Posts filed under ‘Shabbat’

Are pets muktzeh?

Here is a link to a discussion amongst laypeople as to whether pets are muktzeh.


August 11, 2011 at 2:59 pm Leave a comment

Shemirath Shabbath- A Guide to the Practical Observance of Shabbath

The following are quotes from the English translation of Rav Yehoshua Y. Neuwirth’s book:

12.20. In regard to ants and other insects which one finds, for example, on the kitchen floor, in the sink, or on the dishes,

a. one should not wash them away in a manner that will cause them to die,

b. not put down poison with the object of exterminating them,

c. nor deliberately tread on them, even in the process of walking.

20.9 One is allowed to move a keli she-melachto le-issur [an object which is used for performing an activity that is forbidden on Shabbath]

b. if one needs to use it (in a permitted manner) for an animal.

20.27. a. Peels, seeds (pips) and bones are not muktzeh and may be moved, if

1) they are fit for human consumption or

2) they are fit for animal consumption and there is an animal in the vicinity to whom they could be given.

20.33. a. 1) Food which is forbidden to eat both during and after Shabbath, but which is fit for a non-Jew to eat, is not muktzeh mei-chamath gufo.

2) Consequently one may move a piece of cooked meat which does not comply with the halachic requirements for consumption by a Jew, since it is fit to be eaten by a non-Jew.

b. 1) The same applies to non-kosher food which is fit to be fed only to an animal (if there is an animal in the vicinity to whom it could be given).

2) One may, therefore, move a piece of meat which is unfit for human consumpton, but which is fit to be given to an animal, even if the meat is uncooked.

20.40. a. Animals are muktzeh.

b. See Chapter 27, paragraphs 21 to 30, for the care of animals on Shabbath and Yom Tov.

21.2 a. Although, as we have seen in Chapter 20, paragraph 27, peels and bones which could be fed to an animal are not muktzeh on Shabbath, on Yom Tov one should adopt a stricter approach and treat as muktzeh

1) peels of this kind which have been separated from fruits or vegetables on Yom Tov and

2) bones of this kind from which the meat has been removed on Yom Tov…

c. 1) Furthermore, food which is fit for human consumption, but spoils on Yom Tov to the extent that it becomes fit only for animals, is muktzeh.

21.3. b. 2) one may not

a) eat an egg which was laid on Yom Tov,…or

d) move something which is muktzeh in order to feed it to an animal.

22.6. a. An animal which is alive at the commencement of Shabbath is muktzeh because of its inherent state as a live animal and not because of an act performed by any person.

b. Consequently, if the animal dies on Shabbath, it ceases to be muktzeh and one may cut up its carcass to feed to a dog.

c. 1) As can be seen from Chapter 21, paragraphs 1 and 2, a stricter attitude is taken on Yom Tov to the rules of muktzeh than on Shabbath.

2) Thus, an animal which has died that day should not be handled on Yom Tov, unless it was fataly ill when Yom Tov began.

22.42. Matters of a Repulsive Nature

a) Anything which one finds offensive because of its repulsive nature may be removed on Shabbath, even with one’s hand-despite the fact that it is muktzeh-from a place where it disturbs one and thrown in the garbage or down the toilet.

b) Instances of items which could fall within this category are excrement, refuse, bones (including those which are not fit even for animal consumption), a dead mouse and the carcass of a cat.

c) Items of this kind ay be removed not only from the house, but also if they are, for example,

1) in such a position in the street (in a place where there is an eiruv) that they disturb passers-by, or

2) in a place where their smell is a nuisance to people in the vicinity.

