Halacha for Tuesday 8 Kislev 5781 November 24 2020

“Muktzeh Due to Monetary Loss”

In the previous Halachot, we have discussed several laws regarding Muktzeh which are certain objects that our Sages prohibited moving on Shabbat. As of yet, we have discussed three types of Muktzeh:

“Utensils used for work permitted on Shabbat”, such as forks, knives, and the like, which may be moved on Shabbat for any purpose, but may not be moved for no reason whatsoever.

“Tools used for work forbidden on Shabbat”, such as a shovel, hammer, rake, or drill, which may not be moved on Shabbat besides for its own use or use of its place. For instance, one may move a hammer in order to use it to crack open a walnut or move a rake in order to sit in the place where it is currently laying. However, it may not be moved just to prevent it from being damaged and the like.

“Innate Muktzeh” refers to any object which is not a tool and does not serve any particular purpose on Shabbat, such as wood, stones, and money. These objects may not be moved by hand on Shabbat even for their own use or use of their place.

We shall now discuss another category of Muktzeh: “Muktzeh due to monetary loss”. This refers to objects which people are careful not to use besides for their designated purpose, such as a Shechita (ritual slaughtering) or Berit Milah (circumcision) knife which are expensive and delicate and people are usually very careful with them. Similarly, electric shavers and cameras, besides for being “tools used for work forbidden on Shabbat” can also be classified as objects which are “Muktzeh due to monetary loss.” One is forbidden to move these kinds of objects under any circumstances.

 Based on this, the Sefer Shemirat Shabbat Ke’Hilchata writes that any electronic devices which people are usually careful to protect from becoming ruined have the status of “Muktzeh due to monetary loss.” This includes: Tape recorders, cassette tapes, records, cameras, postage stamps, metro cards, foreign currency and computer paper.

Nevertheless, Maran zt”l writes that not all of the aforementioned items are considered “Muktzeh due to monetary loss”, such as a tape, for although it is not usually moved around from place to place, nevertheless, wherever necessary it may be moved for its own use or use of its place, similar to other “tools used for work forbidden on Shabbat.” Therefore, if there is a tape lying in a place where one would like to sit or serve food, the tape may be relocated to a different place.

Summary: “Muktzeh due to monetary loss” refers to any object which one is careful not to use for any other purpose other than its intended use because of its innate value, such as a camera, a Berit Milah knife, and the like. In the following Halacha we will, G-d willing, discuss this matter further.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

Washing One’s Hands with Water from the Mediterranean Sea and Water Which has been Desalinated

Question: If one is at the beach and wishes to eat bread but has no water to wash one’s hands with, may one wash one’s hands using the water of the sea or ocean? Salty Water Answer: Regarding the laws of washing one’s hands for a bread meal, the Mishnah and Gemara teach us that......

Read Halacha

Immersing One’s Hands in Sea Water

We have explained in the previous Halacha that if one is on the beach and wishes to eat bread, one may not gather some sea water in a vessel and wash one’s hands, for sea water is salty and thus invalid for Netilat Yadayim. Immersing One’s Hands in a Spring, the Sea, or a Mikveh Howe......

Read Halacha

The Eight Levels of Tzedakah

The Rambam (Chapter 10 of Hilchot Matenot Aniyim) writes that there are eight levels included in the Mitzvah of Tzedakah with each one being greater than the other. The highest level of Tzedakah is by helping to support a Jew who lacks his basic needs by providing him with money by means of a gif......

Read Halacha

Washing One’s Hands in the Restroom

Question: Is it permissible to wash one’s hands (Netilat Yadayim) in the restroom or shower room? Answer: Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 4) rules that one who exits the restroom requires Netilat Yadayim. Maran Ha’Chida writes that this is because of the evil spirit which rests......

Read Halacha


Listening to Music or Words of Torah in a Room Which Has a Bathtub or Shower in it

Question: May one recite holy words (words of Torah, prayer, or blessings) in a room with a bathtub or shower in it? Similarly, may one listen to holy songs or Torah lectures in such a room? Answer: There are two primary points which must be addressed: Firstly, whether or not one who is bathing a......

Read Halacha

The Mitzvah of Tzedakah and Donating a Tenth of One’s Earnings

By popular demand, we shall now discuss the topics of Tzedakah and donating a tenth of one’s earnings more broadly based on the words of Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch and the Poskim and based on what is written in the works of Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l on this topic. Question: ......

Read Halacha

Food Items Touched by One Who Did Not Wash One’s Hands in the Morning

In the past, we have explained the obligation for one to wash one’s hands from a vessel every morning upon awakening from his sleep. We have also explained that when one awakens from one’s sleep in the morning, an evil spirit rests on one’s hands, for sleep is considered one-six......

Read Halacha

Question: Are those who customarily donate a tenth of their monthly income to Tzedakah permitted to deduct the cost of providing for their children still living at home from the sum of this ten percent?

Answer: We have previously discussed that one must donate a certain amount of Tzedakah annually. It is a “middle” level for one to give a tenth of one’s monthly profits every month. Now let us deal with our question regarding those who donate a tenth of their monthly profits to Tze......

Read Halacha