considered to be subsidiary to it. The person [wearing the tallit] does not care whether they exist or not.93

Based on the above, a person who goes out [wearing] a tallit whose tzitzit are not halachically acceptable is liable. For these strands are important to him and he is concerned with completing what they are lacking, so that they can be considered to be tzitzit.94

When, however, the tzitzit are halachically acceptable, it is permitted to go out [wearing this garment] during the day and during the night.95 Tzitzit that are halachically acceptable are not considered to be a burden, but rather to be an article that enhances the garment and beautifies it. Were the strands of tzitzit that are halachically acceptable to be considered a burden, one would be liable [for wearing such a garment] even on the Sabbath day, since a positive commandment [whose negation] is not [punishable by] karet does not supersede the Sabbath [prohibitions].96


מותר להתעטף בטלית שיש בשפתותיה מלל אע"פ שהן חוטין ארוכין ואע"פ שאינן נוי הטלית מפני שהן בטלים לגבי הטלית ואינו מקפיד עליהן בין היו בין לא היו. לפיכך היוצא בטלית שאינה מצוייצת כהלכתה חייב מפני שאותן החוטין חשובין הן אצלו ודעתו עליהן עד שישלים חסרונן ויעשו ציצית. אבל טלית המצוייצת כהלכתה מותר לצאת בה בין ביום בין בלילה. שאין הציצית הגמורה משאוי אלא הרי היא מנוי הבגד ומתכסיסיו כמו האימרא וכיוצא בה. ואילו היו חוטי הציצית שהיא מצוייצת כהלכתה משאוי היה חייב היוצא בה אפילו ביום השבת שאין מצות עשה שאין בה כרת דוחה שבת:


A tailor should not go out on the Sabbath with a needle stuck into his clothes, nor a carpenter with a sliver of wood behind his ear,97 nor a weaver with wool in his ear, nor a carder of flax with a string around his neck, nor a money-changer with a dinar in his ear, nor a dyer with a sample in his ear.

If one [of these individuals] goes out [wearing such an article], he is not liable. Although this is the usual practice for artisans of this craft, [he is not liable,] because he is not considered to have transferred the article in an ordinary manner.98


לא יצא החייט בשבת במחט התחובה לו בבגדו. ולא נגר בקיסם שבאזנו. ולא גרדי באירא שבאזנו. ולא סורק במשיכה שבאזנו ולא שולחני בדינר שבצוארו. ולא צבע בדוגמא שבאזנו ואם יצא פטור ואע"פ שיצא דרך אומנתו מפני שלא הוציא כדרך המוציאין:


A zav99 who goes out with his receptacle is liable, for this is the only way this receptacle is transferred. [He is liable] although he has no need to take out [the receptacle] itself; [he needs it] only to prevent his clothes from being soiled.100 For a person who performs a labor is liable even when he has no need for the actual labor he performed.101


הזב שיצא בכיס שלו חייב מפני שאין דרך כיס זה להוציאו אלא כדרך הזאת ואף על פי שאינו צריך לגוף ההוצאה אלא כדי שלא יתלכלכו בגדיו שהמלאכה שאינה צריכה לגופה חייב עליה:


What should a man102 do when he finds tefillin in the public domain on the Sabbath?103 He should wear them in the ordinary fashion, placing the head tefillin on his head and the arm tefillin on his arm, enter a home and remove them there. Afterwards, he should go out, return, put on a second pair, [return to the home,] remove them, and [continue this pattern] until he brings in all [the tefillin].

If there were many pairs of tefillin and there was not enough time to bring them in during the time by wearing them as garments, he should remain [watching] them until [after] nightfall, and bring them in on Saturday night.104 In a time of oppressive decrees,105 when one might fear to linger and watch them until the evening because of the gentiles, he should cover them where they are located, leave them, and proceed [on his way].


