• Muktza I

Muktza I

Since we live in an automated society, most of the problems of keeping Shabbos are really not pertinent. When we lived in an agricultural society the laws of Shabbos were a certain reality. Today, with the assistance of time clocks, we rarely encounter problems on Shabbos. However, we are witness to the long range foresight of our Chazal. They predicted such a time and created laws to govern shabbos to remind us of the sanctity of the dya. These are the laws of muktza. Before we move anything, we think whether it is muktza or not. A discussion of muktza follows.

1. Real muktza: an item with no real use or limited use. This includes stones, sticks, money, or even candles. This category of muktza may not be moved for any reason.
2. A vessel, tool, utensil whose primary purpose is forbidden on Shabbos. This includes hammers, scissors, etc. This category may be moved for a permissible purpose, i.e. hammer to crack nuts, or for the use of the place upon which it rests.
3. An item which one would not use on Shabbos and even during the week one is careful and strict in its usage, either because of its value or because it is a precision instrument, etc. This category also may not be moved at all.
4. Not necessarily a fourth category is the rule of “bosis”. This is the place upon which one places a muktza item with the intention of its being the foundation for the muktza. This place assumes the strictness of the muktza item.
a. If one places a rock on a table to remain there during Shabbos, the table is also muktza.
b. This applies to the table even after the rock has been removed.

An application of this would be candlesticks that are a bosis to the flame which is real muktza. Also, the table would be forbidden to be moved. Here, however, we apply a rule that if the table services a second object such as the challos, it does not assume the strictness of the muktza object. Therefore, it may be moved with the muktza, if the muktza cannot be removed by other means. The tray upon which the candlesticks are placed is questionable among the poskim, if adding a second object would allow it to be moved.