Shabbos - Chapter Twenty Five
There are utensils that are used for permitted purposes - i.e., a utensil that may be used on the Sabbath for the same purpose for which it is used during the week - e.g., a cup to drink from, a bowl to eat from, a knife to cut meat or bread, a hatchet to crack open nuts, and the like.
There are utensils that are used for forbidden purposes - i.e., a utensil that is forbidden to be used on the Sabbath for the same purpose that it is [ordinarily] used - e.g., a grinder, a mill, and the like - for it is forbidden to crush or grind on the Sabbath.
All utensils used for purposes that are permitted may be carried on the Sabbath, whether they are made of wood, earthenware, stone, or metal. [They may be moved] for the sake of the utensil, for the use of the place [it occupies], or to use it [for a purpose that is permitted].
All utensils used for purposes that are forbidden, whether they are made of wood, earthenware, stone, or metal may be moved [with certain restrictions]. [Such a utensil may be moved] for the use of the place [it occupies], or to use it [for a purpose that is permitted]. It is, however, forbidden [to move it] for its own sake.
What is implied? One may move a wooden bowl to eat from it, to sit in the place [where it is located], or so that it will not be stolen. The latter is [what is meant by the expression] "for the sake of [the utensil] itself."
Similarly, [a utensil] may be taken out of the sun so that it will not become parched and break. It may also be removed from the rain so that it will not become saturated with water and deteriorate. These are considered "for the sake of [the utensil] itself" and are permitted, since the tasks performed with this utensil are permitted.
Similarly, one may move a mill or a grinder in order to crack nuts open on it or to climb up to a couch on it. This is [what is meant by the expression] "to use it [for a purpose that is permitted]."
[Similarly, one may move it] to sit in the place where it is located. One may not, however, move it so that it will not break, so that it will not be stolen, or the like.
Any entity that is not a utensil - e.g., stones, money, rods, beams, and the like - is forbidden to be carried. [Nevertheless,] even a large stone or a large beam that requires ten people to carry it, if it is deemed a utensil it may be carried.
The doors of a house are considered to be utensils; they have not, however, been prepared for use. Therefore, if they are detached - even on the Sabbath - they may not be moved.
Earth, sand, and a corpse may not be moved from their place. Similarly, an infant born in the eighth month, [although] he is alive, is considered as a stone and it is forbidden to move him.
It is permitted to carry a utensil to perform tasks other than those for which it is intended to be used. What is implied? One may take a hammer to crack nuts, a hatchet to cut a dried fig, a saw to cut cheese, a rake to collect dried figs, a winnowing shovel or a pitchfork to feed a child, a spindle or a weaver's shuttle to pierce with, a sack-maker's needle to pick a lock, or a mill-stone to sit on. The same principle applies in other similar situations.
A person may carry a sewing needle that is whole to remove a splinter. If, however, its head or its point has been broken off, it may not be carried. If it is still in an incomplete state and its head has not been pierced, it may be carried.
Whenever a person is careful [not to use] a utensil lest its value depreciate - e.g., utensils that are set aside as merchandise, or very expensive utensils of which one is extremely careful lest they spoil - carrying it is forbidden on the Sabbath. This [category] is referred to as muktzeh [lest] financial loss [be caused].
[Included in this category are] a large saw, the knife-like point of a plow, a butcher's knife, a leather-worker's knife, a carpenter's plane, a perfume-maker's mortar, and the like.
All utensils that were set aside because of [an association with] a prohibited [activity] are forbidden to be carried. For example, it is forbidden [to move] a lamp that was kindled for the Sabbath, a candelabra upon which a lamp was placed, or a table on which money was lying.
[Moreover,] even if the candle is extinguished or if the money falls, [the prohibition remains intact]. Whenever an article is forbidden to be carried beyn hash'mashot [on Friday], it remains forbidden to be carried throughout the entire Sabbath, even though the factor that caused it to become forbidden is no longer present.
In contrast, a utensil that is set aside because it is repulsive - e.g., a used kerosene lamp, a chamber pot, or the like - may be carried on the Sabbath if it is required.
The doors of any utensil that may be carried on the Sabbath - e.g., the doors of a box, a chest, or a cabinet - may themselves be carried [on the Sabbath], regardless of whether they were removed on the Sabbath or before the Sabbath.