המוצא תפילין בשבת ברשות הרבים כיצד הוא עושה לובשן כדרכן מניח של יד בידו של ראש בראשו ונכנס וחולצן בבית וחוזר ויוצא ולובש זוג שני וחולצן עד שיכניס את כולן. ואם היו הרבה ולא נשאר מן היום כדי להכניסן דרך מלבוש הרי זה מחשיך עליהם ומכניסן במוצאי שבת. ואם היה בימי הגזרה שמתירא לישב ולשומרן עד הערב מפני הכותים מכסן במקומן ומניחן והולך:


Should he be afraid to wait until after nightfall because of thieves, he should take the entire group at once and carry them less than four cubits at a time, or he should give them to a colleague [standing within four cubits], who in turn will give them to another colleague106 until they reach the courtyard at the extremity of the city.107

When does the above apply? When they are found together with their straps that are tied with the knots with which tefillin are tied, since then they are surely tefillin. If, however, their straps are not tied, one should not pay attention to them.108


היה מתיירא להחשיך עליהן מפני הליסטים נוטל את כולן כאחת ומוליכן פחות פחות מארבע אמות או נותנן לחבירו בתוך ארבע אמות וחבירו לחבירו עד שמגיע לחצר החיצונה. במה דברים אמורים בשהיו בהן רצועותיהן והן מקושרין קשר של תפילין שודאי תפילין הן אבל אם לא היו רצועותיהן מקושרות אינו נזקק להן:


A person who finds a Torah scroll should linger and watch it until after nightfall.109 In a time of danger, he may leave it110 and go on his way. If rain is descending, one should wrap himself in the parchment,111 cover it [with one's outer garments], and enter [a home] with it.


המוצא ספר תורה יושב ומשמרו ומחשיך עליו. ובסכנה מניחו והולך לו. ואם היו גשמים יורדין מתעטף בעור וחוזר ומכסה אותו ונכנס בו:


On Friday, shortly before nightfall, a tailor should not go carrying a needle in his hand,112 nor should a scribe [go out carrying] his pen, lest he forget and transfer it on the Sabbath.

A person is obligated to check his clothes on Friday before nightfall, lest he forget something in them and [inadvertently] transfer it on the Sabbath.

It is permissible to go out wearing tefillin on Friday shortly before sunset. Since a person is obligated to touch his tefillin at all times,113 there is no possibility that he will forget them. If a person forgets and goes out to the public domain [wearing] tefillin,114 [when] he remembers the tefillin on his head, he should cover his head115 until he reaches his home or the house of study.


לא יצא החייט במחטו בידו ולא הלבלר בקולמוסו ערב שבת סמוך לחשיכה שמא ישכח ויוציא. וחייב אדם למשמש בבגדו ערב שבת עם חשיכה שמא יהיה שם דבר שכוח ויצא בו בשבת. מותר לצאת בתפילין ערב שבת עם חשיכה הואיל וחייב אדם למשמש בתפיליו בכל עת אינו שוכחן. שכח ויצא בהן לרשות הרבים ונזכר שיש לו תפילין בראשו מכסה את ראשו עד שמגיע לביתו או לבית המדרש


I.e., this prohibition applies to all weaponry. As the Rambam continues, there are instances where carrying such weaponry violates a Torah prohibition, and other instances where the prohibition is Rabbinic in origin.

This chapter represents a turning point in the structure of this text. From the middle of Chapter 12 onward, the Rambam has delineated the various factors involved in the forbidden labor of transferring articles from one domain to another. In this halachah, he begins speaking of the Rabbinic safeguards associated with this forbidden labor.


Our translation is based on the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Shabbat 6:2).


Even when hanging from one's garments - e.g., a sword in a scabbard attached to one's belt.


Our translation is based on the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Shabbat 6:4). Rashi (Shabbat 63a) renders this term as "a mace."


The Rambam's ruling is based on Shabbat 63a, which mentions a difference of opinion between the Sages and Rabbi Eliezer. Our Sages rule that one is liable, while Rabbi Eliezer differs and states that one is not liable for carrying weapons, for they are ornaments, like jewelry.

Our Sages support their position by quoting Isaiah's (2:4) prophecy of the Era of the Redemption, "And they shall beat their swords into plowshares.... Nation shall not lift up sword against nation...." Since weaponry will be nullified in that era of ultimate fulfillment, it is a sign that it is not a true and genuine ornament.

The Lechem Mishneh (in his gloss on Hilchot Teshuvah 8:7) notes that there is a slight difficulty with the Rambam's ruling. The Talmud associates the opinion of the Sages (which the Rambam accepts) with the conception that Mashiach's coming will initiate a miraculous world order, and Rabbi Eliezer's ruling with the opinion of Shemuel that "there is no difference between the present era and the Messianic era except [for the emancipation from] the dominion of [gentile] powers." In Hilchot Teshuvah 9:2, and more explicitly in Hilchot Melachim 12:1-2, the Rambam explains Shmuel's position, stating:

One should not entertain the thought that in the Messianic era any element of the natural order will be nullified, or that there will be an innovation in the order of creation. On the contrary, the world will continue according to its pattern.

