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The Halachos on this website are based on my personal understanding of the Halachic texts quoted, and are for learning purposes only, NOT for Psak Halacha.

DO NOT rely on them for Psak Halacha L’Maaseh. If you have questions or require further source information, please email the question at Ben@HalachaForToday.comand I will try to respond as soon as I can. For a Halacha L’Ma’aseh Psak, please contact your local Orthodox Rabbi.

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ARCHIVES: HILCHOS SHABBOS; 39 MELACHOS; BONEH & SOSER

(HALACHOS OF BUILDING AND DESTROYING)

BELOW ARE THE HALACHOS FROM THE DAILY EMAILS THAT WERE SENT OUT TO THE “HALACHA FOR TODAY” DAILY EMAIL LIST

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2 , 2011

We will now begin discussing the Melachos of Boneh and Soser, building and destroying, on Shabbos. This set of Halachos is quite intricate and full of details and sometimes surprising applications which B’Ezras Hashem we will understand more fully by the time we get through them.

 

1) It is prohibited to build something on Shabbos, even if the item being built is only partially built, the transgression is in effect for the part that was built. (Mishna and Talmud Shabbos 102b. See also Rambam Hilchos Shabbos Perek 10:12)

 

Even one who fills in a small crack in an otherwise fully built wall has transgressed the Melacha of Boneh. (ibid.)

 

2) Any improvement made to any existing structure is a transgression of Boneh even if nothing was actually added to the structure. (See Talmud Shabbos 73b)

 

Even if one makes a hole in an existing wall for the purpose of placing a window into that space, or even for the purposes of the hole allowing outside air or light into the home, the Melacha of Boneh has been transgressed. (Rambam Hilchos Shabbos Perek 10:14)

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3 , 2011

1) Hanging a door or a window onto its hinges, or inserting them onto their tracks is a transgression of the Melacha of Boneh.

 

Thus, if a window or door fell off its hinges or out of their tracks, in a way that makes the window or door unusable or difficult to maneuver and use for its intended purpose, in most instances it would be prohibited to reinsert them into the hinges or tracks. (See Chazon Ish Orach Chaim Siman 50:10 Dibur Hamaschil Rav Meir)

 

A Rav must be consulted in each individual case to determine the Halacha.

 

2) It is prohibited to knock a nail into a wall on Shabbos.

 

Doing so, according to some opinions, is a transgression of the Melacha of Boneh. (See Talmud Shabbos 103b where there is a dispute if this is a transgression of Boneh or Makeh B’Patish. (See also Mishna Berura Siman 314:8 where he rules that if the nail is knocked in as a hook to hang things on it is a transgression of Makeh B’Patish)

 

Likewise, any other items that are attached to an existing structure on Shabbos will be a transgression of Boneh, details of which we shall learn in the near future B’Ezras Hashem.

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, NOVEMBER 4 , 2011

(Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

 

1) Mounting a faucet to a wall on Shabbos is a transgression of the Melacha of Boneh, as anything that is attached to a fixed structure (Mechubar L’Karka) is considered adding on to that structure.

 

If part of the piping, strainer or any other part of the faucet fell off on Shabbos, it is prohibited to reattach it, as since these are meant to always remain attached to the faucet it will be considered adding on to the structure if they are reattached. (See Chazon Ish Orach Chaim end of Siman 53)

 

2) Loosely placing a towel, washcloth or other item on top of the faucet is permissible, as since it is only there temporarily it isn’t considered adding on to the structure.

Wrapping the towel firmly around the faucet, however, should be avoided as doing so is a concern of Boneh. (See Chazon Ish ibid.)

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1) Part of a structure or part of a utensil that became loose may not be tightened on Shabbos.

Thus, for example, a handle of a faucet or a knob of a dresser drawer or a doorknob that became loose may not be screwed on or otherwise tightened on Shabbos.

 

2) Digging a hole in the ground, for the purposes of placing things in it, is a transgression of the Melacha of Boneh, [as well as other transgressions]. (See Talmud Shabbos 102b)

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2011

1) One who closes a window or a door and thus “adds on” to the structure by causing open space to be filled, nevertheless has not transgressed the Melacha of Boneh, even if the intention is to keep this window or door sealed indefinitely.

