SECTION 317 The Laws [Pertaining to] Tying Knots and Bows on Shabbos (1-11)

סימן שיז דִּין קְשִׁירָה וַעֲנִיבָה בְּשַׁבָּת וּבוֹ י"א סְעִיפִים:

1 Tying and untying knots are [both] among the primary categories of labor [forbidden on Shabbos by Scriptural Law],1 because [these labors were necessary for the construction] of the Sanctuary. The trappers of the chilazon2would tie and untie their nets, for all nets are crafted with multiple knots that are made to endure indefinitely. At times, [when] it was necessary to take strands from one net and add them to another, one untied [the strands] from one net and tied them to another.3

According to Scriptural Law, one is liable only for [tying] a permanent knot4 that [is made to] endure for all time, i.e., he ties [the knot] with the intent that it will remain [knotted] as long as it exists and as long as he has no need to untie it. True, he will possibly have to untie it in the near future – and he will [then] untie it. Nevertheless, since in his mind’s eye, he does not set a time when it is going to be untied, and it may possibly remain [in its tied state] forever, it is considered a permanent knot5 and he is liable for tying and untying it.

If, however, the person has in mind a specific time when he will certainly untie it – even though it will remain tied for a very long time – according to Scriptural Law, this is not considered a permanent knot and one is exempt both for tying and untying it. According to Rabbinic Law, however, this is also considered a permanent knot, since it is meant to last for a [considerable amount of] time6 and it is forbidden to tie or untie [such a knot]. If, however, [a knot] is not meant to last at all, but rather will be untied that very day, like the knots in clothes and in shoes that are tied when one puts them on in the morning and untied when one takes them off in the evening, it is permitted to tie and untie them on Shabbos.

However, [people who] do not intend to untie [such knots] on that day, e.g., Torah scholars who study during the night and do not remove their shoes or clothes at night, are forbidden to tie [these knots] on Shabbos morning if their intent is not to untie them in the evening. [These people] are similarly forbidden to untie [the knots] on Shabbos, if, when tying [the knots] on one of the weekdays, they did not have the intent to untie them immediately on the following night.

If, however, [the knots] are tied without any intent at all, i.e., [the person] just ties them without anything in mind, he is permitted to tie [the knots] on Shabbos even if he does not untie them at night, [but only] after a considerable time passes. For this [delay] does not warrant a knot being deemed permanent, since at the time when [the person] tied [the knot], it was not certain that he would not untie it on Saturday night. For, at times, even Torah scholars remove their shoes at night before they lie down.7 Similarly, they are permitted to untie [such knots] on Shabbos if they were tied without any specific intent, even though they were tied a long time before Shabbos and were not untied in the interim. By contrast, it is forbidden to tie or untie knots that are always maintained for a considerable amount of time and it is never common practice to untie them on the day they were tied, even if one does not have a specific intent [to maintain them when tying them].

There are authorities who maintain that any knot that is not made to last for seven days is not considered as a permanent knot even according to Rabbinic Law, and it is permitted to tie and untie [such a knot] on Shabbos. Even if, by and large, [the knot] will be maintained for seven days, but at times, it will be untied during these seven days – e.g., by a Torah scholar who generally does not remove his shoes or his clothes from Shabbos to Shabbos, thus he keeps the knots tied for seven days, but on occasion he might untie them within the seven days – this is not considered a permanent knot unless [the scholar] had the intent not to untie [the knot] for seven days when he tied it.

If, however, he ties [such knots] without a specific intent, they are not considered as permanent knots. [The only exception is when] one’s practice is always to keep [the knot] tied for seven days, e.g., the straps tied around the neck of one’s shirt. A person whose practice is never to untie them except when he changes his shirt from one Shabbos to the next is forbidden to tie or untie them on Shabbos.

With regard to the halachah as practiced, one should follow the stringency of the first view unless one is greatly in need of [a knot being tied or untied]. In such an instance, one may take leniencies [and may have the knot tied or untied] by a non-Jew.

א הַקּוֹשֵׁר וְהַמַּתִּיר הֵן מֵאֲבוֹת מְלָאכוֹת,א, 1 שֶׁכֵּן בַּמִּשְׁכָּן הָיוּ צַיָּדֵי חִלָּזוֹן2 קוֹשְׁרִין וּמַתִּירִין בְּרִשְׁתוֹתֵיהֶן,ב שֶׁכָּל רְשָׁתוֹת עֲשׂוּיוֹת קְשָׁרִים קְשָׁרִים, וְהֵן קִשְׁרֵי קַיָּמָא, וּפְעָמִים שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לִטּוֹל חוּטִין מֵרֶשֶׁת זוֹ וּלְהוֹסִיף עַל זוֹ, וּמַתִּיר מִכָּאן וְקוֹשֵׁר מִכָּאן.ג, 3

וּמִן הַתּוֹרָה אֵינוֹ חַיָּב אֶלָּא עַל קֶשֶׁר שֶׁל קַיָּמָאד, 4 הָעוֹמֵד לְהִתְקַיֵּם לְעוֹלָם,ה דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁקּוֹשְׁרוֹ עַל דַּעַת שֶׁיִּשָּׁאֵר כֵּן כָּל זְמַן שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר לוֹ לִהְיוֹת קַיָּם וְכָל זְמַן שֶׁלֹּא יִצְטָרֵךְ לוֹ לְהַתִּירוֹ. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיִּצְטָרֵךְ לוֹ לְהַתִּירוֹ בִּזְמַן קָרוֹב וְיַתִּירֶנּוּ, אַף עַל פִּי כֵן הוֹאִיל וּכְשֶׁקּוֹשְׁרוֹ אֵינוֹ קוֹצֵב זְמַן בְּדַעְתּוֹ מָתַי יַתִּירֶנּוּ, וְאֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיִּשָּׁאֵר כֵּן לְעוֹלָם – הֲרֵי זֶה נִקְרָא קֶשֶׁר שֶׁל קַיָּמָא, וְחַיָּבִים עַל קְשִׁירָתוֹ וְעַל הַתָּרָתוֹ.5

