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Chapter 88:14
Laws of Muktzeh on Shabbos

14. [If one inadvertently left an article that is muktzeh on top of an article that is not muktzeh or it fell there on Shabbos], and one has no need for the article upon which the muktzeh was left, it is forbidden to be carried [with the muktzeh on it] (1).

Therefore, it is forbidden to carry a child who is holding a stone or some other muktzeh item in his hand, even within a private domain. If the child is very attached [to the adult], to the extent that if he is not picked up he might make himself ill, and it is impossible to dislodge the stone from his hand because he will scream and cry, then it is permissible to pick him up while he is holding the stone within a private domain (2).

[Different laws apply] if the child is holding a coin (3). In this instance, it is forbidden even to hold his hand while walking, even within a private domain (4). [This prohibition applies even if the child] is very attached [to the adult], because we are concerned that if the coin falls from the child's hand, the adult will forget that it is shabbos and pick up the coin, thereby handling muktzeh in a direct manner. [Picking up a child holding a coin is forbidden even] if it is possible that the child might make himself sick [due to the crying], because no danger to the child's life will result from not being carried (5).

FOOTNOTES:

(1) Carrying a muktzeh item on top of a non-muktzeh item is called "titul min hatzad" ("indirect movement"); the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch only permits this method of moving muktzeh, if it is for the sake of the non-muktzeh item. However, one can rely on those who permit it even for the sake of the muktzeh item itself ("Muktzeh; A Practical Guide" by Rav S.B Cohen).

(2) The following is a quote from "Muktzeh; A Practical Guide" by Rav S.B Cohen, pg 42: "If the child does not want to drop the muktzeh object and will become VERY (appears in italics) upset if he is left alone, one is permitted to carry the child [with the muktzeh object in his hand]."

(3) Or any valuable item that the adult might be inclined to pick up if it were dropped by the child.

(4) Others disagree, and rule that it is permissible to hold the child's hand while walking. It is best to follow the stringent view, unless there is a pressing need (See Biur Halacha 309:1). However, all agree that it is permissible for a parent to hold the hand of a child who is holding a non-valuable muktzeh object.

(5) Obviously, if the child might make himself slightly ill if he is not carried, then the coin should be shaken out of his hand, and the child picked up.

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

 


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