Nevertheless, this approach does not necessarily contradict the Rambam's rulings here. The Rambam also maintains that war will be nullified in the Messianic era, as he writes (loc. cit. 12:5): "In that era, there will be neither famine nor war, neither envy nor competition." Nevertheless, its nullification will not come because of miracles that defy the natural order, but because of the reasons he continues to mention in that halachah - that "good will flow in abundance" and "'the world will be filled with the knowledge of God' (Isaiah 11:9)."


The Ritba (in his gloss on Shabbat 60a) states that these nails were used to fasten the soles of the sandals to the upper portion.

In his Commentary on the Mishnah [Shabbat 6:2 (based on Shabbat, loc. cit., and Beitzah 14b)], the Rambam explains that in an era of religious oppression, many Jews gathered together for prayer and study in a hidden place. When they heard a noise outside, they suspected that they had been discovered by their enemies and panicked. In the confusion, hundreds were crushed by these nailed sandals.


Since these are days of public assembly, our Sages felt that wearing these sandals would arouse disturbing memories of the abovementioned incident.

There is a question whether the prohibitions against wearing such sandals apply at present despite the fact that our nailed sandals are made differently from those of Talmudic times. Rabbenu Yitzchak Alfasi quotes this prohibition in his Halachot. Since he mentions only those laws that are relevant in the post-Talmudic era, this inclusion would seem to imply that the prohibition should be followed now as well. Rabbenu Asher differs. Significantly, Rav Yosef Karo does not mention this prohibition in his Shulchan Aruch, nor does the Ramah refer to it in his gloss on that text.


This reason, that perhaps an article will fall and be carried in the public domain, is mentioned several times throughout this chapter and is relevant to both men and women.


As reflected by Esther 3:10 and other sources, in Biblical and Talmudic times men wore signet rings, using the seal to authorize their approval of documents.


The commentaries draw attention to a problematic statement in the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Shabbat 6:1), where he states that a ring without a seal is somewhat like, but not exactly, a piece of jewelry for women.


Since these rings are not considered to be jewelry for these individuals, they are considered to be carrying them in the public domain.


As mentioned in Chapter 12, Halachot 12-14, a person is liable for transferring an article only when he does so in an ordinary fashion.


This point is mentioned several times in this chapter as a rationale for restrictions governing women's wearing jewelry in the public domain.


Although all Talmudic authorities prohibit women from wearing jewelry in public on the Sabbath, from the era of the Geonim onward, and particularly in the Ashkenazic community, it has become customary for women to do so. Among the rationales offered by the Rabbis (Tosafot, Shabbat 64b; Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 303:18) for this leniency are:

a) Today, there is no concept of a true public domain, for there are no places through which 600,000 people pass at one time. Since the restrictions against carrying in a carmelit are only safeguards against carrying in a public domain, it would be improper to impose a safeguard against carrying in a carmelit, for a safeguard is not instituted to protect a safeguard.

[There are several difficulties with this rationale: Firstly, many Rishonim (including the Rambam) do not accept this principle. Furthermore, today many large metropolises are a public domain according to all views.]

b) The socio-economic climate of the age has changed. In the Talmudic period, most women did not have jewelry, nor did they see their friends that often, nor did they have private places in which to socialize. Therefore, there was reason for the concern that jewelry would be taken off and displayed in the public domain. When the above mentioned conditions changed, this suspicion no longer applied, and there was no reason for this stringency.


Indeed, our Sages never imposed any restrictions on men's carrying in the public domain for this reason.


Since it has an eye, it is used as a needle for sewing, and therefore is not considered an ornament. Women are liable for transferring them on the Sabbath, because they frequently sew, and often carry needles by sticking them in their clothes. Hence, they are considered to have carried the needle in an ordinary manner.


With the exception of a tailor, a man is not liable for carrying a needle stuck in his clothes on the Sabbath, since this is not the ordinary way in which these items are carried.

Our explanation in this and the previous note follows the interpretation of Rabbenu Avraham, the Rambam's son (Birkat Avraham 16). It must be emphasized that the Rambam's rulings in Halachah 21 present a difficulty to this explanation. Rav Kapach offers a resolution to this difficulty by explaining that Halachah 20 refers to a needle which is a symbol of the tailor's trade. Wearing it is not considered to be transferring an article in the ordinary manner. In contrast, the present halachah refers to a functional needle that is carried in a craftsman's garment from time to time.