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August 10, 2011 at 5:04 pm Leave a comment

The Use of Electricity on Shabbat and Yom Tov

An interesting question was presented in this article relating to the use of electricity on Shabbat:

In cases of urgent need it is possible to accept Rabbi Shmelkes’ ruling that electricity is prohibited as a form of creating something new (molid) as correct, and perhaps still use electrical appliances. For example, in a recent work, Shealot Uteshuvot Merosh Tzurim pp. 501-509, Rabbi Shmuel David was asked by kibbutz members if it was permitted to use a telephone on Shabbat to call a veterinarian for advice on a mysterious plague that had struck the chicken coop. This plague was so devastating that it would destroy nearly all of the animals if professional help were not received. Furthermore, these chickens were a significant source of financial support to the kibbutz. Rabbi David ruled that it was permitted to use the telephone if it was used in an unusual manner. He reasoned that in all likelihood, Rabbi Auerbach is correct and no prohibition is violated, and even if the Beit Yitzchak is correct, in cases of great need (perhaps even great financial need, and certainly physical need), since this case involved suffering to living creatures (tza’ar ba’alei chaim), rabbinic prohibitions when done in an unusual manner may be violated.42

42. It is a generally accepted rule within halacha that certain types of rabbinic law can be violated if done in an unusual way (kelachar yad) and great loss would result absent such violations. See Meiri, Shabbat 144b; Ran, (id.); Ramban, Shabbat 130b; Rashaba, (id.); Rashi, Pesachim 66b; Chazon Ish, Shabbat 56:4.

Source: Journal of Halacha & Contemporary Society, No. XXI – Spring 91 – Pesach 5751


August 8, 2011 at 7:14 am Leave a comment

Pets & Halacha-The Yeshiva World News

Here is a link to the Pets & Halacha discussion in The Yeshiva World News Coffee Room Bais Medrash.


August 8, 2011 at 6:55 am Leave a comment

Are pets muktzeh on Shabbos and Yom Tov?

Weekly Halacha – Parshas Naso


By Rabbi Doniel Neustadt

Rav of Young Israel in Cleveland Heights

QUESTION: Are pets muktzeh on Shabbos and Yom Tov?

DISCUSSION: The Talmud(8) states that it is forbidden to move animals on Shabbos. In Halachic terms, animals are considered like sticks and stones which have no permissible Shabbos use and are muktzeh machmas gufo, severe muktzeh, which may not be moved for any reason. This ruling is quoted by the Shulchan Aruch(9) and most of the later poskim and no distinction is drawn between farm animals and households pets; all are considered severe muktzeh. Some poskim expressly include “playful animals” in this prohibition.(10)

There are, however, other poskim who do distinguish between farm animals and household pets. In their opinion, a pet is considered like a household item, similar to a toy or a picture, and is not classified as muktzeh at all.(11) While it is advisable to follow the majority opinion and not carry or move pets on Shabbos,(12) those who are lenient have a halachic authority upon whom to rely.(13) Certainly, if the pet is in distress, one may be lenient and move it or carry it.(14).  All opinions agree that it is permitted to touch (without moving) or feed one’s pets on Shabbos. It is also permitted to hold onto a leash and walk a dog in an area which is enclosed by an eiruv.(15) It is permitted to place a leash on a dog on Shabbos.(16)


8 See Shabbos 128b.

9 O.C. 308:39

10 See Tosfos, Shabbos 45b s.v. hachah; Shulchan Aruch ha-Rav 308:78; Da’as Torah 308:39; Kaf ha-Chayim 308:235.

11 Minchas Shabbos 88:10, quoting Nezer Yisrael and Halachos Ketanos; Az Nidberu 8:36.

12 Minchas Shabbos, ibid; Yabia Omer 5:26.

13 Harav S.Z. Auerbach; see Shulchan Shelomo O.C. 308:74-4; B’tzeil ha- Chachmah 5:33-34. There are conflicting sources concerning Harav M. Feinstein’s opinion on this subject; see Sefer Tiltulei Shabbos, pg. 119 and Igros Moshe O.C. 5:22-21.

14 See Mishnah Berurah 305:70 and Chazon Ish O.C. 52:16.

15 Under certain, very specific conditions, it is even permitted to walk a dog with a leash in a public domain; see O.C. 305:16 and Aruch ha-Shulchan 5.

16 O.C. 305:1, 8, 10.



August 7, 2011 at 9:48 am Leave a comment