Similarly, whenever a utensil that can be carried on the Sabbath breaks, whether before the Sabbath or on the Sabbath, its broken pieces may be carried on the Sabbath, provided these pieces can be used for a purpose that resembles the purpose for which they could be used [originally].
What is implied? The broken pieces of a kneading trough can be used to cover the opening of a jug. Broken pieces of glass can be used to cover the opening of a flask. The same rules apply in other similar situations. If, by contrast, the broken pieces are unfit for any purposeful use, it is forbidden to carry them.
All the covers of utensils may be carried on the Sabbath, provided they, themselves, are considered to be utensils.
[The following rules apply regarding] utensils that are attached to the ground - e.g., a barrel imbedded in the earth: If its cover has a handle, it may be carried. If not, it may not be carried. Similarly, the coverings of cisterns and ditches should not be carried unless they have a handle. The covering of an oven [by contrast] may be carried, even though it does not have a handle.
[The following rules apply when] there are two entities, one permitted to be carried and one forbidden to be carried - one adjacent to the other, one on top of the other, or one within the other - and when one is moved the other will also be moved: If a person requires the article that is permitted [to be carried], he may move it, even though the forbidden article is drawn after it. If he requires to move the forbidden article, he should not move it by moving the permitted article.
What is implied? When a fig is buried in straw or a cake is lying upon coals, one may pierce them with a spindle or a weaver's shuttle and remove them, even though the straw or the coals will be moved on the Sabbath when one removes them.
Similarly, if a turnip or a radish is buried in [loose] earth and a portion of its leaves is protruding, one may pull out [the vegetables] on the Sabbath, even though the earth is dislodged. Conversely, however, if a loaf of bread or a child is [located] on a stone or beam, one may not carry the stone or beam because of the child or the loaf of bread. Similar rules apply in other analogous situations.
A person may pick up his son if [the son] yearns for [his father], despite the fact that the son is holding a stone.This, however, is not [permitted] if [the son] is holding a dinar, lest it fall and the father [pick it up and] carry it.
When a basket has a hole and a stone has been used to plug the hole, [the basket] may be carried, because the stone is considered as its wall.
[The following rules apply when] a basket is filled with fruit and a stone [is discovered] among the fruit: If the fruit is soft - e.g., grapes or berries - the basket may be carried as it is. If one spills out the fruit, it would be spoiled by the earth, and [our Sages] did not [apply] their decree in an instance where a loss would be caused.
When a person forgets a stone on the opening of a jug, he may tilt the jug to the side [so that the stone] falls. If the jug with the stone upon it is standing among other jugs, it should be lifted to another place, and then tilted to the side [so that the stone] falls. Similarly, if one forgets money on a pillow that one needs, one may shake the pillow [so that the money] falls. If one needs [to use] the place where the pillow [is located], one may remove the pillow [although] the money is upon it.
When, by contrast, one [intentionally] places money on a pillow on Friday or places a stone on the opening of a jug, it is forbidden to carry them. [This applies even when later] the stone or the money is removed, for [the pillow or the jug] has become the base for a forbidden article.
[The following rule applies to] a stone that is placed in an earthenware bucket [as a weight]: If it does not fall out when one draws water [with the bucket], it is considered part of the bucket and one is permitted to draw water with it. If not, one may not draw water with it. A garment that is [hanging] on a reed may be slipped off the reed.
It is forbidden to carry produce that is forbidden to eat - e.g., produce that has not been tithed, even if the obligation to tithe is only Rabbinic, produce separated as the first tithe, from which terumat [ma'aser] has not been separated,terumah that has contracted ritual impurity, produce separated as the second tithe or produce that has been consecrated and has not been redeemed.
It is, by contrast, permitted to carry d'mai, for it is fit to be eaten by the poor, and produce separated as the second tithe or produce that has been consecrated and has been redeemed, but for which an additional fifth of its value has not been given.
An Israelite is allowed to carry terumah, even though it is not appropriate for him. One may carry terumah that has contracted ritual impurity together with terumah that is pure, or together with ordinary produce, if both of them are contained in a single receptacle.
When does the above apply? When the pure terumah is below [the impure], and the [terumah consists of] produce that would be soiled by the ground. Thus, if the container were overturned, it would be spoiled. If, by contrast, the produce is nuts, almonds, or the like, one must overturn the container, take the terumah and the ordinary produce, and leave the impure [terumah].