 

2) A drawer in a large dresser(or even a small dresser if it is mounted to the wall or floor) that slides on tracks should not be removed or inserted on Shabbos as doing so is a concern of Boneh or Soser according to some Poskim. (See Chazon Ish Orach Chaim Siman 52:14 Dibur Hamaschil Kasav Od. Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal ruled that there is no concern of Boneh or Soser with removing and inserting drawers unless the track has a latch which locks it in place when opened to prevent it from easily coming out.)

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011

1) Shelves should not be removed from or replaced into a bookcase on Shabbos, even if they are not screwed in and simply lay upon pegs or dowels as is common in many bookcases, as they are meant to remain in the bookcase permanently and as such are deemed part of the bookcase.

The aforementioned Halacha applies only to large bookcases or even to smaller bookcases if they are mounted to the floor or the wall, as bookcases that are small (can hold less than the volume of 40 Sa’ah) and are not mounted to the wall or floor may have their [loose fitting, self-standing] shelves removed and replaced (as we shall B’Ezras Hashem discuss more in detail when we discuss Boneh in regards to Keilim, utensils)

 

2) It is prohibited to hang a curtain or drape onto its track or shaft on Shabbos [if it is to remain there permanently] as doing so is considered adding on to the structure.

 

If the curtain is only being hung temporarily according to some Poskim it is permitted, while other Poskim prohibit this as well. (See Rama Siman 315:1 and Chazon Ish Orach Chaim Siman 52:13)

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2011

1) Attaching a suction cup hook -which is fastened by virtue of forming a vacuum – to a wall or window on Shabbos is prohibited, as doing so is considered adding on to the wall.

This is the case even if the hook will not stay there permanently but only a few hours. (As even if it lacks permanence to deem it biblical Boneh it will still be considered rabbinical Boneh if it stays there temporarily)

 

2) using a suction cup which is attached to the bottom of a child’s bowl or plate in order to “fasten” it to the table is permitted, as doing so is not considered adding on to the table, rather it is done to prevent the contents of the bowl from spilling, and is removed immediately after the meal.

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2011

1) Magnets on a refrigerator, which keep papers and other items stuck on to the refrigerator, may be removed from and returned to the refrigerator and there is no concern of Boneh or Soser, as they aren’t considered a part of the refrigerator. (Some Poskim are stringent with magnets that are meant to stay stuck for a long time, such as those holding notepads to the fridge)

 

Care should be taken though, if moving these magnets, that no papers which may be Muktzeh are moved along with them on Shabbos.

 

2) A picture that is freely hanging on a nail or on a hook on the wall, and is not in any way attached to the wall may be removed from and returned to the wall and is not a prohibition of Boneh. (See Mogen Avraham Siman 315:2 and Chazon Ish Orach Chaim Siman 52:13.)

 

However, sometimes a picture or painting may be prohibited to move  due to  being Muktzeh  because of its value or size, as we will B’Ezras Hashem discuss when we learn Hilchos Muktzeh, so this should be kept in mind before moving any paintings.(See Chazon Ish Orach Chaim Siman 43:17 regarding a wall clock where he rules that it should not be removed or replaced due to concerns of Muktzeh, and not due to concerns of Boneh)

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2011

1) A baby swing which is attached to the top of a door, and is commonly removed after each use, may be hung onto and removed from the door on Shabbos as we do not look at the swing as an addition to the structure, rather as an independent item which will soon be removed. (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal and YBL”C Rav Nisim Karelitz Shlita, quoted in Orchos Shabbos page 270 footnote 20)

 

2) A doorknob which fell off a door on Shabbos may not be reattached on Shabbos.

If the screw is reinserted along with the doorknob, it is a biblical prohibition; if it is inserted without the screw and is a bit wobbly it is a rabbinical prohibition.

