Carrying is permitted on Yom Tov, provided the item carried is to be used on that day of Yom Tov.

Returning Borrowed Items on Yom Tov

Question: Before Yom Tov I borrowed some chairs from my neighbor across the street. The meal is now over and my numerous guests have left. I would now like to return the chairs – simply to free up the space in my house.

Answer: If those chairs may well be used today at your neighbor’s place, fine. But merely to free up space in your house does not justify carrying through the street on Yom Tov.

If, however, you were neighbors within the same complex, but without an eruv chatzeirot actually in place, then you would be permitted to return the chairs.

Carrying Items That Belong to Someone Who Is Far Away on Yom Tov

Question: My neighbor across the street went away for Yom Tov. They left their house-keys with me, and expressly permitted me to borrow chairs etc. if the need arises. May I walk over and borrow some chairs on Yom Tov?

Answer: If your neighbor is now beyond the techum Shabbat, then this would not be allowed. To explain:

It is well known that one who goes beyond the techum is then ‘grounded’, i.e. he is not allowed to leave his present ‘4 cubits’ area. This is similarly true for his effects, that they too may not be moved from their immediate ‘4 cubits. Since your neighbor is currently beyond your techum, so his chairs are also ‘beyond his techum’, and may not be moved away from their current location.

Here again, if you both live within one complex, the halachah is more lenient. In the precedent, a person who is ‘grounded’ to ‘4 amos’, the halachah regards an entire reshut hayochid as 4 amos. Similarly in the current application, movement of furniture is permitted within a reshut hayochid.

Certainly so when both live within an eruv, that the said movement is permitted.

Taking Out Garbage on Yom Tov

Question: May I carry out the garbage on Yom Tov?

Answer: The halachah is quite clear regarding disposal of repulsive matter, that Yom Tov is no different to Shabbat. This is true regarding: a) muktza and b) carrying out to the street. To explain:

A) Trash is effectively muktza. We are, however, permitted to dispose of trash when its presence is an assault on human self-respect. So we may take out a full bag of garbage from the kitchen to the large bin outside the house (provided that you are still within an eruv). But if your collection day coincides with Yom Tov, you would not be allowed to wheel your bin from the side of the house to the front garden. This is because the bin is effectively muktza, and at its present location – at the side of house – it is not assaulting anyone’s presence. [Even where there is an eruv, this point remains unchanged].

B) [As mentioned earlier about returning chairs to clear your space]: You have no need for the trash to stand in the street; you merely want it to be carted away from your premises. So, carrying it to the street is not catering to your Yom Tov needs directly, and is not allowed.

Carrying on Yom Tov for the Following Shabbat

Question: On Shabbat Shuva I am scheduled to deliver a speech. I left my notes at home before Yom Tov. May I carry them to Shul on Friday, the second day Yom Tov, relying on the eruv tavshilin?

Answer: This question appears in Cheshev haEphod (vol.2:65), where the late Reb Chaim Kaufmann z.l. puts this question to the late rabbi of London, my teacher Rav Henoch Padwa z.l. The response condones the fact that many are accustomed to carry in the above circumstance.

It must be said, however, that some don’t permit non-food chores by virtue of the eruv tavshilin. A most notable example: not to roll the Sefer Torah on Friday to the reading for Shabbat. According to them, it is not allowed to carry non-food items thanks to the eruv tavshilin.

Carrying a Ladder on Yom Tov

One last halachah for the moment – and this really happened (the previous questions could have happened):

A family went away for Passover and loaned their home to a visiting family. One day of Yom Tov, the visitors locked themselves out of the house. The doors and windows were securely shut, save for an open window on the third floor. It so happens that there is a neighbor who is a builder, and atop his van was a builder’s ladder.

When approached to lend his ladder, he declined, saying that it is forbidden to carry it on Yom Tov.

He was actually quite right, because the sages forbade the carrying of a ladder through the street on Yom Tov, lest one give the impression that he is en route to do some maintenance to his roof. [This is true even for an ‘internal’ type of ladder, and certainly for a builder’s ladder [see Shulchan Aruch OC sec. 518].

Due to the urgency of the moment, I allowed the visitor to ask a non-Jew to bring the ladder. Once the ladder was in place, a Jew would be permitted to climb up, and thereby allow the family back into their home.