אֲבָל אִם קוֹצֵב בְּדַעְתּוֹ אֵיזֶה זְמַן שֶׁאָז יַתִּירֶנּוּ בְּוַדַּאי, אֲפִלּוּ הוּא זְמַן אָרֹךְ מְאֹד – אֵין זֶה שֶׁל קַיָּמָא מִן הַתּוֹרָה,ו וּפָטוּר בֵּין עַל קְשִׁירָתוֹ בֵּין עַל הַתָּרָתוֹ. אֲבָל מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים נִקְרָא זֶה גַם כֵּן שֶׁל קַיָּמָא, הוֹאִיל וְעוֹמֵד לְהִתְקַיֵּם אֵיזֶה זְמַן,ז, 6 וְאָסוּר בֵּין לְקָשְׁרוֹ בֵּין לְהַתִּירוֹ.

אֲבָל אִם אֵינוֹ עוֹמֵד לְהִתְקַיֵּם כְּלָל, אֶלָּא לְהַתִּירוֹ בְּיוֹמוֹ,ח כְּגוֹן קְשָׁרִים שֶׁבְּמַלְבּוּשִׁים וּמִנְעָלִים, שֶׁכְּשֶׁלּוֹבְשָׁן שַׁחֲרִית קוֹשְׁרָן וּכְשֶׁפּוֹשְׁטָן עַרְבִית מַתִּירָן – מֻתָּר לְקָשְׁרָן וּלְהַתִּירָן בְּשַׁבָּת.

אֲבָל אִם הוּא בְּדַעְתּוֹ שֶׁלֹּא לְהַתִּירָן בְּיוֹמָן,ט כְּגוֹן תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים שֶׁלּוֹמְדִים בַּלֵּילוֹת וְאֵינָם חוֹלְצִין מִנְעֲלֵיהֶן וְלֹא פוֹשְׁטִים מַלְבּוּשֵׁיהֶן בַּלַּיְלָהי – אֲסוּרִים לְקָשְׁרָם בְּשַׁבָּת שַׁחֲרִית אִם בְּדַעְתָּםיא שֶׁלֹּא לְהַתִּירָן עַרְבִית. וְכֵן אֲסוּרִים לְהַתִּירָן בְּשַׁבָּת אִם כְּשֶׁקָּשְׁרוּ אוֹתָן בְּאֶחָד מִימוֹת הַחֹל הָיָה בְּדַעְתָּם שֶׁלֹּא לְהַתִּירָם מִיָּד בַּלַּיְלָה שֶׁלְּאַחֲרָיו.

אֲבָל אִם אֵין בְּדַעְתָּם כְּלוּם כְּשֶׁקּוֹשְׁרִין, אֶלָּא קוֹשְׁרִים סְתָם – מֻתָּרִים לְקָשְׁרָם בְּשַׁבָּת. וְאַף שֶׁאַחַר כָּךְ אֵינָן מַתִּירִין אוֹתָן בַּלַּיְלָה עַד לְאַחַר אֵיזֶה זְמַן – אֵינָן נִקְרָאִים בִּשְׁבִיל כָּךְ קֶשֶׁר שֶׁל קַיָּמָא, הוֹאִיל וּבִשְׁעַת הַקְּשִׁירָה לֹא הָיָה הַדָּבָר וַדַּאי שֶׁלֹּא יַתִּירוּ אוֹתָן בְּלֵיל מוֹצָאֵי שַׁבָּת, שֶׁהֲרֵי לִפְעָמִים גַּם הַתַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים חוֹלְצִים מִנְעֲלֵיהֶם בַּלַּיְלָה טֶרֶם יִשְׁכָּבוּ.יב, 7 וְכֵן מֻתָּרִין לְהַתִּירָן בְּשַׁבָּת אִם קָשְׁרוּ סְתָם, אֲפִלּוּ קָשְׁרוּ לִפְנֵי הַשַּׁבָּת זְמַן מְרֻבֶּה וְלֹא הִתִּירוּ בֵּינְתַיִם.

אֲבָל קְשָׁרִים שֶׁלְּעוֹלָם דַּרְכּוֹ לְקַיְּמָן אֵיזֶה זְמַן בְּוַדַּאי, וְאֵין דַּרְכּוֹ לְעוֹלָם לְהַתִּירוֹ בְּיוֹמָן – אָסוּר לְקָשְׁרָן בְּשַׁבָּת אֲפִלּוּ בִּסְתָם,יג אוֹ לְהַתִּירָם.

וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים,יד שֶׁכָּל קֶשֶׁר שֶׁאֵינוֹ עוֹמֵד לְהִתְקַיֵּם שִׁבְעָה יָמִים – אֵינוֹ נִקְרָא קֶשֶׁר שֶׁל קַיָּמָא אֲפִלּוּ מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים, וּמֻתָּר לְקָשְׁרוֹ וּלְהַתִּירוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת. וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם רֹב הַפְּעָמִים דַּרְכּוֹ לְקַיְּמָן שִׁבְעָה יָמִים, אֶלָּא שֶׁלִּפְעָמִים גַּם כֵּן מַתִּיר אוֹתוֹ בְּתוֹךְ שִׁבְעָה, כְּגוֹן תַּלְמִיד חָכָם שֶׁרֹב הַפְּעָמִים אֵינוֹ חוֹלֵץ מִנְעָלָיו וְלֹא פּוֹשֵׁט מַלְבּוּשָׁיו כִּי אִם מִשַּׁבָּת לְשַׁבָּת,טו שֶׁנִּמְצָא מְקַיֵּם קִשְׁרֵיהֶם שִׁבְעָה יָמִים, וְלִפְעָמִים גַּם כֵּן מַתִּירָן תּוֹךְ שִׁבְעָה – אֵינָן נִקְרָאִים קֶשֶׁר שֶׁל קַיָּמָא,טז אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן יֵשׁ בְּדַעְתּוֹ בִּשְׁעַת קְשִׁירָתָן שֶׁלֹּא לְהַתִּירָן עַד לְאַחַר שִׁבְעָה.יז