 

However, if the knob is placed on the door in a way that it will inevitably fall off, no prohibition of Boneh is present. (See Chazon Ish Orach Chaim Siman 50:10 Dibur Hamaschil Daf. There may be other reasons due to Muktzeh or other Gezeiros D’Rabanan why this may still be prohibited in some cases, and we shall discuss them in the near future , B’Ezras Hashem, more in detail.)

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, NOVEMBER 11, 2011

(Double Portion L’kavod Shabbos Kodesh)

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

 

1) In many restrooms there is a toilet paper or tissue holder which hold the paper in place using an insert with a spring in it.

 

According to some Poskim, removing or inserting this spring into the paper holder is prohibited on Shabbos and doing so is a transgression of the Melacha of Boneh/ Soser.

 

Their reasoning is that this holder is considered a part of the structure, as it is always there and even when it is removed to fill the paper, it is immediately returned to its place. (Ruling of Maran haRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita quoted in Orchos Shabbos page 271 footnote 26)

 

2) Other Poskim, however, maintain that removing and inserting this spring is not a transgression of Boneh/Soser as it is always looked at as an independent item and not part of the structure. (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal, ibid. footnote 27)

For Halacha L’Ma’aseh, as always, a Rav must be consulted.

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1) In many public places, near the sink, they have a long towel hanging from a rod which turns so that a dry part of the towel can be reached in order to dry the hands.

 

If this rod is screwed closed, it may not be opened on Shabbos to remove the wet towel and exchange it with a fresh one, even if this screw is only loosely screwed in.

 

If, however, the rod is not screwed down at all, and is simply laying there on brackets, it may be opened and closed on Shabbos in order to change the towels.(Ruling of Maran Harav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita quoted in Orchos Shabbos page 272)

 

2) The above remains permissible even if there is a lock preventing unauthorized individuals from opening the rod to remove the towel, as since it isn’t screwed down it is not considered a part of the structure. (ibid.)

 

Likewise, the rod of a Paroches (curtain) that hangs in front of an Aron HaKodesh, which fell off, may be returned to its place if it is free standing on brackets and not screwed in.

 

If it was screwed in it is prohibited to return it to its place and doing so is a prohibition of Boneh, as we deem it as part of the Aron HaKodesh. (Besides for it being an issue of Muktzeh. See Mishna Berura Siman 308:35)

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2011

1) A plastic hook that goes over the door and is used to hang clothing behind the door may be put on and removed on Shabbos as it is free standing and not connected to the door and thus not considered a part of the door.

 

2) A mezuzah cover that fell off the doorpost on Shabbos may not be replaced even if done in a loose manner.

 

Likewise, if one of the screws holding the Mezuzah in place falls out on Shabbos, it may not be replaced, even loosely, on Shabbos. (Besides for the prohibition of Boneh, the screw, as well as the cover that fell, is Muktzeh. See Mishna Berura Siman 308:35)

 

If the mezuzah cover got loose and the parchment fell out, some Poskim rule that the parchment may be returned to its place on Shabbos. (See Sdei Chemed: Mem; 115 for more details on why this may or may not be a problem)

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2011

1) It is prohibited [for a Jew] to fix an Eiruv that requires repair on Shabbos.

This includes inserting or straightening the poles as well as tying on or fixing the strings or any other aspect of repair, and doing these actions is a prohibition of Boneh.

 

2) In certain situations where not repairing the Eiruv may lead to many people unsuspectingly carrying on Shabbos, it is permissible to request a non-Jew to repair the Eiruv. (See Mishna Berura Siman 276:25.)

 

Of course, a Rav must be consulted for Halacha L’Ma’aseh before requesting this of the non-Jew.

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2011

1) In the event that a window breaks on Shabbos, it is permitted to cover the opening by draping a blanket, sheet or a towel over it and doing so is not an issue of Boneh.(Mishna Berura Siman 313:3)

 

However, the blanket, sheet or towel may not be tacked into the wall or window frame, as that indeed would be a prohibition of Boneh.

 

2) If after the window breaks, some pieces of the glass remain in the frame, they may not be removed from the frame as doing so would be a transgression of Soser, destroying.

However, if by leaving those glass pieces in the frame they will pose a danger to people, a non-Jew may be asked to remove them.

 

If a non-Jew is not available, the dangerous glass may be removed from the frame by a Jew if done in a non-regular fashion (K’Lachar Yad), i.e. by removing them with his foot instead of with his hands. (See Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchaso Perek 23:35 quoting Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal)

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2011

1) There is a debate amongst the Poskim if a sink drain that got stuffed up on Shabbos may be unclogged by using a plunger.

 

Some Poskim allow it in cases of extreme necessity while others prohibit this in all instances as in their opinion fixing a pipe that was not functioning properly is a transgression of the Melacha of Boneh and/or the melacha of Makeh B’Patish. (See Shu”t Minchas Yitzchak Vol. 5 Siman 75 and Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchaso Perek 12:17)

 

2) If the blockage is extreme and can only be unclogged by using a snake tool, which is considered skilled work (Ma’aseh Uman) all agree that it is prohibited. (Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchaso ibid.)

 

Of course, actually unscrewing the blocked pipe in order to clean it as well as re-screwing it after it is cleaned is prohibited according to all opinions.

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2011

1) A sink strainer that got filled with food particles, may be picked up, emptied into the garbage and returned to the sink, and doing so is not a concern of Boneh.

 

If the food particles are no longer suitable for consumption by animals they become Muktzeh and thus they should only be discarded via picking up the strainer (Tiltul Min HaTzad) and not by scooping out the actual particles.

 

2) A toilet that becomes clogged on Shabbos, according to many Poskim, may be plunged to unblock the blockage, as being clogged is a common occurence and does not render the toilet broken and thus plunging it is not deemed an act of repairing it. (Ruling of Maran HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita quoted in Sefer Ashrei HaIsh;Shabbos Page 226)

 

Some Poskim are stringent and prohibit using a plunger.

 

In cases where the toilet is easily back in order with a few light pumps of the plunger, the prevalent ruling is to allow it, whereas for more severe blockages, it is best to be stringent. (See Shu”t Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 4 Siman 40 and Shu”t Minchas Yitzchak Vol. 5 Siman 75)

All Poskim agree that that a snake tool may not be used, as that is considered skilled work and doing so would be a transgression of Boneh.

 

For Halacha L’Ma’aseh a Rav should be consulted.

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, NOVEMBER 18, 2011

(Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

 

1) A drain cover that does not have a handle on it may not be replaced or removed on Shabbos and doing so is a transgression of Boneh/Soser.

 

However, if the drain cover is equipped with a handle it may indeed be removed or replaced on Shabbos as the handle is an indication that it is meant to be removed and replaced and thus not a transgression of Boneh/Soser. (Much like a sink strainer which may be removed and replaced as that is its intended function.) (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 308:10 and Mishna Berura S”K 42)

 

2) A roof gutter that is filled with leaves and other debris and is thus blocking the rainwater from draining into the drainpipe may not be cleaned out on Shabbos as doing so will once again allow the drainpipe to work properly and is a transgression of Boneh [and possibly a transgression of Makeh B'Patish as well].

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1) A piece of carpet which stretches from wall-to-wall in a room may not be laid in that room on Shabbos if the intention is to leave it there permanently, even it isn’t tacked down to the floor, as doing so is considered adding on to the room and thus a transgression of Boneh.

 

2) If the piece of carpet does not reach the wall and is only placed in the center of the room, even if it covers a majority of the floor it is permitted. (See “The Shabbos Home; Volume two” by Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen Shlita, page 423 footnote 46)

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2011

1) Many people use ear plugs for various reasons during the day or when they sleep to block out noise.

 

Regarding their use on Shabbos, it would depend on what kind of earplugs they are.

The kind that is like a small sponge which does not assume the shape of the inner ear when inserted and reverts back to its original shape upon being removed from the ear, may be used on Shabbos.

 

However, earplugs that are made from silicone, wax or similar materials which assume the shape of the inner ear that they are put in to and retain that shape when being removed may not be used on Shabbos, as doing so may violate the Melachos of Boneh/Tikun Maneh, Makeh B’Patish and/or Memarayach. (See Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchaso Perek 14:39 and footnote 109 where he prohibits earplugs on Shabbos without specifying what type of earplug he is referring to. Rav Yehoshua Neuwirth Shlita, author of Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchaso later said that this ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal was referring only to the silicone type that retains its shape and not to the sponge type; See Orchos Shabbos page 276 footnote 43. See also Shu”t Az Nidberu Vol. 3 Siman 21)

 

2) Cotton balls may be inserted into the ears as long as they were set aside for such use before Shabbos. (See Mishna Berura Siman 328:152 and Sha’ar HaTziyun Siman 514:52 and Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchaso ibid.)

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2011

1) It is prohibited to fold papers on Shabbos to produce distinct shapes, such as airplanes, birds or ships or other such shapes.

 

Likewise, it is prohibited to fold napkins into distinct and complicated shapes or designs in order to beautify the table on Shabbos, as doing so is likened to building.

However, simply folding them in half or in a simple shape [that isn't in the form of any particular item] is permitted. (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal quoted in Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchaso Perek Perek 11:40 and Perek 16:19)

 

2) Snowballs or snowmen may not be formed on Shabbos, as doing so is a transgression of the Melacha of Boneh. (See Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchaso Perek 16:44. Some Poskim rule that snow is Muktzeh to even touch in the first place, but Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal and others rule that it is not. We shall discuss this more at length when we cover Hilchos Muktzeh B’Ezras Hashem)

Snowballs that were formed from before Shabbos, according to some Poskim should not be thrown on Shabbos as doing so may be a transgression of Soser. (ibid. footnote 109.)

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2011

1) Until now our discussion focused mainly on Boneh/Soser (building/destroying) as regards to adding on to a building or structure or as regards to items mounted to the ground or large items (that hold more than the volume of 40 Sa’ah) even if they aren’t mounted to the ground, as these too are considered Mechubar L’Karka, attached to the ground for Boneh purposes.

Now we will begin discussing Boneh /Soser as they apply to Keilim, utensils.

 

The Talmud in  a few places (including Shabbos 102b, 122b and Beitzah 11b) discusses whether the prohibition of Boneh/Soser applies only to building [or adding on to ] a structure or if it applies as well to utensils.

 

2) There is a dispute amongst the Rishonim as to how we rule in this matter.

Some Rishonim rule that there is a prohibition of Boneh/Soser in regard to utensils provided that the “building” was done in a way that will keep the pieces together firmly.

 

Furthermore, these Rishonim rule that initially creating or forming a utensil is also a prohibition of Boneh. (See Rambam Hilchos Shabbos Perek 10:13 and Tosafos Shabbos 102b Dibur Hamaschil Hai)

 

Other Rishonim, however, rule that there is no prohibition of Boneh/Soser at all in regards to utensils. (Rashi Shabbos 47a Dibur Hamaschil Chayav Chatas. This is also the ruling of the Gaon of Vilna quoted in Mishna Berura Siman 314:7)

 

However, even those who rule that there is no Boneh/Soser for utensils, agree that it is prohibited to initially create a utensil on Shabbos or firmly put together the pieces of a utensil to make it whole due to the Melacha of Makeh B’Patish. (See Rashi ibid.)

 

The Shulchan Aruch (Siman 314) rules that there is a prohibition of Boneh/Soser in regard to utensils, if certain criteria are met, as we shall detail in the coming days B’Ezras Hashem.

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011

1) It is prohibited to connect two parts of a utensil to each other in a way that will be considered firm and permanent, and doing so is a biblical prohibition of Boneh [and/or Makeh B'Patish].

The definition of “permanent connection” is that the two individual pieces that were combined are now considered one unit.

 

Some examples of prohibited connectors are screws, nails, tacks, glue or similar items, and sometimes it can be prohibited without a connector agent as well if the two parts are connected very with force to or into each other in a way that it can stay connected permanently. (See Rashi to Shabbos 47b Dibur Hamaschil Yitoka and Rambam Hilchos Shabbos Perek 10:13)

 

2) One who takes apart an assembled utensil (of a variety that is prohibited to put together on Shabbos) has transgressed the biblical Melacha of Soser, destroying, provided that the purpose of taking it apart was to re-assemble it or for another nondestructive purpose. (See Rambam Hilchos Shabbos Perek 10:15 and Biur Halacha Siman 340:14 Dibur Hamaschil V’lo)

 

If it was disassembled ina destructive fashion (mekalkel), although not a biblical transgression, it is still prohibited rabbinically.

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2011

1) A utensil which has a cover that is firmly screwed or otherwise attached to it (e.g. a hot water thermos bottle)may be opened and closed on Shabbos as this is its intended purpose, and we don’t deem it as attaching and detaching every time it is opened and closed. (See Mogen Avraham Siman 313:12 and Taz Siman 313:7)

 

2) A utensil which is often totally disassembled and reassembled, according to some Poskim it is not subject to the Melacha of Boneh and may be taken apart and put together on Shabbos, as that is its normal manner of use. (See Shulchan Aruch HaRav Siman 313:21)

Other Poskim, however, are stringent and prohibit disassembling and firmly reassembling even such a utensil. (See Chazon Ish Orach Chaim Siman 50:9 Dibur Hamaschil V’Heenay)

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, NOVEMBER 25, 2011

(Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

 

1) It is forbidden to assemble parts of a utensil in a firm way, even if they are not actually attached with anything and are simply held together by clinging snugly to each other.

This is a rabbinical prohibition enacted as we are concerned that if they are put together this way it will lead to fastening them together with a screw or other item which will then be a biblical transgression.

 

Thus, according to some Poskim there is no prohibition to disassemble such an item as there is no concern that doing so will lead to any biblical melacha. (See Shulchan Aruch HaRav Siman 313:22 and Chazon Ish Siman 50:10 Dibur Hamaschil Shabbos)

 

2) If the parts are assembled loosely it is permitted, even if the item is rendered useable only by virtue of being assembled, such as a folding chair or bed, as long as it is an item that is meant to assemble and disassemble regularly and is an item that is always assembled loosely. (See Talmud Shabbos 47b and Shulchan Aruch Siman 313:6. If the item is intended to remain assembled indefinitely it is prohibited, not due to Boneh but due to Makeh B’Patish. See Chazon Ish Siman 50:9)

 

The definition of firm or loose is determined by how easily the parts are attached to one another; if it takes some strength to disassemble the parts it is considered firmly attached whereas if it comes apart easily it is considered to have been attached loosely. (See Orchos Shabbos Perek 8:45)

 

An item that has never yet been assembled may not be assembled on Shabbos for the first time, even if it is done in a loose fashion, as even though there is no prohibition of Boneh with such a loose assembly, there still will be a biblical transgression of Makeh B’patish. (See Mishna Berura Siman 340:33)

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1) A screw that fell out of a temple on a pair of eyeglasses may not be reinserted on Shabbos even if only screwing in loosely, and doing so is a prohibition of the Melacha of Boneh.

Even if the screw did not totally fall out and only became undone partially, it may not be tightened on Shabbos.

 

If the screw that connects the temple to the eyeglass frame got lost, in situations where the temple does not become Muktzeh (such as if another suitable screw is not available and thus we are not concerned it may be fixed properly; See Mishna Berura Siman 308:69) a safety pin may be inserted to hold the frame in place until after Shabbos when it can be taken to the shop and fixed properly. (ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal quoted in Sefer M’Or HaShabbos Vol. 2 in a letter at the end of the Sefer 29:3)

 

However, it may not be attached with any adhesives or by inserting a metal wire in the screw hole.

 

2) A lens that fell out of a pair of eyeglasses due to the screw holding it in place becoming loose, may not be returned to the frame on Shabbos, even loosely, as we are concerned that when doing so the screw will be tightened and thus be a transgression of the Melacha of Boneh.

Furthermore, in this case the frame as well as the lens become Muktzeh and may not be moved on Shabbos.

 

If, however, the lens popped out due to the frame bending or stretching (common in frames that do not utilize screws to hold the lens in place), it may be replaced loosely for use on Shabbos but not inserted tightly as it would be during the week.

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2011

1) A table leaf may be added to or removed from a table on Shabbos to extend or decrease the size of the table, even if the pins in the leaf are inserted into the corresponding holes in the table and there is no concern of Boneh, as this leaf is meant to go in and out and is also considered loosely attached.

 

There is also no concern of making an ohel on Shabbos, as this is adding on to an Ohel and not initially making one as we shall discuss when we learn the Halachos of Ohel B’Ezras Hashem. (See Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchaso Perek 24:23)

 

Of course, the leaf may not be screwed into the table on Shabbos.

 

2) It is permitted to open and close a folding table, folding chair, folding bed, child’s playpen and similar items and this is not considered Boneh as all the parts are already connected to each other and thus not considered being assembled on Shabbos. (ibid.)

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2011

1) Many infant cribs and bassinets are equipped with small wheels to enable them to be easily moved from place to place.

 

These wheels are not screwed in, and it is common for them to sometimes fall out when the crib is being moved, and when they fall out they are easily pushed back in.

 

These wheels may be replaced on Shabbos even if they will now stay in if the crib is lifted, so long as they are loose enough that they can easily be pulled out, as this is not considered Boneh. (See Mishna Berura Siman 308:72)

 

2) Rubber feet that are placed on bottom of chair legs in order to prevent the floor from becoming scratched may not be removed or replaced on Shabbos onto the legs of the chair if they fell off if they are firmly attached. (See Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchaso Perek 23:42)

If they are loosely attached it is permitted. (See Orchos Shabbos Page 286 footnote 80)

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2011

1) A tray that is attached to a child’s high-chair may be attached and detached as long as it doesn’t take much effort to do so (i.e. a push of a button and it slides right in/out).

If the tray requires strength to attach/detach, according to some Poskim it may be prohibited to do so on Shabbos, while many Poskim allow this as well, as this is the intended way of using this tray and thus it isn’t considered Boneh. (See Orchos Shabbos page 287 footnote 82)

 

2) It is permitted to screw on the top of a salt shaker as well as the cover of a baby’s bottle on Shabbos, even if fastening it very tightly.

 

Many Poskim permit the assembly of Lego pieces on Shabbos even if they are assembled very tightly and even if the item constructed is not broken apart right away. (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal and YBL”C HaRav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg Shlita, HaRav NissimKarelitz Shlita and others; see Orchos Shabbos page 287 footnote 86 where he writes that Rav Shlomo Zalmen permitted it but discouraged it nonetheless especially for adults. (See also “The Shabbos Home” by Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen Shlita Vol. 2 page 426 footnote 53)

 

Other Poskim are stringent and prohibit anyone above the age of Chinuch from assembling Lego on Shabbos. (Ruling of Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita quoted in Sefer Ashrei HaIsh; Shabbos Page 231-232 and in Orchos Shabbos ibid. See also Shu”t Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 5 Siman 22:27 that one should not give children building toys such as Legos to play with on Shabbos, however they aren’t Muktzeh as the children take them on their own to play with.)

For Halacha L’Ma’aseh a Rav must be consulted.

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2011

1) A shtender (a bookstand) or similar item that can be adjusted for height via lifting it or lowering its legs and then pulling out and re-inserting a pin or peg to hold the desired height, may be adjusted on Shabbos and doing so is not a concern of Boneh.

 

The reason for this is that the shtender is considered a completed item at all heights, and the raising and lowering of it is simply the way it was intended to be used.(Ruling of HaRav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal quoted in Sefer Me’Or HaShabbos Vol. 2: Letters 32:3. See also Shu”t Shevet Haleivi Vol. 6 Siman 32. This is also the way Maran HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita rules.)

