10. An Item that was Muktzeh Throughout Bein Ha-shmashot

If an item was muktzeh throughout bein ha-shmashot on Friday, it remains muktzeh throughout Shabbat, even if the reason it was considered muktzeh no longer applies. Therefore, if one left money on a table before Shabbat, the table becomes muktzeh as a basis le-davar ha-asur. Even if the money falls off the table at some point on Shabbat, the table remains muktzeh, since it was muktzeh during bein ha-shmashot (SA 310:7; section 5 above). Similarly, if an oil lamp or a candle was lit before Shabbat, it may not be moved on Shabbat even after it has burned out, and its leftover oil or wax may not be used. Since it was muktzeh during bein ha-shmashot, it is muktzeh for the whole day (SA 279:1; MB ad loc. 1). So too, if a valuable item that was muktzeh maĥmat ĥesron kis broke into usable pieces during Shabbat, the pieces remain muktzeh, since the item was muktzeh during bein ha-shmashot (MB 308:35 following MA 308:19).

Nothing is muktzeh unless it meets two conditions:

1) The object was not fit for use during bein ha-shmashot on Friday.

2) One has put the idea of using it out of his mind.

The Talmud’s classic example is figs and grapes that were left to dry on the muktzeh (an open space in a back yard). During the drying process, they are inedible because they are fermenting, so one puts them out of his mind. Even if the drying process is completed on Shabbat and they become edible, since they were muktzeh at bein ha-shmashot, they remain muktzeh for all of Shabbat.

However, if only one of these conditions is met, the item is not muktzeh for all of Shabbat. For example, one may have left wheat on the ground to take root, and has put it out of his mind. Since in fact the wheat was still edible during bein ha-shmashot, it does not become muktzeh, and may be picked up on Shabbat and eaten (SA 310:2).

Similarly, if one knows that an item that was unusable during bein ha-shmashot will become usable on Shabbat, he does not truly put it out of his mind. Therefore, it does not become muktzeh. For example, if a pot is on the plata when Shabbat starts, even if the food is inedible at that point, nevertheless since one knows that it will be ready to eat later, he does not put it out of his mind. Similarly, if damp clothes were hung out to dry before Shabbat, even though they are not wearable during bein ha-shmashot, as long as the climate is such that they will definitely dry over the course of Shabbat, one does not put them out of his mind. Therefore, one may move them once they are dry (Levushei Serad; SSK 22:11).[10]


[10]. Why are a cooking pot and a burning lamp treated differently? A pot does not become muktzeh, because one does not especially want the food to cook during bein ha-shmashot. He would be happy if it had finished cooking beforehand. In contrast, a lamp remains muktzeh throughout Shabbat because one does want it to give off light during bein ha-shmashot. Since he puts the lamp out of his mind during that time, it stays muktzeh all of Shabbat (SA 279:1). Interestingly, if one has in mind to use the leftover oil after the lamp burns out, then since it is clear that the candle will go out, the remaining oil is not muktzeh (SA 279:4). However, according to Rema, once the lamp became muktzeh during bein ha-shmashot, it may not be moved all day, and one’s intentions are irrelevant.MB 308:63 states that clothes that were wet during bein ha-shmashot are muktzeh for all of Shabbat. Many explain that he is referring to a case where it is not certain that they will dry over the course of Shabbat. In contrast, if it is clear that they will dry, MB would agree that they are not muktzeh (Minĥat Shlomo 1:10:2, n. 4; Minĥat Yitzĥak 1:81). Alternatively, some explain that the clothes remain muktzeh because there is a concern that people will end up wringing out the clothes to dry them, which is prohibited on Shabbat (Az Nidberu 1:5). In any case, in practice if it is clear that the clothes will dry on Shabbat, they may be moved (Livyat Ĥen §37; Orĥot Shabbat ch. 19 n. 563 in the name of Ĥazon Ish). See Harĥavot.

If pieces of fruit were still attached to their tree during bein ha-shmashot, and then fell off during Shabbat, they are muktzeh for all of Shabbat because they were not fit for use during bein ha-shmashot. It is assumed that one puts them out of his mind; had he wanted to use them on Shabbat, he would have picked them before Shabbat began (SA 322:3; MB ad loc. 7). Additionally, the Sages made a special decree against eating fruits that fall off on Shabbat, to ensure that no one would end up picking them on Shabbat (Beitza 3a; MB 325:22). Therefore, even if it is known before Shabbat that a non-Jew is planning to pick the fruit on Shabbat, in which case they are not muktzeh, they nevertheless may not be eaten because of this decree (SHT ad loc. 26).

In contrast, if a kosher animal was alive during bein ha-shmashot, and was slaughtered on Shabbat to feed a dangerously sick person, a healthy person may eat from the fresh meat. We do not say that it was muktzeh during bein ha-shmashot, as we do with the fruit. The difference is that while anyone can pick fruit (and would have done so before Shabbat if they were interested), not everyone knows how to slaughter. Thus, even though the owner did not slaughter the animal, that does not mean he put it out of his mind (SA 318:2; MB ad loc. 8).

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