Halacha for Tuesday 1 Kislev 5781 November 17 2020

One Who Finds Money on Shabbat

Question: Is one permitted to move Muktzeh on Shabbat by pushing it with one’s feet? For instance, if one finds a wallet on Shabbat, may one push it aside with one’s feet so that one does not incur a monetary loss?

A Wallet Containing Money is Muktzeh on Shabbat

Answer: Indeed, a wallet containing money is Muktzeh on Shabbat for money is considered “innate Muktzeh” similar to wood and stones which may not be moved on Shabbat since they are not a utensil and are not usable for any purpose on Shabbat. Let us now quote the words of Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch, after which we shall explain their meaning.

The Ruling of Maran HaShulchan Aruch Regarding Moving Muktzeh with One’s Body
Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 311, Section 8) rules as follows: “Moving Muktzeh with one’s body is permitted even for the purpose of a forbidden object. Thus, if there is straw, which is usually designated for burning, on one’s bed, one may shake it off using one’s body.” This means that straw is Muktzeh on Shabbat since the common usage of straw in those times was to fuel fires used for heat and cooking. Therefore, straw is Muktzeh on Shabbat since it is designated for something prohibited on Shabbat. Nevertheless, if one wishes to lie down on top of the straw (as was likewise common in those days) and the straw is strewn about in a manner that would be uncomfortable to lie on, one may push the straw with one’s feet or with any other part of one’s body in order to smooth out the bedding so that it will be comfortable to lie on.

The reason for this is because moving [Muktzeh] with one’s “body”, meaning any part of one’s body besides for one’s hands, is not considered moving Muktzeh on Shabbat, for our Sages only forbade moving Muktzeh with one’s hands on Shabbat; however, there is no prohibition involved when one does so using one’s feet or any other body part.

The Status of Straw on Shabbat
We should mention that what we have mentioned above that straw is Muktzeh on Shabbat because it is designated for burning was only applicable in earlier times when straw would be used for fueling fires. However, if the straw is designated as animal feed and one would like to move it in order to feed one’s animals, one may do so and it is not considered Muktzeh. When the straw is not designated for any particular purpose, it retains its Muktzeh status, similar to wood and stones.

The Opinion of the Mishnah Berura Regarding Moving a Wallet
Based on the aforementioned words of Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch, the Mishnah Berura (end of Chapter 266) writes that although one who finds a wallet on Shabbat may not move it [with one’s hands] to any place, nevertheless, one may kick it aside to a more discreet place so that another person does not come along and snatch it. Although Hagaon Chazon Ish disagrees with the Mishnah Berura, Maran zt”l sides with the opinion of the Mishnah Berura and writes that moving Muktzeh with one’s body is permissible on Shabbat even if one does so intentionally. Hagaon Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l and others rule likewise.

Based on this, we can infer a law regarding the prohibition to move bags of flour and the like on Shabbat. If one wishes to take something out of the freezer on Shabbat and there is a bag of flour blocking that specific item, one may not move the bag of flour, for it is considered “innate Muktzeh”. Nevertheless, one may move the bag of flour with one’s elbow for this is likewise considered “moving Muktzeh with one’s body” which is permissible on Shabbat.

Summary: One may move Muktzeh on Shabbat using different parts of one’s body besides for one’s hands. Thus, if one finds a wallet on Shabbat, one may push it aside with one’s feet to a more unobtrusive place so that someone else does not pass by and take it.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The Laws of Mentioning “Mashiv Ha’Ruach”

We Begin Reciting “Mashiv Ha’Ruach” “Mashiv Ha’Ruach U’Morid Ha’Geshem” is a praise we recite to Hashem during the winter months within the “Mechayeh Ha’Metim” blessing of the Amidah as is printed in all Siddurim. We begin recitin......

Read Halacha

The Laws of One Who Forgets to Mention “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar” in the “Blessing of the Years”

In the previous Halacha, we have discussed in a general manner that our Sages enacted that beginning from the Seventh of Marcheshvan (outside of Israel from the Fourth or Fifth of December), one begins reciting “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar” (a request for dew and rain) in the “B......

Read Halacha

Eating and Washing One’s Self Yom Kippur

Some Laws of Yom Kippur All are obligated to fast on Yom Kippur, including pregnant and nursing women. Any woman whose health is at risk due to the fast should consult a prominent Torah scholar who is well-versed in these laws and he should render his ruling whether or not she must fast. One whose ......

Read Halacha

“The Blessing of the Years”

Beginning from last night, the Seventh of Marcheshvan, we have begun to request rain in the Amida prayer (only in the Land of Israel; the law for those outside of Israel will be discussed further). Let us therefore review some of these pertinent laws. The Enactment of the Sages to Request Rain O......

Read Halacha


When the Sanctity of Shevi’it Will Apply to Fruits and Vegetables and More on “Heter Mechira”

In the previous Halachot we have explained that any produce grown in Jewish-owned fields in the Land of Israel this year (5782) retain the sanctity of Shevi’it. We have likewise discussed the ramifications of this sanctity and the proper way to treat such produce. This sanctity rests even on f......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Shevi’it in a Cooperative Garden

This year (5782) is the Shemitta year. In previous Halachot, we have already explained the basic laws of Shemitta including the fact that one may not plant in or work (in any manner) any land within the Land of Israel unless the work is meant to protect the crops from harm that will befall them if t......

Read Halacha

Sprouting Avocado Pits During Shevi’it and the Blessing on Hydroponic Produce

Question: What is the blessing on vegetables that grow from the water (and not from the ground)? Likewise, is it permissible to plant such hydroponic produce during Shevi’it? Answer: The Blessing on Mushrooms and Truffles The Mishnah in Masechet Berachot (40b) states: “On things whi......

Read Halacha

Forbidden and Permissible Forms of Work During Shevi’it

In this Halacha and the next, we shall discuss the basic laws of tending to a garden during Shevi’it. We shall not discuss all of the details of these laws, for these laws do not apply to those residing outside of Israel. Works Forbidden by Torah Law and Rabbinic Enactment Some works forbi......

Read Halacha