Are Pots Muktzeh on Shabbat?

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It is possible that a cooking pot is a Kli Sh’Melachto LeIssur, which would make it prohibited to use on Shabbat; however, there are disputes about this and it may depend on the specific factors.

Definition of Kli Sh’Melachto LeIssur

  1. Mishna Brurah 308:10 writes that a kli for which a majority (or more) of it’s uses are forbidden is considered a Kli Sh’Melachto LeIssur. On the other hand, some opinions maintain that even if only a minority of the uses of the kli are permitted, the kli is considered Kli Sh’Melachto LeHeter.[1]

Types of pots

  1. If it’s designated for serving and cooking, and the majority of it’s uses is serving it’s Kli Sh’Melachto LeHeter. [2]
  2. If it’s designated for serving and cooking and the majority of it’s uses is cooking it’s a Kli Sh’Melachto LeHeter. (disputed) [3]
  3. If it’s designated for cooking and is sometimes used for serving, it’s a Kli Sh’Melachto LeIssur. (disputed) [4]
  4. If it’s designated for cooking and is never used for serving, it’s a Kli Sh’Melachto LeIssur. [5]
  5. The lid has the same status as the pot. [6]

A Full Pot

  1. A pot that was used to cook in it before Shabbat and still has food in it is non-Muktzeh as the pot is subservient to the food which is non-Muktzeh. [7]
    1. A pot that still has food in it even if it is less than a Kezayit is considered non-Muktzeh. [8]
  2. A pot with food may be moved for protection of the pot as a Kli Sh’Melachto LeHeter, and some say it may be moved for no reason. [9]
  3. If there was food during Bein HaShemashot and now is empty, it is a Kli Sh’Melachto LeIssur. [10]
  4. If there was food during Bein HaShemashot, one emptied the pot, and then returned the food to the pot, some say the pot is Kli Sh’Melachto LeIssur. [11] while others say it’s Kli Sh’Melachto LeHeter as long as one intends to return the food to the pot even if one didn’t do it yet. [12]
  5. A pot that contains non-cooked food is considered Kli Sh’Melachto LeIssur. [13]

An Empty Pot

  1. If a pot was empty on Shabbat and then food was put in there the pot remains a Kli Sh’Melachto LeIssur. [14]
  2. An empty cooking pot is considered a kli shemelachto lisur and it would be permitted to move only for a tzorech gufo or mekomo. For example, it is permitted to store food in a cooking pot as doing so would be considered tzorech gufo.[15]