אֲבָל אִם קוֹשְׁרָן סְתָם – אֵינָן נִקְרָאִים שֶׁל קַיָּמָא, אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן דַּרְכּוֹ לְעוֹלָם לְקַיְּמָם שִׁבְעָה יָמִים, כְּגוֹן הַמְּשִׁיחוֹת שֶׁקּוֹשְׁרִין בָּהֶן בֵּית הַצַּוָּאר שֶׁל הַכְּתֹנֶת, מִי שֶׁאֵין דַּרְכּוֹ לְעוֹלָם לְהַתִּירָן אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁמְּחַלֵּף הַכְּתֹנֶת מִשַּׁבָּת לְשַׁבָּת – אָסוּר לְקָשְׁרָן וּלְהַתִּירָן בְּשַׁבָּת.יח

וּלְעִנְיַן הֲלָכָה – יֵשׁ לְהַחֲמִיר כַּסְבָרָא הָרִאשׁוֹנָה, אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן צָרִיךְ הַרְבֵּה לְכָךְ – אֲזַי יֵשׁ לְהָקֵל לַעֲשׂוֹת עַל יְדֵי נָכְרִי:יט

2 There are authorities who maintain that according to Scriptural Law, one is not liable even for tying a knot that is meant to last for all time unless it was tied in a professional manner, i.e., the knot is strong and durable like craftsmen tie when performing their craft, e.g., the knots of the straps of shoes and sandals that leatherworkers tie when making them,8 or anything similar. By contrast, one who ties a permanent knot that is not tied in a professional manner is exempt.

What is implied? One’s [sandal] strap snapped and he retied it; a rope snapped and he retied it; [one] tied a rope to a bucket; or he tied a bridle to an animal. He is exempt for tying these or any similar ordinary knots that could be tied by anyone, [even when he did so] with the intention that they would last. Nevertheless, according to Rabbinic Law, it is forbidden [to tie an ordinary knot] even if it is not meant to last forever, but only for the amount of time mentioned above.9

According to Rabbinic Law, however, it is forbidden on Shabbos to tie or untie a knot that is tied in a professional manner, even if it is not meant to last at all, but to be untied that day.10 [This is] a decree [instituted] lest one tie a knot in a professional manner that is intended to last for all time, for which one is liable according to Scriptural Law.

There are other authorities who maintain that there is no difference between [a knot that is tied in] a professional manner and an ordinary knot, and one is liable according to Scriptural Law even for tying an ordinary knot if it is permanent. And if [the knot] is not meant to last and thus is permitted [to be tied] if it is an ordinary knot,11 it is also permitted if it is tied in a professional manner.

One should be stringent and follow the first view. Therefore, it is customary to be careful not to tie or untie any knot that consists of two knots one on top of the other,12 even if it is one that is meant be untied that very day. [The rationale is that] we do not know which knots are deemed as tied in a professional manner and thus forbidden to be tied or untied even if they were not meant to last at all. There is room for doubt whether any durable knot that is tied securely is a knot that is deemed as tied in a professional manner.13 [Furthermore,] two knots, one on top of the other, also form a durable knot. [See fig. 29.]

Nevertheless, in a situation involving aggravation,14 there is no need to be stringent in a matter involving Rabbinic Law. It is permitted to untie15 [such a knot] if it was not meant to last at all in an instance where it would certainly be permitted to untie [it when knotted as] an ordinary, [non-professional] knot. [This leniency is granted] because, according to the latter opinion [mentioned above], it is permitted to untie a knot [tied with such an intent] even if [the knot] is certainly deemed as tied in a professional manner.

ב יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִיםכ שֶׁאֵין חַיָּבִים מִן הַתּוֹרָה, אֲפִלּוּ עַל קֶשֶׁר הָעוֹמֵד לְהִתְקַיֵּם לְעוֹלָם, אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הוּא מַעֲשֵׂה אוּמָן, דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁהוּא קֶשֶׁר חָזָקכא וְאַמִּיץכב כִּקְשָׁרִים שֶׁהָאֻמָּנִים עוֹשִׂים בִּשְׁעַת מְלַאכְתָּן, כְּגוֹן קִשְׁרֵי רְצוּעוֹת מִנְעָל וְסַנְדָּל שֶׁקּוֹשְׁרִין הָרַצְעָנִין בִּשְׁעַת עֲשִׂיָּתָן,כג, 8 וְכֵן בְּכָל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָזֶה.כד אֲבָל הַקּוֹשֵׁר קֶשֶׁר שֶׁל קַיָּמָא וְאֵינוֹ מַעֲשֵׂה אוּמָן – פָּטוּר.כה

כֵּיצַד? נִפְסְקָה לוֹ רְצוּעָה וּקְשָׁרָהּ, נִפְסַק הַחֶבֶל וּקְשָׁרוֹ, אוֹ שֶׁקָּשַׁר חֶבֶל בִּדְלִי, אוֹ שֶׁקָּשַׁר רֶסֶן הַבְּהֵמָה, וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָאֵלּוּ הַקְּשָׁרִים שֶׁהֵם מַעֲשֵׂה הֶדְיוֹט וְכָל אָדָם קוֹשֵׁר אוֹתָם לְקַיָּמָא – פָּטוּר,כו אֲבָל אָסוּר מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים,כז אֲפִלּוּ אֵינוֹ עוֹמֵד לְהִתְקַיֵּם לְעוֹלָםכח אֶלָּא כְּשִׁעוּר שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר.כט, 9

