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Muktzeh: Electrical Appliances and Esrogim

Can one do ’tiltul’ or ‘niyur’ for any muktzeh category (i.e. not just kli shmealchato l’issur)? For instance, if there would be a hammer on the table and one doesnt need the space or its function, but one is embarrsed in front of company, one can just ‘backhand’ it?

Why are alomost all durable electric appliances considered ‘kli shmelachto l’isur’ on shabbat, if they have no practical permitted uses (e.g. a hairdrier)?

For items that are ‘muktzeh machamat mitzveh’: are they muktzeh on the shabbat of yom tov or right prior (ex. shofar, maztos, arbaah minim etc.)?

Answer:

Both a keli shemelachto le’issur (hammer, pen, tefillin, and so on), and other muktzeh items (even a stone, which is the classic example of muktzeh machmas gufo), may be moved, according to Mishnah Berurah, by means of one’s body (rather than moving it regularly by means of the hand). Tiltulei Shabbot quotes from Rav Moshe Feinstein that there is room to doubt whether moving the item in a ‘backhanded’ manner (with the back of the hand) is included, yet Shulchan Aruch Harav (276:10) writes that this is permitted. Chazon Ish, however, does not permit moving muktzeh items in an irregular manner with one’s body, but many follow the leniency of Mishnah Berurah.

Most electrical items that do not have a use on Shabbos would be considered muktzeh machmas chisaron kis, because one is careful not to use them for purposes other than their main use. If the appliance would not fall under this category, some authorities maintain that the fact it has no use on Shabbos renders it muktzeh machmas gufo (Peri Megadim 308:12; Aruch Hashulchan 279; among others). According to others (Rav Moshe Feinstein, and others), its potential use as a paperweight is sufficient for alleviating this concern (see Rema 308:7).

Concerning those electrical items which can be used on Shabbos, such as a fan or electric blanket, and so on, some maintain that they are considered a keli shemelachto le’issur, and some see them as being keli shemelachto heiter (see Piskei Teshuvos, 108:4).

Arba Minim (but not matzos, which are not muktzeh) are muktzeh, but only because they have no use on Shabbos. An esrog is not mukteh, because one is permitted to smell it (Orach Chaim 658:2), though it would usually be considered muktezh machmas chisaron kis (Aruch Hashulchan 308:17).

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