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Chapter 88:8
Laws of Muktzeh on Shabbos

8. A utensil whose primary function is permitted on Shabbos ("Kli She'Melachto Le'Heter"), or even one that is generally used both for activities that are permitted and those that are forbidden on Shabbos, like cooking pots (1), is permitted to be handled even if its only for the sake of the utensil itself, that is, so that it will not be stolen or broken. This includes even repulsive articles (because, on Shabbos, an article is not considered muktzeh just because it is repulsive).

It is, however, forbidden to handle the aforementioned type of utensils for no purpose at all. In contrast, holy texts (2) and food (3) may be handled on Shabbos for no reason at all.


(1) This refers to pots used for both cooking and storing food. However, utensils used only for cooking, such as frying pans, are considered part of the category called "Kli She'melachto Le' issur" ("a utensil whose primary function is prohibited [on Shabbos]"). Therefore one could only move a frying pan if one needs the space its resting in, or one needs to use it for a permitted purpose, but not to protect it from damage or theft. Of course, if the frying pan contained food when Shabbos began, it would not be considered muktzeh (See Mishna Berura 308:20). (2) This includes a Megillah scroll (see Mishna Berura 308:22). (3) This does not include animal food.

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