Question:

My one and a half year old daughter found my cell phone on shabbos and didn’t want to put it down. I was concerned that she would throw it on the ground and it would become damaged. Since the cell phone is muktzah, how should I proceed in this situation? What about by other fragile objects that a child gets a hold of?

Answer:

This is a bit of a tricky situation, because a child that is holding muktza may not be picked up because he may drop the item and the parent might then pick it up, so it won’t get damaged. Even shaking the item out of the child’s hand is problematic since it is considered “tiltul min hatzad letzorech davar ha’asur” moving the muktza item thru something else for the benefit of the forbidden item (so it shouldn’t get ruined) and not permitted.  Holding the child’s hand is controversial and it permitted only if there is a pressing need.

Try getting the child to put it down in a safe place by offering him something he can’t refuse, so he will put it down on his own.

Other fragile items would have the same halacha.

You should have much nachas from your children, and appreciate the joys and challenges of raising your children.

Sources:

Shulchan Aruch O:CH 309-1, Regarding holding the child’s hand seeRashi Shabbis 142 D:H Osi, Graz 309-2, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 68-14, Shmiras Shabbos Khilchoso 22-43, B:H 309- 1 D:H V’yesh, Tiltulei Shabbos pg. 230, Hilchos Muktza pg. 43. Regarding Shaking the child’s hand see Orchos Shabbos 19-258 ftnt. 371, Shalmei Yehonasan 3-43, Nachlas Yisroel Summary to chap. 13-24, Ashrei Hoish O:Ch 2 17-19.

Tags: muktza Shabbos

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