Moving Muktzeh To Avoid Injury

The Daily Halacha Moment - Moving Muktzeh To Avoid Injury 🤕


״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 move Muktzeh in order to avoid one getting injured?


Answer:

The Gemara in Shabbat 52a states that one is permitted to move a thorn on Shabbat in order to prevent injuring another person (See Shabbat 52a for exact case). From this Gemara we learn that one may move a Muktzeh item in a private domain in order to prevent injuring another.

That being said, if a muktzeh item is in a place where it will cause injury to a passerby then it may be removed in the usual manner.[1] This includes items such as thorns, broken glass, rusty nails, sharp pieces of metal, hot charcoal, dangerous chemicals, and the like. [2] Similarly, one may move candle-sticks if they are in a place where someone may push it over and get dirty from the leftover oil. [3]

Furthermore, one may turn off a gas stove top (only if the flame already went out) in order to prevent further gas leak, which could pose a potential danger. [4]


Sources:

[1]. Shulchan Aruch 308:18, 334:27, 518:3; Rama 308:6; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 129. If possible, in a place where there are not many people, one should move the muktzeh in an indirect manner (see Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah 25:9).

[2]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, pp. 128-129; Mishnah Berurah 308:77. See also in Halichot Shabbat, Malka, vol. 1, p. 140 who permits to move a small muktzeh object, such as a coin from the floor, even directly, if one is afraid that a child may pick it up and try to swallow it.

[3]. See Birkei Yosef 279:7; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, pp. 129-130.

[4]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 205 in the footnote. See also in Yechaveh Daat 2:66; Yabia Omer, vol. 3, O.C. 30; and Chazon Ovadia, Yom Tov, p. 58.


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