Closing Doors & Trapping On Shabbat

The Daily Halacha Moment - Closing Doors and Traping🚪


״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 close a door if an animal is in the room?


Answer:

Even trapping an animal without explicit intention to trap the animal is problematic.

Therefore, one may not close the door to a room because one is cold if one will trap an animal that entered the room as well. [1] However, one may close a window to a room that has a sparrow trapped in it if one does not have intention to trap, such as if one is cold. [2]

If one accidentally captured an animal, such as if one closed the door to a room, and realizes that there was an animal trapped in the room, he does not have to open the door to set the animal free. [3]

One may close the door to a room where there is an animal that is already tied up. Similarly, if an animal is trapped in a closed room, one may lock the door of the room to further secure the door. [4]


Sources:

[1]. See Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 97 who states that this is a disagreement in the poskim, and it is proper to be stringent. See also in Halichot Olam, vol. 4, p. 8.

[2]. See Mishnah Berurah 316:5 and Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 99, who explain that since the sparrow is so small, it is not considered “confined” in a room on a biblical level, rather it is only rabbinically prohibited, as explained above. Therefore, since one has no intention to capture the bird, it would be permitted to close the window.

[3]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 99.

[4]. See Shulchan Aruch 316:6 and Mishnah Berurah; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 100; Menuchat Ahavah, vol. 3, 17:8.


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