If one requires the place where the container is located, one may take all the produce at once, regardless of whether the pure [terumah] is located at the top or at the bottom.
[The following rules apply when] a person has in mind [to sit on] a row of stones before the commencement of the Sabbath: If he prepares them, he is permitted to sit on them on the morrow; if not, that is forbidden.
When a person gathers the branches of a date palm [to use as kindling] wood, but changes his mind on Friday and decides to use them to sit on [in place of mats], he is allowed to carry them. Similarly, if he actually sat upon them before the commencement of the Sabbath, it is permitted to carry them.
One may not move straw that is on a bed with one's hands;one may, however, move it with one's body. [Moreover,] if it is [useful as] animal fodder, one is permitted to carry it [by hand]. Similarly, if a pillow or a sheet is placed upon it, it is considered as if one had sat on it before the commencement of the Sabbath, and one may move it by hand.
[The following rules apply when] a person has brought a container [filled] with earth into his home: If he sets aside a corner for it on Friday, he may carry it on the Sabbath, and use it for all his needs.
It is forbidden to negate the possibility of using a utensil, since this is comparable to destroying [it]. What is implied? A person should not place a receptacle below a lamp on the Sabbath to receive any oil that drips. For the oil in the lamp is forbidden to be carried, and when it falls into the receptacle it will cause the receptacle that had been permitted to become forbidden. The same applies in all analogous situations.
For this reason, a receptacle may not be placed below a chicken to receive the eggs it lays. One may, however, cover [the eggs] with an [overturned] utensil. Similarly, one may use an overturned utensil to cover any article that is forbidden to be carried, for by doing so one has not negated its use. Should one desire to take [the overturned article], one may.
One may place a receptacle under dripping water to collect it. If the receptacle becomes full, one may pour out the water and return [the receptacle to its place] without hesitation.
[The above applies] only when the dripping water is fit to use for bathing. If the water is not fit [for washing], one should not place a receptacle there. [Nevertheless, after the fact,] should one have placed a receptacle there, one may carry it together with the repulsive water it contains. [The reason for the restriction against placing the receptacle there is] that we do not create a repulsive situation at the outset.
Should a barrel containing [wine or oil] that is tevel, be broken [on the Sabbath], one may bring a receptacle and place it under [the barrel]. [By doing so, one is not considered to have nullified the possibility of using the receptacle,] since were one to transgress and separate [the terumah and tithes as required], the produce would be permitted for use..
A receptacle may be placed below a candle to collect the sparks that fall, for [the sparks] have no substance. In such an instance, it is permissible to move the receptacle.
When a beam breaks, we should not support it with a bench or a bed post unless there is ample space [between the beams] and one can remove [the bench or the bed post] whenever one desires, so that one will not nullify a utensil from the possibility of being used.
One may spread a mat over stones or over a beehive on the Sabbath in the summer, [as protection] from the sun, and in the rainy season, [as protection] from the rain, provided that one has no intention of snaring [the bees]. [By doing so, one is not considered to have nullified the possibility of using the receptacle] because one may remove [the mat] whenever one desires.
On the Sabbath one may overturn a basket onto which chicks may climb and descend, since one is permitted to carry [the basket] after they descend. Similar rules apply in all analogous situations.
[The following rules apply when] an animal falls into a cistern or into a water conduit [from which it cannot ascend on its own]: If one can supply it with its needs while it is there, one should do so until Saturday night. If not, one may bring cushions and blankets and place them beneath it. If this [enables the animal] to ascend, there is no difficulty. Although one is nullifying the possibility of using a utensil - for one is throwing it into a cistern [filled with] water - [our Sages did] not institute a decree [in this instance], because of the suffering [the] animal endures.
[Regardless of the circumstances,] it is forbidden to lift the animal up by hand. Similarly, one may not lift up an animal, beast, or fowl in a courtyard. One may, however, push them until they enter.
One may support calves and ponies as they walk. One may not, however, hold a chicken that fled [as one directs] it [to return to its coop]. [This prohibition was instituted] because [the chicken tries] to free itself from [the person's] hand, and [in the process, causes] its wings to be torn off. One may, however, push it until it enters [its coop].
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 Chabad.org's copyright policy