For donations Click Here

Harmful Muktzah in Public Domain


May one handle harmful muktzah in rushus harabim? What about if the mukztah is situated in a place where people don’t usually go, but there is still chance of injury? If yes, how should the muktzah be handled?

Thank you


As a general rule, when חז”ל made various enactments תקנות, they did not include situations where there is a physical danger to the public[1]. Therefore if one finds a piece of sharp glass even if it is in a רשות הרבים, (a public domain) it may be moved in a way that only[2] violates an Issur D’rabonon. For example, carrying it on a side street (a כרמלית), or moving it less than 6 feet at a time in a public place ( רשות הרבים). It is for this reason that one may sprinkle salt or sand on ice or an oil spill (even in the street, if the street is not halachically considered a רשות הרבים), to prevent people from slipping[3].

There are however a few conditions to allowing violating an Issur D’rabonon;

  1. If the action can be done by a gentile this is preferred[4].
  1. The item is very apt to cause damage, such as a sharp piece of glass[5], or other sharp objects[6].

If the object is large and noticeable, even if it can cause damage, since people will notice it and be careful from it, it is not permitted to carry it etc. move it[7], however if the only issue involved is one of muktza, it may be moved[8] טלטול מן הצד.



 [1] לשון השו”ע ס’ ש”ח סע’ י”ח במקום הזיקה לא גזרו בו רבנן

 [2] ע’ ס’ נחלת ישראל עמ’ תצ”ג מס’ דעת משה ס’ י”ז שה”ה צפרנים במקום שיש רבים של נשים מעוברות. וע”ש בנחלת ישראל הערה ד’ במקום שיש נמלים ויש תינוקות שיכולים לאכול אותם אם מותר להסירם שזה לא יגרום להם טמטום הלב.

 [3] שש”כ  פכ”ה סע’ ח’.

 [4] פרישה ס’ ש”ח ס”ק י”ח.

 [5] ערה”ש ס’ ש”ח סע’ כ’

 [6] שש”כ שם.

 [7] ביה”ל ד”ה קוץ

 [8] מ”ב ס’ ש”ח ס”ק ע”ה.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *