By Rabbi Dr. Azriel Rosenfeld | Series: | Level:

It is forbidden to handle utensils whose use is forbidden (see 308:47) or that are never used even on weekdays except for specific purposes that are not permitted on the Sabbath (308:1,19). Utensils that are usually used for purposes that are forbidden on the Sabbath may be used for permissible purposes, or may be moved if their place is needed, but otherwise they must not be handled (308:3-4,14,16,49,51;309:3,5;310:7). Other types of utensils and their parts (see 308:8) may be handled whenever there is a reason for doing so (308:4), even if they are very large or heavy (308:2). Books (see 308:33,50), food (see 308:27-32;310:2;322:5), or utensils containing them (see 308:5) may be handled even for no reason (308:4). Non-manufactured objects such as rocks must not be handled even for purposes of use unless they were set aside before the Sabbath for regular use (see 303:19;308:7, 10,17,20-26,38,45;311:8) or were made part of a utensil (see 309:2). Repulsive objects may be handled if it is necessary to dispose of them (see 279:6;308:34-37;310:1;338:8). Animals may be helped to move, but may not be lifted (see 306:1;308:39-41;309:1). On moving a dead body see 311:1-7.

If a utensil breaks, even on the Sabbath, the pieces may be handled if they are still usable or if it would be dangerous not to remove them, but if they were discarded by their owner they must not be handled; see 308:6-8,11-13,15-16,18,52. It is forbidden to handle food that was put away by its owner before the Sabbath because it was not yet fit to eat (see 310:2-5), or food that did not exist or was not available when the Sabbath began (see 279:1;322:1-3;324:6). Similarly, a utensil that was intentionally made forbidden (for example, a lamp that was lit) when the Sabbath began must not be handled even after it becomes permitted (for example, after the lamp goes out); see 279:1-5. On things that arrive from outside the Sabbath boundary see 307:14.

Even when it is forbidden to handle an object, it is permitted to touch it or to handle things that are in contact with it even if this causes it to move; see 308:3,42-43 and 311:1,8-9. If an object that it is forbidden to handle is put on top of a permissible object that belongs to the same person with the intent that it remain there for the Sabbath, handling the permissible object becomes forbidden (see 309:4) unless more important permissible objects are also on top of it before the Sabbath (see 310:8-9); but if there was no such intent, the permissible object may be moved so as to cause the forbidden object to fall off it, or it may be removed with the forbidden object still on it if its place is needed (277:3;279:1-2;308:27;309:3-5;310:7;311:8). A utensil must not be put where forbidden objects will fall on it on the Sabbath unless it was put there before the Sabbath (see 265:3-4;266:9; 305:19;310:6;335:4;338:8); but it is permitted to cover a forbidden object with a utensil (see 310:6;322:1;338:7).

Large quantities of food should not be moved unless the space is needed for religious purposes or the food is needed for guests; see 333:1-3 and 338:7. Food should not be transported in a standard way unless it is needed for guests (see 323:5), and very large quantities of water should not be drawn (see 338:6). On rescuing food from spilling see 314:11 and 335:1-3,5.

Shulchan Aruch, Copyright (c) 2000 Project Genesis, Inc.

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