אֲבָל קֶשֶׁר שֶׁהוּא מַעֲשֵׂה אוּמָן, אֲפִלּוּ אֵינוֹ עָשׂוּי לְהִתְקַיֵּםל כְּלָל אֶלָּא לְהַתִּירוֹ בְּיוֹמוֹלא, 10 – אָסוּרלב מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִיםלג לְקָשְׁרוֹ וּלְהַתִּירוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת,לד גְּזֵרָה מִשּׁוּם קֶשֶׁר מַעֲשֵׂה אוּמָן הֶעָשׂוּי לְהִתְקַיֵּם לְעוֹלָם, שֶׁחַיָּבִים עָלָיו מִן הַתּוֹרָה.לה

וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִיםלו שֶׁאֵין חִלּוּק כְּלָל בֵּין מַעֲשֵׂה אוּמָן לְמַעֲשֵׂה הֶדְיוֹט, שֶׁאֲפִלּוּ קֶשֶׁר שֶׁהוּא מַעֲשֵׂה הֶדְיוֹט חַיָּבִים עָלָיו מִן הַתּוֹרָה אִם הוּא שֶׁל קַיָּמָא, וְאִם אֵינוֹ עוֹמֵד לְהִתְקַיֵּם כְּלָל בְּעִנְיָן שֶׁמֻּתָּר בְּמַעֲשֵׂה הֶדְיוֹט11 – מֻתָּר גַּם כֵּן בְּמַעֲשֵׂה אוּמָן.לז

וְיֵשׁ לְהַחֲמִיר כַּסְבָרָא הָרִאשׁוֹנָה. וְלָכֵן נָהֲגוּ לִזָּהֵר שֶׁלֹּא לִקְשׁוֹר אוֹ לְהַתִּיר שׁוּם קֶשֶׁר שֶׁהוּא שְׁנֵי קְשָׁרִים זֶה עַל זֶה,לח, 12 אֲפִלּוּ הוּא עוֹמֵד לְהַתִּירוֹ בְּיוֹמוֹ, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵין אָנוּ בְּקִיאִין אֵיזֶה קֶשֶׁר נִקְרָא מַעֲשֵׂה אוּמָן, שֶׁאָסוּר לְקָשְׁרוֹ וּלְהַתִּירוֹ אֲפִלּוּ אֵינוֹ עוֹמֵד לְהִתְקַיֵּם כְּלָל,לט וְכָל קֶשֶׁר אַמִּיץ שֶׁהוּא קָשׁוּר הָדֵק הֵיטֵב – יֵשׁ לְהִסְתַפֵּק בּוֹ שֶׁמָּא זֶהוּ מַעֲשֵׂה אוּמָן,13 וּשְׁנֵי קְשָׁרִים זֶה עַל גַּבֵּי זֶה הוּא גַם כֵּן קֶשֶׁר אַמִּיץ.מ וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, בִּמְקוֹם צַעַר14 אֵין לְהַחֲמִיר בְּדִבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים,מא וּמֻתָּר לְהַתִּירוֹ15 אִם אֵינוֹ עוֹמֵד לְהִתְקַיֵּם כְּלָל בְּעִנְיָן שֶׁמֻּתָּר בְּוַדַּאי מַעֲשֵׂה הֶדְיוֹט,מב כֵּיוָן שֶׁלְּפִי סְבָרָא הָאַחֲרוֹנָה מֻתָּר אֲפִלּוּ בְּוַדַּאי מַעֲשֵׂה אוּמָן:

3 When does the above apply? When one ties two knots, one on top of the other. When, however, one ties a bow above a knot, there is no room for doubt at all whether it is considered a professional knot,16 and it is permitted to tie and untie it [on Shabbos]if it is not intended to last at all.17

And if it consists of but one knot without a bow on top of it, it is not called a knot at all and it is permitted to tie and untie it even if it is intended to be maintained for all time. [See fig. 32.]

All the above applies with regard to tying two articles together. If, however, one ties a knot at the end of a rope, a thread, or a strip [of cloth; see fig. 31 below], it is considered as if he tied two knots, one on top of the other, with regard to all matters.

ג בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? בִּשְׁנֵי קְשָׁרִים זֶה עַל זֶה, אֲבָל קֶשֶׁר אֶחָד וַעֲנִיבָה עַל גַּבָּיו – אֵין לְהִסְתַּפֵּק בּוֹ כְּלָל בְּקֶשֶׁר מַעֲשֵׂה אוּמָן,מג, 16 וּמֻתָּר לְקָשְׁרוֹ וּלְהַתִּירוֹמד בְּכָל עִנְיָן אִם אֵינוֹ עוֹמֵד לְהִתְקַיֵּם כְּלָל.מה, 17

וְאִם אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא קֶשֶׁר אֶחָד בִּלְבַד בְּלֹא עֲנִיבָה עַל גַּבָּיו – אֵינוֹ נִקְרָא קֶשֶׁר כְּלָל,מו וּמֻתָּר לְקָשְׁרוֹ וּלְהַתִּירוֹ אֲפִלּוּ אִם עוֹמֵד לְהִתְקַיֵּם לְעוֹלָם.

