Halacha for Wednesday 2 Kislev 5781 November 18 2020

Benefitting From Muktzeh Objects on Shabbat

Question: May one sit on large stones on Shabbat? Similarly, may one lean on a car on Shabbat?

Answer: In the previous Halachot we have explained several laws of Muktzeh on Shabbat which are objects that our Sages prohibited moving on Shabbat for several different reasons. We shall now address the above question. Is one permitted to lean on or touch a Muktzeh object on Shabbat since by leaning or sitting on it, one is benefitting from the Muktzeh object and one may even come to move it slightly?

Regarding benefitting from Muktzeh on Shabbat, Halacha dictates that there is no prohibition to benefit from Muktzeh. Maran zt”l writes lengthily on this issue and concludes that although one may not benefit from an object which is “Muktzeh due to a Mitzvah”, such as an Etrog (citron) on the holiday of Sukkot (as we shall, G-d willing, explain at the appropriate time), nevertheless, one may benefit from regular Muktzeh which is prohibited to be moved on Shabbat.

Regarding touching Muktzeh on Shabbat, the Gemara in Masechet Shabbat (151a) tells us that the prohibition of Muktzeh does not only include picking up Muktzeh and moving it while it is in one’s hand; rather, one may not even bring about a situation where a Muktzeh object will be moved, even ever so slightly, for any slight movement is included in the prohibition of moving Muktzeh on Shabbat. For this reason, the Mishnah tells us that although one may take care of all of the basic necessities of a deceased person on Shabbat, nonetheless, one must take care “not to move any of the limbs,” for a corpse is considered “innate Muktzeh” on Shabbat, similar to wood and stones, and thus, one must be careful not to move any of its body parts. However, touching Muktzeh alone is not prohibited since touching is not considered moving Muktzeh in any way.

One may touch Muktzeh on Shabbat, such as a car or rocks, even though rocks are classified as “innate Muktzeh” and may not be moved on Shabbat (similar to any object which is neither a utensil nor does it have any particular use on Shabbat) and a car is certainly Muktzeh on Shabbat like any other “tool which is used for work forbidden on Shabbat” which may not be moved, as we have explained above. Since it is a Torah prohibition to drive a car on Shabbat, it follows that it will be prohibited to move a car from its current place in any way. Nevertheless, it is permitted to touch a car or rocks on Shabbat; thus, one may sit or lean on them on Shabbat.

Although when one leans on a car this causes the car to move slightly, nevertheless, this is still permitted since one is not actually moving it with one’s hands; rather, one is moving it “with one’s body” similar to pushing aside Muktzeh with one’s feet which is permitted on Shabbat based on the previous Halacha.

Summary: One may not move Muktzeh or cause Muktzeh to be moved, even slightly, on Shabbat. However, there is no prohibition involved in touching Muktzeh. Thus, one may sit on rocks or lean on a car on Shabbat although this causes them to move slightly.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The Customary Order of the Night of Shavuot

The Source for the Order of the Night of Shavuot The widespread custom among the entire Jewish nation is to stay awake the entire night of Shavuot and immerse one’s self in Torah study until dawn. Indeed, the holy Zohar states: “The earlier righteous individuals would not sleep on this ......

Read Halacha

Blessings of Enjoyment and Keri’at Shema on the Night of Shavuot

In the previous Halacha, we have discussed the order of learning for the night of Shavuot during which it is customary to remain awake all night and study Torah. Reading the Order of the “Keri’eh Mo’ed” Let us first discuss that which we have mentioned that it is proper t......

Read Halacha

The Mitzvah of Counting the Omer

The Torah states (Vayikra 21, 15): “And you shall count for yourselves, from the day following the Shabbat, from the day the waved Omer offering is brought, seven complete weeks shall they be.” Our Sages (Menachot 65b) have a tradition that the “day following the Shabbat” ref......

Read Halacha

Donating Tzedakah (Charity) in Order for One’s Son to Recover From an Illness

Question: Is it permissible to donate a sum of money to charity in the merit of which someone should become healed or for any other personal request or is it improper to do this since the Mitzvah is not being performed for the sake of Heaven, rather, for one’s personal purposes? Answer: The......

Read Halacha


Praying Repeatedly-A Spark of Ruach Ha’Kodesh

Question: Is it correct for one to plead and beseech Hashem for the same thing every single day or is it more proper to pray for a certain matter only several times and if one sees that one has not been answered, one should cease praying for that specific matter? Answer: The Gemara (Berachot 32b)......

Read Halacha

Walking a Dog on Shabbat

Question: If one has a pet dog at home, either for leisure or as a seeing-eye dog for a blind individual, may one move it on Shabbat? Similarly, may one walk the dog in the street on Shabbat? Answer: We have explained in the previous Halacha that all animals are considered Muktzeh on Shabbat as M......

Read Halacha

The Laws of the Chazzan’s Repetition of the Amida

-------------------------------- Along with the rest of the Jewish nation, we are heartbroken and mourn the loss of those who passed in the horrific Meron tragedy on Lag Ba’Omer. May their souls be bound in the binding of eternal life and may Hashem send consolation to their families and ma......

Read Halacha

The Laws of the Bedtime Keri’at Shema Regarding Women and Following Halachic Midnight

In the previous Halacha, we have explained that one should recite the “Hamapil” blessing before reciting the bedtime Keri’at Shema. This blessing should be recited along with Hashem’s name like all other blessings. We have also explained that although one should preferably ta......

Read Halacha