Chapter: 21 – Hotza’ah

01. The Melakha of Hotza’ah

The melakha of Hotza’ah consists of transporting an object from a private domain (reshut ha-yaĥid) to a public domain (reshut ha-rabim) or vice versa, or transporting an object more than four amot in a public domain. During the six weekdays, … Continue reading

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02. Private and Public Domains

A reshut ha-yaĥid is an area enclosed by walls, which render it a single place, and one may carry objects in this enclosed area. Even a large area surrounded by walls is considered one place, and there is no fundamental … Continue reading

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03. Mekom Petur and Karmelit

The third type of domain is a mekom petur (an exempt area). According to Torah law, this includes fields, deserts, oceans, lakes, and other places not enclosed by walls (and thus not deemed reshut ha-yaĥid) and also not used by … Continue reading

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04. The Reason Behind the Prohibition of Carrying Four Amot in a Reshut Ha-Rabim

As we have seen, one may not transport objects from one domain to another. Within a private domain, even in a large house with many rooms, one may move objects around freely, because the entire reshut ha-yaĥid is considered one … Continue reading

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05. The Prohibitions of Carrying on Shabbat

We have seen that the prohibition of Hotza’ah applies to carrying objects from a reshut ha-yaĥid to a reshut ha-rabim or karmelit (which rabbinically is considered a reshut ha-rabim), and vice versa. We have also seen that it is prohibited … Continue reading

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06. Carrying Less than Four Amot in a Reshut Ha-Rabim

We have seen in the previous sections that the prohibition of Hotza’ah includes transporting an object more than four amot in a public domain, since one’s personal space within the public domain is defined as four amot. If he transports … Continue reading

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07. Carrying in a Mekom Petur

As we have seen (section 3), a mekom petur is an area within a reshut ha-rabim like a stone taller than three tefaĥim (about 23 cm) but less than four tefaĥim wide (about 30 cm). Since a mekom petur is … Continue reading

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08. Reshut Ha-rabim as Defined by Torah Law

The most pressing practical question when dealing with issues of Hotza’ah on Shabbat is whether streets in cities and towns are considered a reshut ha-rabim or karmelit. If streets today are considered a reshut ha-rabim, then it is very difficult … Continue reading

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09. In Practice

In practice, most observant Jews follow the lenient position and carry in cities, relying on an eruv of the tzurat ha-petaĥ type. This leads to an interesting question: given that half of the poskim are stringent, believing that an eruv … Continue reading

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10. Wearing Clothes Is Not Considered Carrying

One may put on his clothes, shoes, and hat, and then enter a reshut ha-rabim, because clothes are secondary to one’s body. As long as one is wearing them, they do not have independent status but are viewed as part … Continue reading

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11. Items Deemed Secondary to Clothing

Any items that are normally attached to clothing, such as buttons and pockets, are considered part of the clothing and secondary to the person’s body. Thus there is no prohibition of carrying them. Even though carrying buttons or pouches would … Continue reading

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12. Items That Serve the Body – Glasses and Bandages

Just as one may walk in a reshut ha-rabim while wearing clothes because they are deemed secondary to his body, so too one may enter a reshut ha-rabim with other items that serve him, as they too are considered secondary … Continue reading

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13. Canes, Seeing-Eye Dogs, and Wheelchairs

If one is partially disabled and needs a cane to walk, he may walk in a reshut ha-rabim with a cane because the cane has the same status as his shoes – indispensable for walking. However, if he can walk … Continue reading

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14. Jewelry

As we have seen, the prohibition of Hotza’ah does not apply to items that are secondary to the body. Therefore, one may go out in a reshut ha-rabim wearing all types of clothing. Following this line of reasoning, it would … Continue reading

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15. Watches, Keys, Identity Cards, and Medications

The poskim disagree about the status of a watch. Some maintain that only if it is decorative like jewelry may it be worn in the public domain. The test for whether it can be considered decorative is what the owner … Continue reading

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