וְכָל זֶה בְּקוֹשֵׁר שְׁנֵי דְּבָרִים בְּיַחַד, אֲבָל אִם עָשָׂה קֶשֶׁר בְּרֹאשׁ אֶחָד שֶׁל חֶבֶל אוֹ חוּט אוֹ מְשִׁיחָה – דִּינוֹ כִּשְׁנֵי קְשָׁרִים זֶה עַל זֶה לְכָל דָּבָר:מז

Fig. 29: A double knot
Fig. 29: A double knot

Fig. 30: A single knot with a bow
Fig. 30: A single knot with a bow

Fig. 31: A single knot at the end of a plastic bag, which is forbidden to be tied on Shabbos
Fig. 31: A single knot at the end of a plastic bag, which is forbidden to be tied on Shabbos

Fig. 32: A single knot tied around another article which is permitted to be tied on Shabbos
Fig. 32: A single knot tied around another article which is permitted to be tied on Shabbos

4 A knot that is not deemed a permanent knot according to Scriptural Law, but only according to Rabbinic Law, may be tied for the sake of a mitzvah,18 e.g., one ties a knot to measure19 [whether an object is of] a dimension [significant] in Jewish Law.20 [Indeed,] it is [even] permitted to tie a professional knot if it is impossible to measure otherwise.

ד קֶשֶׁר שֶׁאֵינוֹ נִקְרָא שֶׁל קַיָּמָא מִן הַתּוֹרָה אֶלָּא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים – מֻתָּר לְקָשְׁרוֹ18 לְצֹרֶךְ מִצְוָה,19 כְּגוֹן שֶׁקּוֹשֵׁר לִמְדּוֹד אֶחָד מִשִּׁעוּרֵי תוֹרָה.מח, 20 וַאֲפִלּוּ קֶשֶׁר מַעֲשֵׂה אוּמָן מֻתָּר לִקְשׁוֹר,מט אִם אִי אֶפְשָׁר לִמְדּוֹד בְּעִנְיָן אַחֵר:נ

5 When the straps of one’s shoe or sandal slip off [on Shabbos], he is permitted to return them to their place, provided he does not tie a knot at the end of the strap21 so it will not slip out of the hole again. [This is forbidden] because it is a permanent knot.

Where does the above apply? In places where it is not common to tie such a knot. By contrast, in places where it is common to tie [such a knot], it is forbidden even to return it. [This is] a decree [instituted] lest one tie it.22 [Moreover,] even in places where it is not common [to tie such a knot], license was granted only to return a strap [that slipped off]. It is forbidden, however, to attach a strap to a new sandal on Shabbos, because one is fashioning an implement.23 [Indeed,] even license to return a strap was granted only when the hole was wide and the strap could be returned without undue effort. If, however, the hole was narrow and undue effort was required to insert the strap, this was not considered as returning it. Instead, it resembled inserting it for the very first time and is forbidden because one is fashioning an implement.

Similar laws apply to pants straps. It is, however, permitted from the outset to insert a belt into one’s pants on Shabbos,because he does not leave [the belt] there permanently.24 [Instead,] it is made to be continually inserted and removed.25 Therefore, it is not considered as if one is fashioning an implement. It is, however, forbidden to insert a string into [one’s pants], because one leaves it there permanently.26

ה נִשְׁמְטוּ לוֹ רְצוּעוֹת מִנְעָל וְסַנְדָּל – מֻתָּר לְהַחֲזִירָן לִמְקוֹמָן, וּבִלְבַד שֶׁלֹּא יַעֲשֶׂה קֶשֶׁרנא בְּרֹאשׁ הָרְצוּעָה21 כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תִשָּׁמֵט מִן הַנֶּקֶב, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא קֶשֶׁר שֶׁל קַיָּמָא.נב

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? בִּמְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁאֵין רְגִילִין שָׁם לִקְשׁוֹר קֶשֶׁר זֶה, אֲבָל בִּמְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁרְגִילִין לְקָשְׁרוֹ – אָסוּר אֲפִלּוּ לְהַחֲזִיר, גְּזֵרָה שֶׁמָּא יִקְשׁוֹר.נג, 22

וַאֲפִלּוּ בִּמְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁאֵין רְגִילִין – לֹא הִתִּירוּ אֶלָּא לְהַחֲזִיר, אֲבָל בְּמִנְעָל חָדָשׁ אָסוּר לִתֵּן הָרְצוּעָה בְּשַׁבָּת,נד מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא מְתַקֵּן כְּלִי.נה, 23

וַאֲפִלּוּ לְהַחֲזִיר לֹא הִתִּירוּ אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁהַנֶּקֶב הוּא רָחָב וְיָכוֹל לְהַחֲזִיר בְּלִי טֹרַח,נו אֲבָל אִם הַנֶּקֶב הוּא צַר שֶׁצָּרִיךְ טֹרַח לְהַכְנִיס הָרְצוּעָה בְּתוֹכוֹ – אֵין זֶה כְּמַחֲזִיר, אֶלָּא כְּנוֹתֵן בַּתְּחִלָּה, וְאָסוּר מִשּׁוּם תִּקּוּן כְּלִי.נז

וְכֵן הַדִּין בִּרְצוּעוֹת שֶׁל מִכְנָסַיִם.נח אֲבָל אַבְנֵט מֻתָּר לְהַכְנִיס בְּמִכְנָסַיִם בַּתְּחִלָּה בְּשַׁבָּת, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְבַטְּלוֹ שָׁם,24 וְעָשׂוּי לְהַכְנִיס וּלְהוֹצִיא תָּדִיר,25 לְפִיכָךְ אֵין בּוֹ מִשּׁוּם תִּקּוּן כְּלִי.נט אֲבָל אָסוּר לְהַכְנִיס מְשִׁיחָה לְשָׁם, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמְּבַטְּלָהּ שָׁם:ס, 26

6 One may untie a knot that was tied by a launderer in the opening of the collar of a garment.27 [The rationale is that] it is not deemed a permanent knot, since most of the time it is untied on the same day, immediately after [the garment] has been laundered. By contrast, one may not [tear] open [a closed slit at the opening for a collar], because [by doing so, he] is fashioning an implement28 and he is liable [for performing the forbidden labor of] makeh bepatish, “delivering the final blow.” He is not, however, liable for tearing unless he does so for the sake of sewing, as explained in sec. 302[:4].29

Even if [the slit for] the collar’s opening was already made and the craftsman sewed [the sides] back together as craftsmen do30 – or the craftsman tied [the sides of the slit] together – and the person cannot undo them, he is forbidden to cut the threads.