 

2) A cooling fan’s standing base, however, according to some Poskim, may not be raised and lowered on Shabbos, as when the bolt is loosened to adjust the height, the head of the fan falls downward, and in that position it cannot serve its intended purpose, and thus when it’s refastened it will be considered Tikun Maneh, fixing of the object. (See Orchos Shabbos page 288 footnote 88)

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2011

1) Certain actions that are permitted on Shabbos and do not fall under the Melacha of Boneh (such as loosely connecting two things or other leniencies we discussed over the past few weeks), will still be prohibited to do if being done for the first time, as the first time something is completed it is considered forming it, and thus a transgression of Tikun Maneh. (According to Rashi Shabbos 48a and many other Rishonim it is a biblical transgression while the Rambam Hilchos Shabbos Perek 22:23 deems it a rabbinical transgression. See Mishna Berura Siman 340:33 and Sha’ar HaTziyun Os 68 where he rules like Rashi.)

 

Thus, it is prohibited to insert shoelaces into a pair of shoes that didn’t ever have laces in them before, even if these laces were previously inserted into a different pair of shoes.

The reason for this is that by virtue of adding laces to the shoes, only now is it considered a finished product, and thus a transgression of Tikun Maneh, Boneh.(See Shulchan Aruch Siman 317:2 and Mishna Berura S”K 16)

 

If the shoelaces were inserted to most of the eyelets before Shabbos, it may be inserted into the remaining few eyelets on Shabbos. (Ruling of HaRav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal quoted in Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchaso Perek 15 footnote 202)

 

If the laces are inserted in such a manner that they will surely not remain this way permanently, they may then be inserted on Shabbos in that manner as this does not deem the shoe as completed. (See Ketzos Hashulchan Siman 146; Badei Hashulchan S”K 3)

 

Thus, if one needs to lace a pair of shoes on Shabbos, he may insert the laces into the top eyelets only, as after Shabbos he will surely remove them and lace them through all the eyelets normally.

 

2) Even in cases where it is permitted to insert the laces, it is only permitted if the laces are easily inserted but not in cases where it takes effort to get them in. (See Mishna Berura Siman 317:20 and Shulchan Aruch HaRav Siman 317:5)

 

Additionally, if the laces being inserted are of a kind that requires the tying of a permanent knot to keep them in place, they may not be inserted even if no knot is tied. (See Mishna Berura ibid. and Biur Halacha Dibur Hamaschil V’Davka)

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, DECEMBER 2, 2011(DOUBLE PORTION L’KAVOD SHABBOS KODESH)

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

 

1) A rubber ball or toy may not be blown up for the first time on Shabbos.

However, if the toy or ball was already blown up at least once before Shabbos, it may once again be blown up on Shabbos and may be plugged with a piece of rubber. (See Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchaso Perek 34:24 quoting Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal.)

 

2) A balloon that was never inflated may not be blown up for the first time on Shabbos.

A balloon that was once inflated may be blown up on Shabbos provided that this kind of balloon is usually sealed with a rubber plug in order to keep in the air and not tied with a knot.

If this kind of balloon is usually tied with a knot it may not be blown up on Shabbos even if there is no intention to tie it. (See Orchos Shabbos page 292 footnote 103)

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1) Pearls that got detached from their strand may not be replaced on Shabbos even if the string isn’t tied, as we are concerned that it may lead to tying inadvertently.

 

The above does not apply to the strands of beads that children put together for themselves to wear, as that is permitted as long as they do not tie a knot at the end.(Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal quoted in Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchaso Perek 16:21. See at length for the reasoning behind the differentiation between adults and children.)

 

2) A disposable fork which has two parts that need to be attached to form it may be assembled on Shabbos, even if it is being done for the first time. (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal in Minchas Shlomo Vol. 2 Siman 13. This is also the ruling of Maran HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita. The Chazon Ish Zatal, however, was stringent. See Orchos Shabbos page 293 footnote 105 for a lengthy explanation of the two sides.)

 

A cup which is made of two parts that need to be combined into each other may not be assembled for the first time on Shabbos.

 

If, however, it had been assembled once before, it is permissible to once again put it together on Shabbos, as long as it is easy to assemble.