Shivrei Kelim

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Broken vessels

  1. A broken vessel, whether it broke before Shabbat or on Shabbat, it’s not considered Muktzeh if it still has the some purpose such as to cover a vessel. [1]
  2. If a broken vessel is in a place where it could cause danger such as if glass broke on the table or in an area that people walk, it’s permissible to move the pieces to prevent danger. [2]
    1. A needle that was in a place that could injure someone is permissible to be moved. [3]
  3. If a vessel broke before Shabbat and one threw it in the garbage before Shabbat, it’s considered Muktzeh Machmat Gufo. [4]However if one threw out a vessel on Shabbat it doesn’t become Muktzeh. [5]
  4. If one threw out a perfectly good vessel it’s not considered Muktzeh. [6]
  5. The door of a vessel which broke off the vessel isn’t Muktzeh, [7] however, the door of a house that broke off is Muktzeh Machmat Chisaron Kis, whether it broke off before Shabbat or on Shabbat. [8]
  6. A broken needle that lost it’s point (or it’s hole) is Muktzeh Machmat Gufo [9]
  7. Clothing that ripped isn’t Muktzeh if the pieces are larger than 3 Tefachim by 3 Tefachim. [10]
  8. Some say that nowadays since most people throw out a broken vessel once it breaks it’s considered Muktzeh unless it’s a vessel which wouldn’t be thrown out by people, while others are of the opinion that if it has a function to cover a vessel normally (or another permissible purpose) then even if one practically one use it for that purpose it’s considered a vessel and non-Muktzeh. [11]

Broken vessels nowadays

  1. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 20:41 writes based on Mishna Brurah 308:48 (which is based on Magen Avraham 308:24) that if the kli is usually thrown out it’s Muktzeh. Menuchat Ahava Ahava vol 1 chapter 13:37 writes that it also applies if it breaks on Shabbat and his source was the S”A 308:11 like the Mishna Brurah.
  2. Hagahot Rabbi Akiva Eiger comments on the Magen Avraham 308:24 that the Rashba learns it’s only if it breaks from before Shabbat and he disagrees.
  3. S”A HaRav 308:29 writes this chumra clearly and applies it to whether it breaks before or on Shabbat. Yalkut Yosef (vol 2 pg 369) quotes the S”A haRav as a yesh mi she’Omer and then says that one should be concerned for this opinion. He concludes that this isn’t the place to discuss it at length. Shalmei Yehuda chapter 3 note 24 quotes Rav Binyamin Zilber who holds like the S”A HaRav as well,
  4. However, Shalmei Yehuda on pg 261-2 writes that Rav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg argues on the S”A HaRav and is lenient. (His argument is that since there’s still a use nowadays it’s just that people are spoiled and use only perfect kelim but if there was a serious need he’d still use the kelim that are broken. Since by definition there is a use it’s considered a kli and is not Muktzeh. See there where he asks rhetorically that from the time of Mishna Brurah the times haven’t changed that much and people all of a sudden stopped using the broken kelim to cover stuff.) Similarly, the Chut HaSheni (Rav Nassim Karlitz; vol 3, chapter 51, pg 106) agrees with Rav Scheinberg (however see there where he says that it must be a broken kli that would actually fit as a cover normally and that use isn’t just an excuse to make it non-Muktzeh). Rav Elyashiv (Halachot Shabbat BShabbat 2:20 fnt. 71, cited by Dirshu 308:45) held that even if the disposable utensil was dirtied before Shabbat but wasn't thrown out yet, it wasn't muktzeh because it was possible to be used.
  5. The Halacha Arucha Hilchot Shabbat (pg 60, 64) writes that Rav Shlomo Zalman, who was strict regarding one time use utensils because people throw it out, would also be strict here. However, the Halacha Arucha concludes that Rav Scheinberg would disagree here and that the minhag is like Rav Scheinberg to be lenient.
  6. [If this is connected to whether raw meat is Muktzah nowadays (considering that no one would eat it raw) then the Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata is strict. However, the Mishna Brurah 308:125 is lenient but it just depends on how hard the meat is. Tiltulei Shabbat (Rav Bodner pg 100) quotes Rav Moshe Feinstein who is strict by raw meat. Rav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg (Shalmei Yehuda pg 262) is lenient also regarding raw meat.]