To what does the above apply? To a knot tied by the craftsman before he completed fashioning the garment. For cutting the threads of such a knot is considered as [performing the forbidden labor of] makeh bepatish, since this completes the task of fashioning the garment. Through it, the garment becomes fit to wear, while beforehand, it was never fit to be worn, and whenever one performs an act that constitutes the completion of the fashioning [of an object], he is considered to [have performed the forbidden labor of] makeh bepatish, as stated in sec. 302[:5].

In contrast, other knots that were tied after a garment was completely fashioned, e.g., a launderer’s knots or straps in a shirt that became tangled and cannot be untied, are permitted to be cut.31 Nevertheless, one should not follow such leniency in the presence of an unlearned person.32 Instead, one should do so in private. And if one’s ordinary practice is not to untie these straps except when he changes his shirt from Shabbos to Shabbos, it is forbidden to cut [the straps],33 just as it is forbidden to untie them.34

ו מַתִּירִין בֵּית הַצַּוָּאר מִקֶּשֶׁר שֶׁקְּשָׁרוֹ כּוֹבֵס,סא, 27 שֶׁאֵינוֹ קֶשֶׁר שֶׁל קַיָּמָא,סב שֶׁרֹב הַפְּעָמִים מַתִּירִין אוֹתוֹ בְּיוֹמוֹ מִיָּד אַחַר הַכְּבִיסָה.סג

אֲבָל אֵין פּוֹתְחִין אוֹתוֹ מֵחָדָשׁ,סד מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא מְתַקֵּן כְּלִי,סה, 28 וְחַיָּבסו מִשּׁוּם מַכֶּה בַּפַּטִּישׁ.סז אֲבָל מִשּׁוּם קוֹרֵעַ אֵינוֹ חַיָּב, אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן עוֹשֶׂה עַל מְנָת לִתְפּוֹר,סח כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ש"ב.סט, 29

אֲפִלּוּ אִם כְּבָר נִפְתַּח בֵּית הַצַּוָּאר, רַק שֶׁחָזַר הָאוּמָן וּתְפָרוֹ בְּיַחַד כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁהָאֻמָּנִים עוֹשִׂים,30 אוֹ שֶׁקְּשָׁרוֹ הָאוּמָן וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהַתִּירוֹ – אָסוּר לַחְתּוֹךְ הַחוּטִין.ע

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? בְּקֶשֶׁר זֶה שֶׁקְּשָׁרוֹ הָאוּמָןעא קֹדֶם גְּמַר מְלֶאכֶת הַבֶּגֶד, שֶׁחֲתִיכַת חוּטֵי קֶשֶׁר זֶה יֵשׁ בָּהּ מִשּׁוּם "מַכֶּה בַּפַּטִּישׁ", לְפִי שֶׁהִיא גְּמַר מְלֶאכֶת הַבֶּגֶד,עב שֶׁעַל יְדֵי כָךְ מְתֻקָּן הַבֶּגֶד לְלָבְשׁוֹ, וְקֹדֶם לָכֵן לֹא הָיָה מְתֻקָּן מֵעוֹלָם לְלָבְשׁוֹ,עג וְכָל דָּבָר שֶׁהוּא גְּמַר מְלָאכָה יֵשׁ בּוֹ מִשּׁוּם "מַכֶּה בַּפַּטִּישׁ", כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ש"ב.עד

אֲבָל שְׁאָר קְשִׁירוֹתעה שֶׁנִּקְשְׁרוּ אַחַר גְּמַר מְלֶאכֶת הַבֶּגֶד, כְּגוֹן קִשְׁרֵי הַכִּבּוּס אוֹ הַמְּשִׁיחוֹת שֶׁבִּכְתֹנֶת שֶׁנִּקְשְׁרוּ וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהַתִּירָן – מֻתָּר לְחַתְּכָן.עו, 31 וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, אֵין לְהָקֵל בִּפְנֵי עַם הָאָרֶץ,32 אֶלָּא יַעֲשֶׂה בְּצִנְעָא.עז

וְאִם אֵינוֹ רָגִיל לְהַתִּיר הַמְּשִׁיחוֹת אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁמַּחֲלִיף הַכְּתֹנֶת מִשַּׁבָּת לְשַׁבָּת – אָסוּר לְחַתְּכָן,עח, 33 כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָסוּר לְהַתִּיר:עט, 34

7 When does the above apply? When [the strands of] a collar’s opening are tied. If, however, a launderer sewed a collar’s opening closed, and similarly, when shoes are sewn together, as is the practice of craftsmen, it is forbidden to cut [the stitches] or to separate one [shoe] from the other. [The rationale is that, unlike tying and untying knots,] with regard to sewing,35 there is no [such] distinction between permanent and temporary [sewing. Instead,] undoing [stitches] is always associated with [the forbidden labor of] tearing. True, one is liable for tearing only when he tears with the intent to resew.29 Nevertheless, it is Rabbinically forbidden to [tear] in any context.36 There are authorities who permit separating or cutting stitching that was not sewn permanently.37 Fundamentally, [the halachah follows] this approach.38 Nevertheless, one should not follow this leniency in the presence of an unlearned person.32