Significantly, Rashi and other Rishonim interpret Shabbat 62a, the source for this halachah, differently. Their views are given greater emphasis by the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 301:8).


Since it is not a piece of jewelry for him.


Shabbat 60a relates that ordinarily these pins would have a gold plate attached to them. The pointed end of the pin would be stuck into her head-covering, and the plate would hang down over her forehead.


Our translation is based on the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Shabbat 6:4). As mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 303:15), there are authorities who forbid the wearing of forearm bracelets.


These threads are tied to the woman's hair. Accordingly, they would be considered to be a חציצה, "intervening substance," and would have to be removed before immersion (see Hilchot Mikvaot 1:12, 2:5). The suspicion is that afterwards, they would be carried in the public domain.


In his Commentary on the Mishnah [Shabbat 6:1 (based on Shabbat 57b), the Rambam describes this as a gold plate extending on the forehead from ear to ear.


In his Commentary on the Mishnah [loc. cit. (according to Rav Kapach's translation), which is based on Shabbat 57b], the Rambam adds "and are sewn into her head-covering." Since a woman is not likely to remove her head-covering entirely when her jewelry is sewn into it, we do not suspect that she will take it off and show it to her friends in the public domain. (See Halachah 10.)

This interpretation (which resolves the question the Ra'avad raises in his gloss on this halachah and which reflects the interpretation of our Sages, Shabbat 57b) presents difficulties, because of the Rambam's final clause, "It is forbidden to go out [wearing] any of these articles, lest they fall and one carry them by hand." Note the commentaries of the Merkevet HaMishneh and the Seder HaMishneh, who address themselves to this difficulty.


A golden crown engraved with an impression of the city of Jerusalem.


In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Shabbat 6:1), the Rambam interprets this as a necklace with golden beads. Rashi (Shabbat 57b, 59b) interprets this as referring to a golden choker necklace. (See the notes on Halachah 4 regarding the Rabbinic opinions regarding wearing jewelry at present.)


Significantly, even in Talmudic times earrings were permitted. Rashi explains that this leniency was granted because earrings are difficult to remove. The Ramah (Orach Chayim 303:8) offers a different rationale: that a woman's head covering would cover her ears as well. Hence, there is no need to worry about her showing the earrings to her friends.


In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Shabbat 6:3), the Rambam mentions that musk would usually be carried.


In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Shabbat, loc. cit.), the Rambam mentions that this pouch was also attractive, being made of gold or silver.


Balsam oil is renowned for its pleasant fragrance.


Significantly, our text of the Mishnah states kovellet, replacing the כ with a ב. The meaning of the term, however, does not change.


This refers to attractive hair glued to a thin surface and placed on a woman's head (Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah, Shabbat 6:5).

Needless to say, in addition to the more inclusive leniencies involving jewelry in general, the nature of wigs and false teeth are different today. Therefore, there is no difficulty in wearing these items in the public domain.


This pad was placed on a woman's forehead beneath the frontlet of gold (Shabbat 57b) in a manner similar to the woolen pad that the High Priest would wear under his forehead plate (Chulin 138a). Apparently this pad was also attractive and could serve as an ornament in its own right.


This clause is set off by braces, because based on manuscript copies of the Mishneh Torah and early printings, it appears to be a printer's addition and not part of the Rambam's original text. According to the Rambam, this suspicion is not relevant with regard to these particular articles.


Although the prohibition against carrying in such a courtyard is Rabbinic in origin and there is no possibility of transgressing a Torah prohibition, our Sages imposed the restrictions against carrying there as well. The Maggid Mishneh explains that this is not considered as instituting "a safeguard for a safeguard." Were women allowed to wear these adornments in a courtyard, they would most likely inadvertently proceed into the public domain while wearing them.

The Maggid Mishneh also explains that according to the Rambam, there appears to be no prohibition against women wearing such articles at home. We do not suspect that they will inadvertently go outside while wearing them. Other Rishonim (the Ramban and the Rashba) differ and prohibit wearing ornaments even in one's home. As mentioned above, however, at present it is customary to adopt a more lenient approach regarding the entire issue of wearing jewelry.


