Moving Repulsive Items On Shabbat

The Daily Halacha Moment - Moving Repulsive Items On Shabbat 🚮


״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 repulsive muktzeh on Shabbat?


Answer:

The Chachamim permitted one to move a muktzeh object that is repulsive or foul-smelling from one’s house or living quarters. [1]


Items that are included in the leniency of removing a “repulsive item” are:

a. Food wastes, such as shells, peels, pits, and the like that are causing a significant disarray or are disturbing.[2]

b. Animal waste.[3]

c. Unwashed pots and pans may be moved to the sink.[4]

d. Water that is malodorous, such as a pail of rainwater or water that was used for washing one’s hands.[5]

e. Soiled diapers or bedpans may be disposed of. If one wants to return the bedpan, then one should clean it and carry it back with water in it. If one never put it down, then it does not have to filled with water in order to carry it back to one’s room.[6]

f. Garbage bags or cans may be removed if they smell.[7]

g. Sweeping dirt from one’s floor is permitted since the dirt is considered a repulsive item.[8]

h. Dead animals.[9]


One does not have to use a shinuy when removing a repulsive item, and it may be removed with one’s hands or with a utensil, but it is praiseworthy to not do so with one’s hands if possible. [10]


Sources:

[1]. Shulchan Aruch 308:34-37, 335:4, 338:8; Rama 279:2.

[2]. See Mishnah Berurah 311:115.

[3]. Shulchan Aruch 308:34.

[4]. Biur Halachah 311:4, “Kli She’melachto le’hetter”; Ohr LeTzion, vol. 2, 26:3; Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah 22:47.

[5]. Shulchan Aruch 338:8; Biur Halachah 338:8, “Assur.” See also Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah, ch. 22, footnote 118 who adds that even water that is dripping from one’s air-conditioner and is causing a mess may also be moved.

[6]. Shulchan Aruch 308:34-35. See also Ohr LeTzion, vol. 2, 6:17 who states that this includes a bedpan that is made of plastic.

[7]. See Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah 22:48.

[8]. See Shulchan Aruch 337:2 who permits to sweep if one’s floor is tiled; _Biur Halachah_ 337:2, “Ve’yesh.” See also Orchot Rabbenu, vol. 1, p. 142, §167 and Orchot Shabbat, ch. 19, footnote 531 regarding using a dustpan to move the dirt.

[9]. _Mishnah Berurah_ 308:130. See also Ashrei HaIsh, vol. 2, 17:178 who states that even a live cockroach or other insects that can be easily swept away is also considered a repulsive item, even though it is not dead.

[10]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 207 and 209; Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah, ch. 22, footnote 126. See Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 328, end of footnote 9 who states that if it is possible, one should be stringent to remove it with a utensil and not directly with one’s hands. See also Igrot Moshe, O.C. vol. 5, 22:13; Ashrei HaIsh, vol. 2, 17:238.


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