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.

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