In contrast to the strands of wool or linen mentioned in Halachah 6. As the Rambam continues to explain, the reasons the Sages forbade wearing strands from other fabrics do not apply in this instance.


See Shabbat 64b for an explanation why it is necessary to mention all three instances.


Based on an alternate interpretation [or perhaps an alternate version] of Shabbat 64b, Rabbenu Asher and others differ and also forbid a young woman from wearing strands of hair from an elderly woman.


Even of wool and linen. As the Rambam continues to explain, the reasons why it was forbidden to wear strands of these fabrics tied to one's hair do not apply in this instance.


It is, however, forbidden for a woman to wear a choker necklace (Maggid Mishneh).


This ruling serves as the basis for some of the lenient opinions mentioned in the notes on Halachah 4, which allow women to wear jewelry in the public domain at present. All our women are dignified and are not accustomed to removing their jewelry and showing it to their friends.


See Halachah 6 and notes.


To absorb the fluids it produces (Rashi, Shabbat 64b).


To make walking more comfortable (ibid.).


As reflected by the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 301:13), this applies only when the woman's intent is that the blood from the discharge will not cause her discomfort when it dries. If her intent is to prevent the discharge from soiling her clothes, it is forbidden. See Halachah 22.


I.e., if a woman had such a substance in her mouth before the Sabbath, she may continue holding it in her mouth on the Sabbath. She may not, however, place these substances in her mouth on the Sabbath itself, nor may she return such a substance to her mouth if it falls out.

Based on Chapter 21, Halachah 24, it appears that the restrictions on placing a substance in one's mouth on the Sabbath to prevent bad breath apply only when one will continue carrying those substances in one's mouth outside.


So that the holes in their pierced ears will not close (Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah, Shabbat 6:6).


Our translation is based on the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah, ibid. Rashi (Shabbat 65a) and others translate רעולות as "veiled." See the notes on Halachah 18, which discuss the laws regarding wearing bells on the Sabbath.


Jewish women living in Media would wear a coat with a strap in one of its upper corners. They would place a stone, nut, coin, or the like under the cloak to serve as a makeshift button. The strap would be looped around this button to fasten the cloak closed (Rashi, loc. cit.).


The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 303:22) emphasizes that a stone must be set aside for this purpose before the commencement of the Sabbath. Otherwise, it is muktzeh and is forbidden to be moved.


Even if a coin was set aside for this purpose before the Sabbath, it is still considered to be muktzeh (Shulchan Aruch, loc. cit.).


Before the commencement of the Sabbath (Shulchan Aruch, loc. cit.).


A toothpick.


We are permitted to wear any entity that heals the body on the Sabbath. Such articles are not considered to be a burden, but a garment or jewelry. In Chapter 21, Halachot 26-27, the Rambam discusses whether it is permissible to place wadding or bandages on a wound on the Sabbath.


These restrictions do not apply to a rag, because it is inconsequential. Since a cord or a string is considered somewhat important, it is not considered to be subsidiary to the bandage. Hence, the person is considered to be carrying them in the public domain.


A coin from the Talmudic period.


A cure for weak thighs (Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah, Shabbat 6:10).


A cure for both insomnia and hyperactivity (ibid.).


A cure for continuous high fever (ibid.).


This halachah is very problematic for the Rambam. As explained at length in Hilchot Avodat Kochavim, Chapter 11, the Rambam maintains that all occult arts and superstitious practices are not only prohibited, but are absolute nonsense. It would appear that the latter cures mentioned are surely not practical medical advice, but rather a charm stemming from folklore (and perhaps pagan folklore). Indeed, for the latter reason, Rabbi Meir (according to the Rambam's text of Shabbat 6:10, our version states "the Sages") forbids the use of these practices even during the week.

The Radbaz (Vol. V, Responsum 1436) compounds our difficulty in understanding the Rambam's view, citing the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Yoma 8:4), which states:

We do not transgress a commandment except for the purpose of healing, [using] an entity that both logic and experience say is necessary, but not to heal through charms, for these are weak matters that have no logical support, nor has experience proven them.

The Radbaz, therefore, maintains that the Rambam is describing a situation where these articles are worn as pendants. Hence, they can be considered equivalent to pieces of jewelry. (See the following halachah with regard to an amulet that has not proved its efficacy.) If, however, they are carried by hand, it is forbidden to go out to the public domain with them on the Sabbath. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 301:27) does not make such a stipulation and quotes the Rambam's words in this halachah without emendation.


