Question:

Hello,
May a pregnant woman carry a water bottle on Shabbat provided she does not set down the bottle at all?

Thank you and Shana Tovah!

Answer:

It is not permitted. The reason is as follows. According to biblical law it is not considered chilul shabbos unless the person picked the item up in a public domain and placed it down in a private domain. However if one picked up an object in a private domain and walked through the public domain without stopping at until reaching another private domain, then it is not biblically transgression however it is Rabbinically prohibited. The reason being that it is very easy to make a mistake and stop walking (for a red light, to cross the street, to open the door of your home, etc.) and therefore it is not permitted. Aside from the rabbinic prohibition, practically it will be almost impossible not to stop at all while walking, either for a red light, passing car, to open your house door etc., and then it would be a biblical  prohibition. The fact that it is being done for a pregnant woman, does not allow us to violate the halacha.

There is a halacha that if a person made a mistake and walked outside while carrying something, that in retrospect, in order to reduce the severity of what was done from a biblical prohibition to a rabbinic one. That the person should either put it down on something that is between 3 and 10 tefachim tall but not too wide, (called a makom petur), or to continue walking and not stop until they have reached a private domain. This does not mean that we may do this in the first place.

Best Wishes and have a gmar chasima tova

Sources:

Shabbos 5b, Rambam 13-16, Dagul Merivava 266, M:B 353-3, Orchos Shabbos 28-63.

Tags: carrying on shabbos

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