Further Background on the topic

  1. Tosfot Shabbat 49b s.v. Lo Amru says that there’s a contradiction between the Gemara 49b and 123a whether the definitions of a vessel by tumah are the same as the definitions of kelim by Shabbat. On 49b the gemara says whether leather hides are worked or not still it’s not Muktzeh because there’s no difference between worked hides and unworked hides except by Tumah. Rashi explains that by tumah before it’s worked it’s not tameh and after it’s worked it is tameh. Tosfot challenges this from Zevachim 93b which says that a hide that’s skinned prior to being worked is tameh. Therefore, Tosfot say that really in zevachim it’s tameh even though it wasn’t worked since one designated it for sitting, and in Shabbat it’s not tameh since it wasn’t worked and one didn’t designate it for sitting. Anyway, it turns out that it’s not Muktzeh if it’s not worked (even though it’s not designated) – even though it wouldn’t be a kli regarding tumah. However, Gemara 123a states that if something isn’t a kli regarding tumah (a broken needle) it’s also not a kli regarding Muktzeh.
  2. Therefore Tosfot answers the contradiction by saying that if it’s not a kli regarding tumah even if it was designated for a purpose then it’s not a kli regarding Muktzeh. However, if it’s not a kli regarding tumah had it been designated then it’s a kli regarding Muktzeh even if it’s not designated.
  3. Bottom line: a broken needle is Muktzeh because it’s not a kli regarding tumah even if one did designation (if would actually need a shinui or tikkun).
  4. Magen Avraham 308:24 uses this idea to explain why the broken needle is Muktzeh and a broken kli isn’t- because a broken needle would need a tikkun to be a kli regarding tumah and a broken kli would only need a designation to be a kli regarding tumah.
  5. Tosfot Zevachim 93b s.v. Menayin (end of Tosfot which is continued on 94a) explains that the Gemara zevachim implies that a wet hide (just skinned) is mekabel tumah however, רבינו תם says that a wet hide is Muktzeh based on Shabbat 116b which says that the Pesach hide is only non-Muktzeh if there’s meat attached, this is assuming that if something is a kli by tumah it’s also a kli regarding Muktzeh (based on Shabbat 123a).
    1. The Pri Megadim A”A 308:24 says that the Tosfot Zevachim (and Magen Avraham) was only forced into saying this because of רבינו תם which we hold like, however, according to Rashi 49 there’s no question.
  6. Tosfot explains that a wet hide is mekabel tumah and still it’s Muktzeh as long as it’s wet. This is similar to a broken needle which is Muktzeh even if though it could be mekabel tumah if one does a tikkun.
  7. Magen Avraham explains that Tosfot means that a wet hide is Muktzeh even if it could be mekabel tumah since most people throw it out (or don’t use it at all ) similar to a broken needle which is thrown out (Shabbat 123a). [See Shitah Mekubeset who says that the girsa of Tosfot Zevachim was actually that since it’s uncommon to designate it for sitting it’s still Muktzeh.]
  8. Bottom line: If a broken kli is thrown out by most people it’s Muktzeh.
  9. Hagahot Rabbi Akiva Eiger 308:24 quotes the Rashba 125 s.v. Ha Amar Shmuel who says that really a broken needle is only Muktzeh if it was broken from before Shabbat, otherwise it’s not Muktzeh since it entered Shabbat as a kli. However, Rabbi Akiva Eiger argues that since if a broken needle was thrown out on Shabbat it’s Muktzeh and a broken kli that’s thrown out on Shabbat isn’t Muktzeh it seems that a broken needle is fundamentally worse and even if was broken on Shabbat it’s Muktzeh. [The Rashba holds that even by broken kelim that are thrown out on Shabbat are Muktzeh just like a broken needle that’s thrown out on Shabbat.]
    1. Note that the Magen Avraham asked about the difference between seif 11 and seif 7 and not seif 6 which is the beginning of the topic of broken kelim.
  10. Orah VeSimcha 25:8 s.v. Aval, Tehila LeDavid 308:17, Badei HaShulchan 109:12 hold like Hagahot Rabbi Akiva Eiger.
    1. Megilat Sefer (pg 268) s.v. Min HaAmur writes that if one rips a plastic bag bag open in a destructive way it’s Muktzeh since it’s usual to throw out. However, Adnei Shlomo (pg 265, 308:204) argues based on the Rashba. the Chut HaSheni (Rav Nassim Karlitz; vol 3, chapter 51, pg 106) also argues that if it was not thrown out before Shabbat it’s not Muktzeh. [Matnat Yehuda (pg 317) quotes Rav Nassim Karlitz and praises it. ]

