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Chapter 84:8
Laws of Carrying: Clothing & Jewelry

8. One may go out [into the public domain] wearing a "retiya" (bandage) on one's wound (provided it was placed on the wound before Shabbos (1)). Since it assists in the healing process, it is considered equivalent to jewelry.

Furthermore, one may tie an insignificant piece of cloth around the bandage, because it [has no importance of its own, and thus] is considered an extension of the bandage. It is, however, forbidden to tie a cloth of worth, like a scarf ("mitpachas"), around the bandage, because it is not considered auxiliary to the bandage. Since, it is not the usual way one would wear such a item, it is considered a burden ("Masui," that is, it is viewed as an object being transported, rather than an extension of the bandage) (2).

FOOTNOTES:

(1) As we will see in Chapter 91, the Sages made certain acts of healing prohibited on Shabbos out of a concern that one may come to grind drugs on Shabbos, an act which is biblically prohibited.

(2) According to the Mishna Berura (301:77, based on the Rambam) one may go out into the public domain on Shabbos, using an item of worth, such as a scarf, as a bandage, as long as it is placed directly over the wound; since it serves to directly protect the wound, it is equivalent to a bandage which aids in the healing process, discussed above in the first part of the halacha.

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