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Chapter 82:10
Carrying from One Domain to Another

10.A woman is allowed to support her child while he walks (1), even in a public domain, as long as she does not drag him. Rather, the child must lift up one leg while supporting himself on the other, which is placed on the ground until the raised leg comes back down, so that he is always supporting himself on one leg. If, however, she drags him with both legs on the ground, it is the equivalent of carrying him, and is forbidden even in a "carmelis" (2).

Carrying a child, even if he is big enough to walk by himself, is forbidden, even in a "carmelis." [Although the Sages ruled that], "a living being carries itself," (3) [the intent was not that carrying a living being, which is capable of walking itself, is actually permissible, but rather that if one did so inadvertantly], one would not have to bring a sin-offering (4) (when the Temple stands in Jerusalem). Carrying such a being is considered a "sh'vus" (Rabbinical prohibition), and in a "carmelis," a "sh'vus of a sh'vus" ("a rabbinical prohibition within the context of another rabbinical prohibition") (5). The public should be informed about this matter because it is a source of error.

FOOTNOTES:

(1) That is, one may support the child by holding his arms from behind, while the child moves his legs and walks (See Shabbos 128b).

(2) According to Rashi, dragging a child is the equivalent of carrying him, however, there are other authorities who rule that dragging is not the equivalent of carrying, and was only prohibited so that people would not come to inadvertently start carrying the child; therefore, according to these more lenient authorities, dragging is only prohibited regarding children who cannot walk themselves, even while being supported from behind, because carrying that sort of child in a public domain, would be a violation of Biblical law (See below note (3) and (5)) (See Mishna Berura 308:154 and Biur Halacha).

(3) The principle "A living being carries itself" ("Chai Noseh es Atzmo") means that carry a living being is not considered a violation of the Biblical prohibition against carrying on Shabbos, because the being, to a certain extent, is holding itself up (hence the difference in weight between carrying a sleeping baby, and one that is awake). Most authorities rule that this principle does not apply to infants who still drag their feet while they walk (that is, they can't support themselves on one leg as described in note (1) above (See the Aruch HaShulchan 308:67).

(4) A sin-offering ("Chatas") is brought for unintentional violations of Biblical Shabbos laws (as well as other specific types of violations outside the framework of the laws of Shabbos).

(5) Even those acts of carrying prohibited by Rabbinic law, such as carrying a living being, are prohibited in a "carmelis," within which carrying on Shabbos is only a Rabbinical prohibition.

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Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 2002 Project Genesis, Inc.

 

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