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Picking Up A Child Who is Holding Muktzeh On Shabbat

The Daily Halacha Moment - Child & Muktzeh 🧒 📱

״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)


May one pick up a child if he is holding a Muktzeh item?


Interesting question. One is not permitted to hold a child who is holding muktzeh. Therefore, if a child is holding muktzeh, one must wait for the child to put the muktzeh down before picking up the child. [1] However, if the child is dependent on the parent, and is in a situation where the child cannot be left alone with the muktzeh,[2] then the child may be moved while holding the muktzeh. Even in this case, if the child is holding a muktzeh item that is very valuable [3] then the child may not be picked up with the muktzeh in his hand, [4] and one may not even hold the child’s other hand and walk with him without picking him up. [5]


[1]. See the Mishnah and Gemara in Shabbat 141a. See also Orchot Shabbat 19:258 states that one can shake the hand of the child so that he drops the muktzeh so that one can pick him up.

[2]. See Ben Ish Chai, Vayigash, 2:9 and Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah 22:43 explain that the child doesn’t actually have to get sick in order to be permitted to pick him up. See also Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 171.

[3]. See Chayeh Adam 67:16; Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah 22:40; Chut Shani, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 150.

[4]. Shulchan Aruch 309:1; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 170; Halichot Olam, vol. 3, p. 214. Even when it is permitted to pick up the child while he is holding muktzeh, this is not permitted in a public place that does not have an eruv, See Mishnah Berurah 309:1.

[5]. Shulchan Aruch HaRav 309:2; Ben Ish Chai, Vayigash, 2:9; Halichot Olam, ibid.; Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah 22:43.

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