A stone worn by a woman to prevent a miscarriage (Rashi, Shabbat 66b).


A weight equivalent to that of the tekumah stone, which is purported to have a similar positive effect (ibid.).


The Maggid Mishneh states that, in contrast to Rashi's view, according to the Rambam, an amulet that healed one person three times is not considered to have proved its efficacy.


At the outset, however, one is forbidden to go out wearing such an amulet.


I.e., the amulet is considered to be an ornament, like a piece of jewelry.


There is no obligation to wear tefillin on the Sabbath, and we are therefore forbidden to wear them in most circumstances. (See Halachah 23 with regard to the exceptions.) Nevertheless, since they are worn as a garment, a person is not liable for wearing them.


Rashi (Shabbat 60a) gives two rationales for this ruling:

a) The Jerusalem Talmud states that a person who wears only one shoe will be suspected of carrying the other in his cloak.

b) Wearing one shoe may arouse the attention of others and cause them to mock him. We fear that in such a situation the person will remove the sandal that he is wearing and carry it.

It is questionable whether the Rambam accepts the latter rationale. Although Rashi suggests that it applies with regard to several of the items mentioned in the previous halachot, the Rambam does not mention it - neither in this chapter nor in his Commentary on the Mishnah.


This is the simple interpretation of the word קטן. Note, however, the commentary of Rashi on Shabbat 141b, where he interprets the term as referring to a small adult. Since the obligation of a child is Rabbinic in origin, the Sages would not enforce any further safeguards on his conduct.


The rationale is that the sandal may fall off and the child might carry it in the public domain.


Rashi interprets the Talmud (loc. cit.) as referring to a torn sandal.


Lest the sandal prove uncomfortable and the woman carry it.


Our translation is based on the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Shabbat 6:8). Shabbat 66b offers three different Aramaic interpretations of this term. These interpretations, in turn, are understood differently by the later commentaries.

In the above source, the Rambam states that since it is uncomfortable to walk in wooden shoes, they are not considered to be garments.


For he did not transfer them in an ordinary manner (Merkevet HaMishneh).


This reflects a fusion of the interpretation by Rav Hai Gaon (and Tosafot) of Shabbat 50a, which understands these substances to be makeshift wigs to cover baldness, and that of Rashi, who explains that these terms refer to wool that is placed on wounds.


I.e., he performed a deed that indicates that he desires to use the wool as a wig.


If he wore the wool as a wig once before the Sabbath, this indicates that he is willing to use it for this purpose. Otherwise, since most people would not wear a wig of this nature, it is forbidden to wear it on the Sabbath because it is muktzeh (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 301:62).


The source for this halachah is Nedarim 55b. In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Nedarim 7:3), the Rambam defines this term as "coarsely woven material that is not sown."


Our translation is taken from Rav Kapach's translation of the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Oholot 11:3).


In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Nedarim 7:3), the Rambam defines this term as "a wrap made from an extremely coarse and thick fabric... used for protection from rain."


Although these are not proper garments, since they resemble clothing and are useful in protecting one against the rain, they may be worn.


In this instance, although the person is seeking protection from the rain, since these are not garments, he is considered to be carrying a burden (Rashi Nedarim, loc. cit.).


If, however, the bells are not woven into the garment, there are restrictions against wearing them, lest they become severed and the person carry them in the public domain. (See Shulchan Aruch HaRav 301:21, Mishnah Berurah 301:80.)


Note the Ramah (Orach Chayim 301:23), who states that this leniency applies only to bells whose clappers have been removed. Otherwise, it is forbidden to wear them, for jingling a bell is forbidden on the Sabbath.


This refers to an eved Cana'ani - i.e., a servant who has been circumcised and has been immersed in the mikveh, and who has accepted the observance of the Torah's laws. Such a servant is obligated to fulfill all the mitzvot incumbent on a woman (Chaggigah 4a). (See Hilchot Issurei Bi'ah 12:11, 13:18.)


A seal of identification, indicating to whom he belongs. The seal is permitted because it resembles a piece of jewelry. In contrast to a metal seal, the servant is allowed to go out wearing a clay seal, since were it to fall, it would break and would be worthless.


But not hanging from his clothes (Maggid Mishneh).