Disputed Items

  1. If a button fell off of a shirt on Shabbat, according to some poskim, if one plans on using it to sew back onto the shirt it isn't muktzeh, but not if it is a standard button that one doesn't care to save because there are many like it available. Other poskim hold that it is totally muktzeh since it isn't useful right now.[12]
  2. If a Mezuzah fell on Shabbat, according to some poskim, it is muktzeh since it wasn't part of a kli before Shabbat. However, many poskim are lenient not to consider it muktzeh.[13] Everyone agrees that if the mezuzah is in a disgraceful place it is permitted to move it to a dignified area.[14]


  1. S”A 308:6 writes that a vessel which broke on Shabbat on Shabbat is not considered Muktzeh if it still has the some purpose such as to cover a vessel. Mishna Brurah 308:27 and 32 clarifies that the same is true whether it broke before or on Shabbat.
  2. Rama 308:6
  3. Mishna Brurah 308:47
  4. S”A 308:7
  5. Mishna Brurah 308:32
  6. Mishna Brurah 308:51
  7. S”A 308:8
  8. Mishna Brurah 308:35
  9. S”A 308:11
  10. Mishna Brurah 308:52
  11. See Broken Kelim Nowadays
  12. Mishna Brurah 308:35 writes that the lid of a kli that fell off on Shabbat isn't muktzeh since it can be reattached. Tehillah LDovid 308:11 explains that even though it is forbidden to reattach it on Shabbat since it could be used to reattach after Shabbat it is still called a kli. He discusses whether this applies to all kelim that break or only those which are easily reattached like a door. Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 15:72) held that a button that fell off a shirt on Shabbat is the same as a door that fell off a container. Since it could be returned after Shabbat it is essentially a kli. Nonetheless, this only applies if it is a unique button to a unique shirt but if it is the standard one then a person doesn't usually care about saving it and so it isn't a kli. Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata concludes that it is proper to be strict. Minchat Shabbat 88:2 and Az Nidberu 7:46 agree. He added that if there's a type of item which required a professional to reattach it then it would be muktzeh. Shalmei Yehuda (p. 80) quotes Rav Elyashiv who questioned the proofs to be lenient. Rav Moshe Feinstein in Igrot Moshe 5:22:20 held that a button that fell off is really muktzeh since it is't useful.
  13. Minchat Shabbat 88:38:7 held that the mezuzah which fell on Shabbat is muktzeh since it was attached to the house that isn't a kli and fell just like a door of a house which broke off on Shabbat is muktzeh (Shulchan Aurch 308:8). However, Rav Elyashiv (Shalmei Yehuda 1:2, p. 28) is lenient because the mezuzah isn't considered a part of the house unlike a door. Rav Nissim Karelitz (Chut Shani Shabbat v. 3 50:1:2) agrees if the mezuzah scroll could be opened and be used.
  14. Az Nidbaru 8:38 discusses whether the mezuzah is muktzeh machmat chisaron kis and if it fell if it should be muktzeh. He concludes that either way if it fell and is in a disgraceful position it is certainly permitted to be moved.