Boneh & Temporary Installations

The Daily Halacha Moment - Boneh & Temporary Installations 🛠


״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:

Are temporary installations permitted on Shabbat?


Answer:

Components that are ordinarily nailed or screwed together for a permanent basis may not be assembled even loosely on Shabbat even if it is done on a temporary basis.


That being said, one may not re-assemble a water spout in one’s sink that fell off during Shabbat. Same applies to a door handle that fell off on Shabbat. [1]


One may not clean an air conditioner filter on Shabbat if by doing so it will make the air conditioner work better than it did before. [2]


One may not cover or uncover a hole with a cover if the cover does not have a handle. [3] Therefore, one may not lift the cap of a sewer if it has no handle. [4] Similarly, one may not lift up the cover of a “sponga hole” (as is common in Israel,) on Shabbat if it has no handle. [5]


One may not fix a door that went off of its hinges or track on Shabbat, doing so would be considered Boneh, even if it does not take much effort to return it to its place. [6]


Sources:

[1]. See Halichot Shabbat, Malka, vol. 1, p. 159. See also Menuchat Ahavah, vol. 3, p. 205; Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah 20:43.

[2]. See Halichot Shabbat, Malka, vol. 1, p. 161 who explains that since the filter is fitted to be firmly placed in the air conditioner, and it is not normally removed, by removing it or replacing it, it is considered Boneh or Soter.

[3]. Shulchan Aruch 308:10.

[4]. Even if it has a handle, see in Maaseh Shabbat, vol. 1, p. 231, footnote 42 who brings from Chacham Ovadia Yosef that if one almost never opens the sewer cap, then it should not be opened even if it has a handle. See also in Menuchat Ahavah, vol. 3, 23:26.

[5]. Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 370; Halichot Shabbat, Malka, vol. 1, p. 161.

[6]. See Shulchan Aruch 308:9; Chayeh Adam 39:13; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 283. If there is a need to put it back on Shabbat, then one may ask a non-Jew to put it back for him. See also in Menuchat Ahavah, vol. 3, 23:25 that it is also prohibited to return a sliding door or window to its place if it is slipped out of the track.


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