The intent here is not necessarily a prayer shawl, but also a garment worn for mundane purposes as well. We have, nevertheless, merely transliterated the Hebrew term rather than translate it as "garment," to indicate the type of clothing that is under discussion. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 301:31) specifically states that this restriction does not apply to contemporary garments, because they are of a different type.

Shulchan Aruch HaRav 301:36 and the Mishnah Berurah 301:117 emphasize that even the garments worn at present should not be lifted up extremely high.


The Kessef Mishneh notes that the Rambam does not state that the person is liable, for the prohibition is Rabbinic in origin.


Rashi (Shabbat 147a) explains that tying the string around one's finger will prevent the wrap from falling. We do not fear that the wrap will fall and the person will carry it in the public domain.

The commentaries explain that in contrast to the garment mentioned in the first clause, since it is customary to wear a wrap folded, there is no difficulty in wearing it in this manner on the Sabbath. Nevertheless, in light of the final clause, they require that the wrap be large enough to cover one's head and the majority of one's body.

Although there are more stringent opinions, the Shulchan Aruch HaRav 301:37 and the Mishnah Berurah 301:115 permit the wearing of scarfs that are not this large if it is accepted practice in a community to wear such garments.


The Maggid Mishneh and the Kessef Mishneh explain that this clause refers to a passage from Shabbat 147b which describes a wrap worn by women after a bath.


Our translation is based on Rashi, Shabbat 147b. Rav Kapach suggests a different version of that text. Since this cloth is not large enough to cover the person's head and the majority of his body, the only way it may be worn is when one ties it as a belt.


This does not refer to a tallit used for prayer, but rather to an ordinary shawl that resembles such a garment.


See the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Keilim 29:1).


Since they are of no consequence to the person whatsoever, they have no halachic importance either. It is as if they did not exist at all. If, however, the person was disturbed by their presence, it would be forbidden.


Since the tzitzit are important to the person, they are not considered to be subsidiary to the garment. Hence, wearing a garment to which they are attached is considered to be carrying a burden.


The Rambam elaborates slightly in this instance to negate the opinion of Rabbenu Yitzchak Alfasi, who maintains that it is forbidden to wear tzitzit on Friday night. He explains that since one does not fulfill a mitzvah by wearing tzitzit at night, and yet the tzitzit are important, wearing a garment to which they are attached is equivalent to carrying a burden on the Sabbath.

The Rambam does not accept this rationale, explaining that since the tzitzit are halachically acceptable, they are considered to be an adornment of the garment even when a mitzvah is not fulfilled by wearing them. In one of his responsa, the Rambam deals with this issue at length.

In this context, note Shulchan Aruch HaRav 301:45, which states that this applies to a man, but not to a woman. For a woman, tzitzit are always considered a burden on the Sabbath. Note, however, the Mishnah Berurah, which cites differing views.


The commentaries note a slight difficulty with the Rambam's statements. Although there are only two positive commandments whose observance supersedes the Sabbath prohibitions - circumcision and the offering of the Paschal sacrifice - it is because of a specific divine decree and not because of the fact that they are punishable by karet that these mitzvot supersede the Sabbath laws.


Used by a carpenter to see if the different pieces of wood are level (Rashi, Shabbat 11b). This and all the other items mentioned are symbols that the various artisans would wear so that people could identify their professions.


I.e., since it is not the ordinary practice for most people to carry an article in this fashion, the fact that certain people do carry in this manner is not significant.

It must be noted that this ruling (which follows the opinion of Rabbi Meir, Shabbat 11b) appears to contradict the explanation given by Rabbenu Avraham, the Rambam's son, to Halachah 5. (See the notes on that halachah.)


A man with a discharge from his sexual organ resembling that resulting from venereal disease. (See Leviticus, chapter 15; Hilchot Mechusarei Kapparah, chapter 2.)


As mentioned in the notes on Halachah 11, it is forbidden to wear an article merely to prevent one's clothes from being soiled.


See Chapter 1, Halachah 7.


We have used the word "man" in consideration of the ruling of the Magen Avraham 301:53, who states that for a woman, tefillin are always considered to be a burden. (See the Mishnah Berurah 301:158, which cites a differing opinion.


Halachah 14 states that a person who wears tefillin is not liable - i.e., since tefillin are worn as a garment, he is exempt. Nevertheless, the Rabbis forbade wearing tefillin, because there is no mitzvah to do so on the Sabbath. They did not, however, apply this prohibition in this instance out of reverence for the sacred articles. Were the tefillin to be left there, they might be treated with disrespect.

