Template:Bike on Shabbat

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  1. The Minhag is not to ride a bike on Shabbat.[1]
  2. Even children shouldn’t ride a bike on Shabbat, however a tricycle or scooter is permissible only within in an eruv. Preferably, the bell on the scooter should be removed. [2]
      • Even if there is a proper Eruv, there are Poskim, including the Shu"t Mayim Chaim (R' Yosef Meshash, Siman 128), who claim that it is prohibited to ride a bike, because the chain might break and one might come to fix it on Shabbat. However, the Ben Ish Chai (Rav Pe'alim, vol. 1, Orach Chaim, Siman 25 and Hashmatot) quotes the Rosh (Shabbat 2:15) that after Chatimat HaTalmud, we don't institute Gezerot of our own intuition, even if there's a tremendous Chashash. Tosafot in Chullin 104a also says something similar. In fact, the Ben ish chai permits riding a bike in an eruv but some claim that the Ben Ish Chai eventually changed his mind concerning riding a bicycle on Shabbos (see Sh”t Yaskil Avdi OC 3:12:5:4).
      • The Sh"t Mayim Chayim claims further that riding a bike is some form of Melacha, as it takes skill to do it, but he never explains what exact Melacha.
      • Rav Azriel Hildesheimer (in his Shu"t, vol. 1, Orach Chaim, Siman 49) prohibits bike riding since it's a Pesik Reisheh of making a furrow, but Rav Ovadia (Chazon Ovadia Shabbat vol. 4 page 40) says that since it's already Kilachar Yad, and in the Reshut HaRabbim, it's a Pesik Reisheh MiDeRabbanan DeLa Nicha Leh, and Muttar LeKulei Alma. Additionally, since the wheels are covered with rubber tires, it's like a baby carriage which is Kovesh, not Choresh, and Muttar.
      • Finally, Rav Ovadia concludes it's simply Assur because of Uvdin DeChol even if it's for a Mitzvah, because people use it to get to their destination quickly, and Chazal expounded on the Pasuk in Yeshayahu that one's walking on Shabbat should be different from his walking during the week. For children who have reached Chinuch, it's advisable to prohibit it. This is also the ruling of the Shemirat Shabbat KeHilcheta (Perek 16, Seif 17, page 185), the Mishneh Halachot (vol. 7, Siman 71), Tzitz Eliezer 7:30:1, Kaf HaChaim (404:8), and Ohr LeTzion (vol. 2, Perek 42, Seif 1), who also prohibit bike riding for similar reasons. See also Rabbi Eli Mansour.
      • Ashkenazi Poskim: Tzitz Eliezer (7:30:1) holds that riding a bike on Shabbat is an issue of Uvda DeChol.
      • Rav Azriel Hildesheimer (siman 49) holds riding a bike on Shabbat is an issue of Choresh.
      • Rav Yitzchak Schmelkish (Tshuvos Beis Yitzchak) explains that the gezerah against riding an animal was a broad gezerah against all transportation on shabbos. Rav Schachter (Highlights of Melachos Shabbat Part 2, min 70-2) quoted this from the Shoel Umeishiv and agreed.
      • Chasam Sofer (6:97) thinks that riding a train is a violation of “shabbason.”
      • Sephardi Poskim: The Ben Ish Chai (Rav Poalim 1:25) permits biking on Shabbat.
      • Kaf HaChaim (5:404:8) quotes the Ben Ish Chai, but then he says the minhag is not to ride bikes and he brings many reasons why (it might break and he’ll come to fix it, he might ride outside the techum, he might get to a hill where he’ll need to get off and carry the bike.)
      • The Yaskil Avdi (OC 3:12:5:4) says it's forbidden because it might break and you might come to fix it like musical instruments. And he claims the Ben Ish Chai retracted. There is a big discussion as to what the Ben ish chai actually held.
      • Or Letzion (vol 2, chap 42, note 1), Sh"t Yabia Omer 10:54(12), Yalkut Yosef (Shabbat, vol 5, pg 56) all forbid. The Ben Ish Chai in Rav Pealim 1:25 permits it but some say that later on he retracted from that ruling. (Sh"t Yechave Daat 2:48). Rabbi Mansour on dailyhalacha.com discusses and clarifies that Rav Ovadyah Yosef's opinion on this topic is that it is not proper to ride bikes on Shabbat.
      • Rav Ovadiah Yosef (Yabia Omer 10 OC 54:12, and 55:2) doesn't think Ben Ish Chai changed his mind and he argues with yaskil avdi because we can't invent gzeiros nowadays. But he concludes that it’s proper to be stringent not to ride a bike on shabbos. Rav Matzliach Mazuz (Sh"t Ish Matzliach OC 1:35) agrees that it should not be permitted to ride a bike on Shabbat or Yom Tov, even in a place with an eruv.
    1. Children in Halacha (pg 138). Rav Schachter (Highlights of Melachos Shabbat Part 2, min 70) quoted the Shoel Umeishiv as holding that a bike is forbidden because it is a form of transportation but a tricycle is not since it is just a toy. Similarly, Rav Ovadia (Chazon Ovadia Shabbat vol. 4 page 40) permitted tricycles since they're made for kids specifically, as long as one removes the bell before Shabbat. There is no difference between Shabbat and Yom Tov.