Question:

Is it mukzah? as i recently visited an out of town shul. They gave an envelope that lists the name and address of where the check should go. There’s an eruv so they expect you to take it back to your hotel. I think it may be mukza machmas chisoron kis, or kli shemelachto lissur.

Answer:

It is hard to answer definitively without hearing the other side, why they feel that it is permitted, but based solely on what you are saying, it sounds correct that the envelopes are indeed muktza. The reason would be (aside from the question if envelopes are muktza on shabbos or not) because this envelope is designated for a monetary transaction it would be at least a kli shemilachto l’issur. Although it is permitted to move a kli shemilachto l’issur, in this case the reason for taking to back to the hotel would be so that it doesn’t get lost and so it can be used after shabbos, which would not be a permitted reason to move it. Additionally, as you wrote, it may be muktza machmas chisarion kis, although the envelope doesn’t have much value, however right now you want to keep it in a safe place in order to send it to the shul. There may be another issue here, of zulusa d’shabbos, because this envelope serves as a sort of bill.

As a side point, see Shut Toras Chaim ( R’ D. Travis) 4 who talks about this very question, and he says that this practice should not be done, however he gives a very nice idea, that the shul can give the people that get an aliya a paper that talks about the importance of  giving tzedakah, and on the bottom of it the shuls address!!

Sources:

Shut Toras Chaim ( R’ D. Travis) 4, .Luach Muktza pg. 110, Beer Moshe 8-76 (5).

Tags: kli shmemlachto leissur muktza

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6 Responses to “Envelope with printed address to mail Charity”

  1. Maybe they will argue that the envelope can be used as a bookmark or other uses.

    If one wants to say that it is muktzah, what should one do upon being handed the envelope? Refuse to take it from the guy’s hand and embarrass him?

    • Simply say that you’ll get it to the shul a different way.

  2. the envelope IS a paper with the address
    clearly one of the intended functions is to know the details in order to donate [maybe with cc]
    aside from the function of actually mailing a donation
    so it is melachto leissur and heter at worst
    even if melachto leissur – it is letzorech gufo – to have the details
    chisaron kis ? he is not meyached makom – would use it as a bookplace, to hold his tissues, to fan himself and doesnt really care if it gets lost
    don’t understand what this has to do with a bill – the minhag is to sell aliyos and not be choshesh for mekach umemkar – certainly giving a reminder is for that donation is permitted

    • An envelope is not just a piece of paper with an address, it is shaped in order to mail it, and in this case in order to mail a check, something we are not allowed to do on shabbos. It is not just “one of the intended functions”, but it’s primary use, otherwise the shul can save money and just print their address on a regular piece of paper.
      Letzorech gufo is if you want to use it on shabbos, not for after shabbos, (and this in part why mechama l’tzel is assur) see Gra”z 308-39, Pri megadim 265 M:Z 1, SS”K 20 ftnt 20, Orchos Shabbos 18-19.
      Regarding if it chesaromn kis, depends on the individual. If he would be careful about it because he needs it for sending away, then it might be chesaron kis, but if he isn’t makpid on it then it wouldn’t be.
      The fact that they sell the aliyos, is permitted because it is poskin l’tzidakah see Rema O:CH 306-6, but this is different than paying the chov after you already have it.

  3. So if one takes the envelope and right away uses it as a bookmark in his siddur or sefer, then it would be OK? Assuming that for him it is a keli shemelacho l’issur (which we have not established conclusively – but let us assume that it is).

    • It depends on what it designated use ws for when shabbos came in, which was in the hands of the gabbai to use for sending in donations.

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