Sources

  1. Gedolot Elisha 308:19
  2. Tiltulei Shabbat (pg 43 note 25(4)) writes this case is obvious and according to everyone the pot is Kli Sh’Melachto LeHeter.
  3. The Beiur Halacha (308 s.v. Kardom Lachtoch) sides that this case should be lenient but leaves it unresolved. From Mishna Brurah 308:20 it seems that one may be lenient. The Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata (Chapter 20 note 37), Badei HaShulchan 108:12, and Nachalat Yisrael (pg 139) are lenient. See Shalmei Yehonatan (pg 45).
  4. The Mishna Brurah 308:20, 26 considers it Kli Sh’Melachto LeIssur. So agree the achronim including Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 20:15, Sefer Tiltulei Shabbat (pg 46), Rabbi Binyamin Zilber (Sh”t Az Nidabru 9:20, pg 58), Rav Wosner in Sh”t Shevet HaLevi 1:127(3) and Shalmei Yehuda (pg 98). However, the Gedolot Elisha 308:19 writes that there’s what to rely on to be lenient in this case. See further.
    • The Rosh (in his teshuvot#22, quoted by Bet Yosef 308:4) writes that a grinder may be moved if you place any permissible item (like bread) on the grinder and the same is true of a pot. However, the Rashba (Shabbat 123a) argues that the grinder may only be moved if there’s some of the food that’s normally put in the grinder such as garlic and so too cooked food in a pot.
    • S”A 308:4 seems to rule like the Rosh, however, many achronim (Mishna Brurah 308:26) argue that one should be strict like the Rashba. From both of the above opinions, many achronim argue that an empty pot is Kli Sh’Melachto LeIssur even if the pot is sometimes used to serve the food but primarily is used to cook. [The Gedolot Elisha (308:19) rejects this proof by explaining that really the grinder is Muktzeh as it’s only purpose is a prohibited activity and so it’s only permitted if it has a piece of the food that’s normally in it such as garlic. However, a pot has both a prohibited (cooking) and permitted (serving) purpose. The comparison of the above Rishonim from the grinder to the pot was only to explain what’s normally associated with each vessel.]
    • These achronim (who are strict regarding an empty pot) include: Pri Megadim (M”Z beginning of 308), Ashel Avraham 308:9, 279:2, Mishna Brurah 308:20, 26, Chazon Ish 47:11, Derech HaChaim (Muktzeh#13; Rabbi Yacov MeLisa, author of the Netivot), Sefer Tiltulei Shabbat (pg 46), Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 20:15, Rabbi Binyamin Zilber (Sh”t Az Nidabru 9:20, pg 58), Rav Wosner in Sh”t Shevet HaLevi 1:127(3) and Shalmei Yehuda (pg 98).
    • On the other hand, some authorities are lenient including the Chaye Adam 66:3, and Kitzur S”A 88:8. Gedolot Elisha (308:19) agrees that many are strict in this regard and consider it a Kli Sh’Melachto LeIssur but concludes that the minhag of Baghdad is to be lenient to treat a empty pot as a Kli Sh’Melachto LeHeter and there is what to rely on. So writes Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S”A 308:105).
  5. Mishna Brurah 308:10, 20, Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S”A 308:105)
  6. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 20:15
  7. Gemara Shabbat 123a. Shulchan Aruch HaRav 308:22 writes that a pot which still has food that was cooked in it is non-Muktzeh as the pot is subservient to the food which is non-Muktzeh. This is also the opinion of Mishna Brurah 308:20, 26, Tiltulei Shabbat (pg 47), and Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 20:15 (note 35).
  8. Nechamat Yisrael (pg 179)
  9. Shulchan Aruch HaRav 308:22 writes explicitly that the pot becomes subservient to the food and can be moved for no reason just like the food. However, the Nechamat Yisrael (pg 180) argues that from the Rishonim and Achronim it seems that the leniency only extends to making the pot a Kli Sh’Melachto LeHeter. So it seems from the Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata (20 note 35).
  10. Chazon Ish 47:11, Minchat Shabbat 88:16 (see Shuirei HaMincha 88:6 who proves this from the Yerushalmi 17:4), Yalkut Yosef (Shabbat vol 2 pg 406), and Tiltulei Shabbat (pg 47) consider an empty pot a Kli Sh’Melachto LeIssur
  11. Nechamat Yisrael pg 181 implies from Chazon Ish 47:11 that this wouldn’t help make the pot a Kli Sh’Melachto LeHeter. See Shuirei HaMincha 88:6.
  12. Shuirei HaMincha 88:6 who proves this from the Yerushalmi 17:4
  13. Nechamat Yisrael (pg 184) considers a pot with raw carrots or apples that are edible to be a Kli Sh’Melachto LeHeter since there was no action done upon the food with the pot and so the food in the pot doesn’t permit the pot just like a piece of bread is insufficient (Mishna Brurah 208:26).
  14. Nechamat Yisrael pg 181 implies from Chazon Ish 47:11 that this wouldn’t help make the pot a Kli Sh’Melachto LeHeter. If so, says the Nechamat Yisrael, all the more so if the food was cooked in another pot.
  15. Chut Shani (Shabbat v. 3 p. 91), Rav Elyashiv in Shalmei Yehuda (pg 98), and Yalkut Yosef (Shabbat vol 2 pg 406) are lenient, while Rabbi Binyamin Zilber is strict as he writes in Sh”t Az Nidbaru 9:20.