Kotzer

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Definition

  1. Uprooting or severing any part of a living plant is forbidden on Shabbat under the category of Kotzer (Harvesting). [1]
  2. There is a discussion amongst the poskim, if kotzer applies to things which do not grow from the ground. [2]

Uprooting or severing a plant

  1. It is forbidden to break a branch off a tree, remove a leave, or pick a fruit or flower from a tree on Shabbat. [3]

Picking fruits

  1. Picking a fruit on Shabbat is forbidden. [4] However, one may remove a fruit from a branch which was detached from the tree from before Shabbat. [5]
  2. It is forbidden to detach fruit whether it is fully ripened or shriveled. [6]
  3. It is forbidden to pick mushrooms or remove moss from a rock it is growing on. [7]
  4. It is forbidden to smell a fruit attached to the tree, however, one may smell a flower. [8]
  5. It is permitted to smell a spice such as mint while it is attached to the ground on Shabbat and there's no concern that one is going to detach it from the ground.[9]
  6. Fruit which fell from a tree on Shabbat may not be handled on Shabbat, however, if one is sure that the fruit fell before Shabbat one may handle it on Shabbat but one may collect two or more fruits. [10]

Vegetables and seeds

  1. One may not remove bean sprouts from the moist environment of the container if it has struck root. Therefore, one should make sure to remove the sprouts from the jar from before Shabbat. [11]
  2. However, if one left vegetables on a damp floor and they sprouted (which is common in onions and potatoes) one may pick up the vegetables (as long as it is not Muktzeh, however, raw potatoes are Muktzeh). Additionally, one may cut off these sprouts on Shabbat (but one should be beware not to violate Borer and so one should cut off the sprout with a part of the bulb). However, if vegetables sprouted in a dirt floor one would not be allowed to removed them. [12]
  3. One may carry seeds (that are not Muktzeh) that did not begin to sprout across a lawn, however, once the seeds began to sprout one may not carry it across the lawn. [13]
  4. If a seed fell on the ground one may pick it up if it has remained on the soil for less than 2 or 3 days and according to some views it also not have been covered with dirt for growing purposes. [14]

Walking on plants

  1. One should avoid running through tall grass or shrubs because there it's likely some grass will be uprooted. [15]
  2. One may not walk on delicate plants such as flowers whose stems will snap if stepped on. [16]
  3. It is forbidden to kick a dandelion because doing so will detach the pollen from the plant. [17]
  4. It is permissible to walk, sit, or play on grass on Shabbat. [18]
  5. It is permissible to feel or handle grass on Shabbat. [19]

Potted plants

  1. Severing a part of a potted plant is forbidden. [20] If the pot is perforated and thus attached to the ground this would be a torah violation. If it is not perforated, it would only be rabbinic. [21]
  2. If a potted plant is resting on soil or a lawn or suspended above soil or a lawn, one may not lift it and bring it indoors. This is only true if the pot has holes or the leaves overlap the rim of the pot. [22]

Flowers in a Vase

  1. Flowers in a vase may be moved on Shabbat. [23]
  2. One may remove flowers from a vase full of water provided that the flowers have not sprouted roots in the water. [24]
  3. It is forbidden to add water to a vase with flowers. [25] On Yom Tov a small amount may be added. [26]
  4. One may not gather flowers or create an arrangement and place it in a vase on Shabbos, even if the vase contains no water. [27]

Gezerot (Rabbinical Enactments)

Using a tree

  1. One may not use a tree on Shabbat. This prohibition includes leaning on a tree, shaking a tree, placing objects on a tree, and removing objects from a tree. [28] This includes all trees, alive or not, fruit trees or not. [29] One is permitted to touch a tree that will not shake as a result. [30]
  2. A ladder which is leaning on a tree is considered indirect use of the tree and its use is also forbidden. A tree house may also be included in this category. [31]
  3. One may not leave items that will be needed on Shabbat on a tree before Shabbat because one may come to remove it from the tree on Shabbat. [32]
  4. One may not use a dead tree just like one may not use a live tree. However, one may sit on a dead tree stump. [33]
  5. A swing that is directly connected to a tree may not be used on Shabbat. [34] One may use a swing that is suspended by hooks attached to the tree as long as it was done before shabbat and the tree will not shake as a result. The same rule would apply for a tire swing. [35]
  6. If an item such as a ball gets stuck in a tree higher than three Tefachim one is forbidden to climb on or shake the tree and is also forbidden from poking it with something else. [36]

Using an animal

  1. It is forbidden to ride an animal on Shabbat as a rabbinical restriction lest one detach a tree branch in order to have a stick to prod the animal. [37]
  2. It is forbidden to place something on an animal or remove it from an animal on Shabbat, nor may one lean on an animal on Shabbat. [38]

