Asiyat Ohel – Making a Canopy On Shabbat

The Daily Halacha Moment - Asiyat Ohel – Making a Canopy 🎪


״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Question:

May one assemble/make a canopy on Shabbat?


Answer:

One may not make a canopy on Shabbat. Even making a permanent canopy without partitions, such as structure of four poles and a covering is considered Boneh, and is prohibited if the area beneath it is being used for some purpose, or if it meant to protect the area beneath it. [1] There are two types of canopies that are forbidden because of Boneh; a permanent canopy that it a Torah prohibition to construct, and a temporary canopy which is rabbinically prohibited to construct. [2]


To be considered a permanent canopy, a canopy must have an area of at least one square tefach and be elevated at least one tefach above the area that it covers. If it does not reach these requirements, then making it is permitted. [3]


A non-partitioned canopy is permitted to be made if it is being made for a temporary use and one does not need the space under it. Therefore, it is permitted to place a board on a stand in order to use it as a table, or move a table to another area, even though a canopy is created above the new spot. Similarly, one may stack a book horizontally over two separate piles of books, even though the top book forms a small ohel, since the book is not meant to protect the space beneath it, nor is it permanent. [4] Even making a bed by placing a mattress on top of a frame (that does not have partitions) is permitted, even though one may place one’s shoes under the bed, since its main use and intention when making it is in order to use the actual bed and not the space that is under it. [5]


Sources:

[1]. Mishnah Berurah 315:2.

[2]. Mishnah Berurah 315:1.

[3]. Shlulchan Aruch 315:8 and 13.

[4]. Shulchan Aruch 315:7; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 320.

[5]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, pp. 319-320.


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