Home Subscribe Services Support Us
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Chapter 90:10
Non-Melacha Prohibitions

10. On Shabbos, personal documents, such as bills, account sheets, and social correspondence, may not even be scanned with one's eyes without articulation (1). Even though one is only engaging in mental contemplation, it is, nevertheless, forbidden, because our Sages allowed mental involvement in one's business affairs, only when it is not obvious that one is engaged in such an activity (2). In this instance, however, it is obvious that one is thinking about forbidden concerns, and hence, it is included in the prohibition of "...pursuing your affairs" (3).

A person who receives a letter and is unaware of its contents may read it, because it might contain a matter of vital personal concern ("Tzorech Gufo"). One may not, however, read it aloud. If one is certain that it involves business concerns alone, it is forbidden even to scan it with one's eyes. It is also forbidden to handle it, because it is considered muktzeh (4).


(1) Some say this prohibition was enacted out of a concern that one may erase part of the contents, thereby violating a biblical prohibition; others claim that this falls under the general prohibition of "mimtzoh cheftzechoh" ("pursuing your affairs") which we have been dealing with throughout this chapter (Mishna Berura 307:51).

(2) See HY 90: 2 and 6.

(3) See HY 90:2

(4) Things which are prohibited to read on Shabbos, are muktzeh (Taz 307:17).

Back  Paragraph 9  Table of Contents  Paragraph 11 Next 

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



View Complete List

Light Up Right
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

Nothing Hurts More...
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Of Grapes and Pastries
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

> Counsel of Hashem
Shlomo Katz - 5769

Just as Promised
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

Rest Stop
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Enlightening the Present From the Past
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

The Fruits of our Action
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762

Join the Dots
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Looking for a Chavrusah?

When Transparency Counts
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

History Reenacted
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5767

A Spiritual Holiday
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755


Chanaukah Lights
Shlomo Katz - 5765

Build with Your Dreams
Shlomo Katz - 5772

Second Chances
Shlomo Katz - 5772

The Key To Something More
Rabbi Label Lam - 5762

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information