Links

Meleches Kotzer by Rabbi Baruch Simon

Sources

  1. 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 2, pg 281), Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 26:10, Rambam Hilchot Shabbat 7:4, 8:3. See Rabbi Mansour on DailyHalacha.com who explains that the Melacha of Kotzer refers to detaching produce from the ground using a utensil such as a sickle and Tolesh, which is the Toldah of Kotzer, includes detaching produce from the ground with one's hands.
    • The Minchas Chinuch Kotzeir 2 asserts that the opinion of Rambam is that kotzeir is not limited to gidulei karka, and this seems to fit with the Gemara Shabbos 107b that pulling a fetus out of its mother’s womb is an act of okeir davar m'gidulo. The Talmud Yerushalmi Shabbos 48b takes this to an extreme and says that pulling a fish out of water is an act of kotzeir min haTorah. Magen Avraham (340:15) also seems to imply that kotzeir only applies to things that grow from the ground. While the Magen Avraham isn't discussing kotzeir, he does write that all of the melachos are learned out from the mishkan and since we hold that dosh is limited to gidulei karka, the others must be as well.
    • In contrast, Ramban Shabbos 107b insists that kotzeir is limited to gidulei karka. He rejects the proof from the fetus case, claiming that the Gemara sometimes uses the phrase “okeir davar migidulo” with regards to other melachos, in this case: netilas neshama. He further asserts that the Bavli disagrees with the Yerushalmi about fish. In fact, he suggests that even Rebbi Yehudah who holds that dosh applies to things that don’t grow from the ground would agree that kotzeir only applies to gidulei karka, since the ground is such an integral part of meleches kotzeir.
    • As to what is considered ground, the Mishnah Shabbos 95a writes that to pull a flower out of a perforated pot that is on the ground would be an act of kotzeir d’oraysa since the flowerpot is viewed as an extension of the earth it is drawing nutrients from. On a rabbinic level it is prohibited to pull a flower out of pot even if it does not have a hole in it. This is codified by Shulchan Aruch 336:7 and Mishnah Brurah 336:42.
  2. 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 2, pg 281), Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 26:10
  3. S”A 336:12
  4. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 26:10 quoting Rama 336:8, Beiur Halacha 336:8 s.v. SheNishpach writes that one shouldn't remove a fruit unless the branch is completely detached from the tree. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata (chap 26 note 38) quotes a dispute between the Machsit HaShekel and Pri Megadim whether one is allowed to remove leaves from a branch that was detached from the tree from before Shabbat.
  5. 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 2, pg 289)
  6. 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 2, pg 283), Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 26:10
  7. Shulchan Aruch 336:10, 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 2, pg 301), Mishna Brurah 336:48, Rav Yitzchak Yosef Motzei Shabbat Vayhakel Pekudei 5778 min 37
  8. Rav Yitzchak Yosef Motzei Shabbat Vayhakel Pekudei 5778 min 37
  9. Shulchan Aruch 322:3, Mishna Brurah 322:5 and 6, 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 2, pg 302)
  10. 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 2, pg 283-4)
  11. 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 2, pg 285-7)
  12. 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 2, pg 288)
  13. 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 2, pg 288-9)
  14. 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 2, pg 291) quoting Beiur Halacha 336:3
  15. 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 2, pg 291)
  16. 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 2, pg 291)
  17. 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 2, pg 299)
  18. 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 2, pg 299)
  19. 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 2, pg 291)
  20. The Mishnah Shabbos 95a writes that to pull a flower out of a perforated pot that is on the ground would be an act of kotzeir d’oraysa since the flowerpot is viewed as an extension of the earth it is drawing nutrients from. On a rabbinic level it is prohibited to pull a flower out of pot even if it does not have a hole in it. This is codified by Shulchan Aruch 336:7 and Mishnah Brurah 336:42.
  21. 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 2, pg 292)
  22. Rav Moshe Feinstein quoted in Hilchos Shabbos page 64.
  23. Shemirat Shabbat Kihilchita 26:16 quoted Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach.
  24. Mishna Brurah 336:54.
  25. Aruch hashulchan 654:2, Shemira Shabbat Kihilchita 26:26
  26. Iggerot Moshe OC 4:73
  27. 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 2, pg 294-5). Climbing, sitting, leaning are all forbidden by Shulchan Aruch 336:1 with Mishna Brurah 336:1 and 336:13 based on Gemara Beitza 36b. Mishna Brurah 336:21 points out that it only applies to the parts of the tree above three Tefachim.
  28. Mishna Brurah 336:1
  29. Rama 336:13
  30. 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 2, pg 295)
  31. 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 2, pg 297). Mishna Brurah 336:12
  32. 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 2, pg 298). Aruch Hashulchan 336:18 permits sitting on the dead tree stump but Or Litzion 2:47:29 prohibits this as long as the stump is three Tefachim high.
  33. Shulchan Aruch 336:13
  34. Rav Yisrael Belsky. Rav Moshe Feinstein quoted in Sefer Hilchos Shabbos volume 1 page 62 says that even a swing which is connected to a chain which to a ring attached to the tree is still forbidden to be used and only permits it of two poles are connected to the trees and the swing is connected to the two poles, and provided that the other two conditions are fulfilled.
  35. Rav Yisrael Belsky
  36. Shulchan Aruch 305:18
  37. 39 Melachos (vol 3, pg 301) based on Shulchan Aruch 305:8, 18