ז בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? בִּקְשִׁירָה, אֲבָל אִם תָּפַר הַכּוֹבֵס אֶת בֵּית הַצַּוָּאר, וְכֵן זוּג שֶׁל מִנְעָלִים הַתְּפוּרִים יַחַד כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁהָאֻמָּנִים עוֹשִׂים – אָסוּר לְחַתְּכָן אוֹ לְנַתְּקָן זֶה מִזֶּה, שֶׁאֵין חִלּוּק בִּתְפִירָה35 בֵּין שֶׁל קַיָּמָא לְאֵינָהּ שֶׁל קַיָּמָא,פ וּלְעוֹלָם יֵשׁ בִּסְתִירָתָהּ מִשּׁוּם קוֹרֵעַ. וְאֵף שֶׁהַקּוֹרֵעַ אֵינוֹ חַיָּב אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן עוֹשֶׂה עַל מְנָת לִתְפּוֹר,29 מִכָּל מָקוֹם מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים אָסוּר בְּכָל עִנְיָן.פא, 36

וְיֵשׁ מַתִּירִיןפב בִּתְפִירָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ שֶׁל קַיָּמָא לְנַתֵּק אוֹ לַחְתּוֹךְ.37 וְכֵן עִקָּר.פג, 38 וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, אֵין לְהָקֵל בִּפְנֵי עַם הָאָרֶץ:פד, 32

8 One may tie a bucket at the opening of a cistern with a string,39 a belt, or a similar entity that he will not leave there permanently. [One] may not, however, use a rope, because he will leave it there permanently. Thus, [he will have tied] a permanent knot, for the bucket will remain hanging and tied there for all time. It is even forbidden to use a weaver’s rope, which is important and therefore will not be left there permanently. [This is] a decree [instituted] lest [one use] other ropes.40

To what does the above apply? To buckets that are permanently attached to the cistern. In contrast, [when one ties] buckets like those of the present age that are not permanently attached to the cistern,41 [he does not tie] a permanent knot and it is permitted to [tie the bucket] even with [ropes] other [than weavers’] ropes, provided the knot is not a professional one. For tying such a knot is forbidden even if it is not permanent, as explained above.42

ח קוֹשְׁרִין דְּלִי עַל פִּי הַבּוֹרפה בִּמְשִׁיחָה39 אוֹ בְּאַבְנֵט וְכַיּוֹצֵא בוֹ,פו מִדָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְבַטְּלוֹ שָׁם.פז אֲבָל לֹא בְחֶבֶל,פח מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמְּבַטְּלוֹ שָׁם, וַהֲרֵי זֶה קֶשֶׁר שֶׁל קַיָּמָא,פט שֶׁהֲרֵי הַדְּלִי תָּלוּי וְקָשׁוּר שָׁם תָּמִיד.צ וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּחֶבֶל שֶׁל גַּרְדִּיצא שֶׁהוּא חָשׁוּבצב וְאֵינוֹ מְבַטְּלוֹ שָׁםצג – אָסוּר, גְּזֵרָה מִשּׁוּם שְׁאָר חֲבָלִים.צד, 40

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? בִּדְלָיִים הַקְּבוּעִים בַּבּוֹר, אֲבָל דְּלָיִים שֶׁלָּנוּ שֶׁאֵינָן קְבוּעִין בַּבּוֹר41 – אֵינוֹ קֶשֶׁר שֶׁל קַיָּמָא,צה וּמֻתָּר אֲפִלּוּ בִּשְׁאָר חֲבָלִים.צו וּבִלְבַד שֶׁלֹּא יְהֵא הַקֶּשֶׁר מַעֲשֵׂה אוּמָן,צז שֶׁאָסוּר אֲפִלּוּ בְּאֵינָהּ שֶׁל קַיָּמָא, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר לְמַעְלָה:צח, 42

9 One may tie a rope43 across the width of an opening [of a stall] in front of a cow44 so that it will not leave [the stall], because [the knot] is not permanent. [Instead,] it is likely to be untied frequently to take the animal out to water it, [and the like. Moreover,] even if the rope was not hanging across the opening on [Friday, the person] is permitted to tie the rope across the entrance on Shabbos, one end attached to either side.45 There is no concern that one will leave one end [of the rope] tied there permanently and [always] take the animal out by releasing only the second end, because [the common practice is that even when one releases only one of the ends,] at times, he will release one end, and at times, the other.46 If, however, he will indeed leave one end tied there permanently [and never release it, tying it] is forbidden.

ט קוֹשְׁרִים חֶבֶל43 בִּפְנֵי הַפָּרָהצט בְּרֹחַב הַפֶּתַחק, 44 בִּשְׁבִיל שֶׁלֹּא תֵצֵא, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינוֹ שֶׁל קַיָּמָא, שֶׁעָשׂוּי לְהַתִּירוֹ תָּדִירקא לְהוֹצִיא הַבְּהֵמָה לְהַשְׁקוֹתָהּ.

וַאֲפִלּוּ לִקְשׁוֹר בְּשַׁבָּת שְׁנֵי רָאשֵׁי הַחֶבֶל בִּשְׁנֵי צִדֵּי הַפֶּתַח, שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה תָּלוּי כְּלָל בַּפֶּתַח מֵאֶתְמוֹלקב – מֻתָּר,45 וְאֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁין שֶׁמָּא יְבַטֵּל רֹאשׁ אֶחָד שֶׁיְּהֵא קָשׁוּר לְעוֹלָם וְיוֹצִיא הַבְּהֵמָה בְּהַתָּרַת רֹאשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי בִּלְבַד,קג אֶלָּא לִפְעָמִים יַתִּיר רֹאשׁ זֶה וְלִפְעָמִים יַתִּיר זֶה.46 אֲבָל אִם בֶּאֱמֶת מְבַטֵּל רֹאשׁ אֶחָד – אָסוּר:קד

10 Whenever it is likely that a person will change his mind and leave a knot permanently in place, it is forbidden to tie it, even if initially he did not intend to leave [the knot] there permanently lest he change his mind and leave it there permanently.47 For this reason, it is forbidden to take a rope and tie [one end] to a feeding trough and [the other end to] a cow,46 for perhaps when he desires to lead the animal away, he will only untie one end [of the rope] and leave the other knot for all time, causing it to become a permanent knot.