The Sha'agat Aryeh (Responsum 41) questions the Rambam's ruling, because - as reflected by Hilchot Tefillin 4:11 - the Rambam maintains that there is a prohibition from the Torah against putting on tefillin when there is no obligation to do so. He resolves that difficulty by stating that the prohibition applies only when one puts them on at an improper time, with the intent of fulfilling a mitzvah. If that is not one's intent, there is no prohibition.


Since he will not have time to bring them in until after nightfall, it is preferable to stay there and protect them all rather than bring them in one pair at a time. When, by contrast, there is a possibility of bringing them in before nightfall, the Sages were willing to allow him to leave the remainder of the tefillin unattended briefly, so that he could complete the task earlier.


Shabbat 130a relates that the Romans made the wearing of tefillin punishable by death.


See Chapter 12, Halachah 17, which explains this leniency applies even with regard to one's personal concerns. Surely, it applies with regard to matters associated with a mitzvah.


There, a person in the courtyard should remove the tefillin from the body of the person who was carrying them while he is still walking outside the courtyard. Thus, one person will have performed the akirah (the removal of the article from its original place) and another the hanachah [the placement of the article (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 301:52)].


For the possibility exists that they are merely an amulet (Eruvin 97a).

The Ra'avad objects to the Rambam's conception of that Talmudic passage and maintains that there is no question concerning the identity of the tefillin, for we do not suspect that a person would make an amulet that resembles tefillin. The difficulty is that if the knots of the tefillin are not tied, it is forbidden to tie them on the Sabbath. Thus, it will be impossible to wear the tefillin on the Sabbath.

The difference between these two views is that, according to the Ra'avad, if one finds tefillin without straps, one is obligated to remain watching them until after nightfall. The Rambam, by contrast, would allow a person to leave them.

The Maggid Mishneh cites a responsum purported to be written by the Rambam to the scholars of Lunil concerning tzitzit, which indicates that he accepted the Ra'avad's position. When citing the law regarding tefillin, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 301:42) quotes the Rambam's view. The Magen Avraham 301:53 states that even if the Rambam's view would have applied in previous generations, it is not relevant at present, for amulets are not commonly made in the form of tefillin. Therefore, he suggests following the Ra'avad's ruling.


Since a Torah scroll is not usually worn as a covering, the person is not allowed to cover himself with it under ordinary circumstances. Rather, he must linger and protect the scroll until after nightfall.


Shulchan Aruch HaRav 301:54 states that one should cover the scroll to protect it. It is questionable why the Rambam makes such a statement with regard to tefillin (Halachah 23), but does not do so in this instance.


Although a Torah scroll is not usually worn, and indeed, doing so is not respectful to the scroll, this leniency is granted lest the scroll become ruined.

The Or Sameach questions why the person cannot carry the scroll less than four cubits at a time, as mentioned in the previous halachah. He explains that the problem is transferring the scroll from the public domain to the home. In Chapter 13, Halachah 9, the Rambam states that one should throw an article that one is carrying from the public domain into a courtyard in an abnormal manner. This would be disrespectful to the Torah scroll. Therefore, it is preferable to wear the scroll. With regard to the propriety of wearing parchment as a garment, the Or Sameach cites the use of similar substances, as mentioned in Halachah 17. See also the suggestion of Shulchan Aruch HaRav mentioned in Note 107.


The Maggid Mishneh cites Shabbat 11b, which, as the Rambam states in Halachah 21, rules that a tailor is not liable for carrying his needle stuck into his clothes. Therefore, forbidding a tailor from wearing his needle on Friday afternoon would be a "safeguard to a safeguard," a Rabbinic decree enforced to insure the observance of another Rabbinic decree. Therefore, the prohibition is directed only at carrying a needle in one's hand.


See Hilchot Tefillin 4:14, which states that the holiness of tefillin surpasses that of the tzitz, the frontlet worn by the High Priest. Hence, they are worthy of such constant attention.


Compare to Hilchot Tefillin 4:12, which mentions similar concepts.


The commentaries state that this is necessary lest others receive the impression that it is permissible to wear tefillin on the Sabbath.

Published and copyright by Moznaim Publications, all rights reserved.
To purchase this book or the entire series, please click here.
The text on this page contains sacred literature. Please do not deface or discard.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with's copyright policy.