To what does the above apply? To ropes in general. It is, however, permitted to use a weaver’s rope [for this purpose],46 because one will not leave it there permanently.48 In this instance,49 a decree [forbidding the use of] a weaver’s rope lest [one use] other ropes is not issued, because even with regard to other ropes, it is not common to leave one end [tied] permanently. Instead, at times, one unties one end and at times, the other.

All of the above applies to tying a rope to [both] a feeding trough and a cow on Shabbos. If, however, a rope was already tied to a feeding trough and one desires to tie it to a cow [on Shabbos], or it was already tied to a cow and one desires to tie it to a feeding trough [on Shabbos], it is permitted to do so with any rope.46 [The rationale is that even] if one will leave one of the knots tied for all time, it can be assumed that the knot that was tied there originally will be the knot that he will leave tied.

י כָּל קֶשֶׁר שֶׁלִּפְעָמִים נִמְלָךְ וּמְבַטְּלוֹ לְעוֹלָם, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁבִּתְחִלַּת עֲשִׂיָּתוֹ אֵינָהּ עַל מְנָת לְבַטְּלוֹ – אָסוּר,קה שֶׁמָּא יִמָּלֵךְ וִיבַטְּלֶנּוּ.47 לְפִיכָךְ, אָסוּר לִטּוֹל חֶבֶל וּלְקָשְׁרוֹ בָּאֵבוּס וּבַפָּרָה,קו, 46 שֶׁמָּא כְּשֶׁיִּרְצֶה לְהוֹלִיךְ הַבְּהֵמָה לֹא יַתִּיר לְעוֹלָם אֶלָּא רֹאשׁ אֶחָד וְיַנִּיחַ הַשֵּׁנִי קַיָּם לְעוֹלָם, וְיִהְיֶה קֶשֶׁר שֶׁל קַיָּמָא.קז

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? בִּשְׁאָר חֲבָלִים, אֲבָל בְּחֶבֶל שֶׁל גַּרְדִּי – מֻתָּר,קח, 46 שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְבַטְּלוֹ שָׁם.קט, 48 וְאֵין לִגְזוֹר כָּאן49 עַל שֶׁל גַּרְדִּי מִשּׁוּם שְׁאָר חֲבָלִים, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁגַּם בִּשְׁאָר חֲבָלִים אֵינוֹ מָצוּי שֶׁיְּבַטֵּל רֹאשׁ אֶחָד לְעוֹלָם, אֶלָּא לִפְעָמִים מַתִּיר רֹאשׁ זֶה וְלִפְעָמִים מַתִּיר זֶה.קי

וְכָל זֶה לִקְשׁוֹר הַחֶבֶל בְּשַׁבָּת בָּאֵבוּס וּבַפָּרָה, אֲבָל אִם הָיָה קָשׁוּר כְּבָר בָּאֵבוּס וְרוֹצֶה לְקָשְׁרוֹ עַתָּה בַּפָּרָה, אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה קָשׁוּר בַּפָּרָה וְרוֹצֶה עַתָּה לְקָשְׁרוֹ בָּאֵבוּס – מֻתָּר בְּכָל חֶבֶל,קיא, 46 לְפִי שֶׁאִם בָּא לְבַטֵּל קֶשֶׁר אֶחָד מֵהֶם שֶׁיְּהֵא קָשׁוּר לְעוֹלָם – מִן הַסְּתָם אוֹתוֹ קֶשֶׁר שֶׁהָיָה קָשׁוּר כְּבָר מַנִּיחוֹ לְעוֹלָם קָשׁוּר:קיב

11 When a person twists strands into a cord, regardless of the type of material used, he is liable for [performing a derivative of the forbidden labor of] tying. The measure required for one to be liable according to Scriptural Law is a cord long enough to remain twisted without having to be tied at its end; thus the work he performed will endure. According to Rabbinic Law, [making] even the shortest [cord] is forbidden.50

Similarly, one who separates the threads of a cord is liable for [performing a derivative of the forbidden labor of] untying. The minimum measure of liability is the same as for making a cord. [Such a person is liable] only when he does not have a destructive intent, for anyone who [performs a forbidden labor with] a destructive intent is exempt according to Scriptural Law.51 His act is, nevertheless, forbidden according to Rabbinic Law.

יא הַפּוֹתֵל חֲבָלִים, מִכָּל מִין שֶׁיִּהְיֶה – חַיָּב מִשּׁוּם קוֹשֵׁר. וְשִׁעוּרוֹ לְהִתְחַיֵּב מִן הַתּוֹרָה, כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּעֲמוֹד הַחֶבֶל בִּפְתִילָתוֹ בְּלֹא קְשִׁירָה בְּסוֹפוֹ, שֶׁנִּמְצֵאת מְלַאכְתּוֹ מִתְקַיֶּמֶת.קיג אֲבָל מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים אָסוּר בְּכָל שֶׁהוּא.קיד, 50

וְכֵן הַמַּפְרִיד הַפָּתִיל – חַיָּב מִשּׁוּם מַתִּיר. וְשִׁעוּרוֹ כְּשִׁעוּר הַפּוֹתֵל. וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא יִתְכַּוֵּן לְקַלְקֵל,קטו שֶׁכָּל הַמְקַלְקְלִים פְּטוּרִיןקטז מִן הַתּוֹרָה,51 אֲבָל אָסוּר מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים:קיז