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Bending metal on Shabbos; glasses, twist ties, masks and staples

Question:

  1. Is one allowed to bend metal on Shabbos without heat? If one has a face mask that has a metal piece that is meant to be bent over your nose to make a good fit, can that be done on Shabbos? Can it be adjusted on Shabbos if was already done before Shabbos?
  2. Can you unbend a staple to remove it from papers?
  3. Can you use twist-ties on Shabbos?

Answer:

  1. Bending metal on Shabbos is not inherently prohibited, however often bending it into the correct shape will be fixing it and making it useable, which is part of Makeh B’patish. For example bending the teeth of a fork back into shape, bending the temple of eyeglasses, or a needle that got bent: all of these cases involve fixing the item and are prohibited. However thin strips of metal that are meant to bend and be adjusted, are not considered being fixed when adjusted. Therefore there is no problem with adjusting the metal and bending or unbending the metal strip of a face mask on Shabbos because whether it is bent a little this way or the other it will not be considered broken, therefore the poskim say it is permitted.
  2. A staple that is holding papers together may not be taken out on Shabbos. This is because the staple is holding the two pieces of paper together in a way that it is considered bound together, and separating the staple from the papers would be Mileches Korayah.
  3. Regarding twist-ties, twisting the the two ends together has an issue of Koshair or Matier according to some poskim, because when the ends of the tie are twisted together they hold together very well.  Others say that it permitted to use, because it is only meant to be temporary and is very easy to open. According to all opinions, if the tie is twisted only once, or if it is just wrapped around the bag in a circle it would be permitted.

 

Best wishes

Sources:

Magen Avrohom 340-11, Chayei Adam 44-9, Shmiras Shabbos Khilchoso 28-5, 15 ftnt. 174, Orchos Shabbos 10- 30 ftnt. 51, Shevet Halevi 8-55, Chut Shani (Shabbos) 2 pg. 228, Emes L’Yackov ftnt. 360, The Shabbos Home 14 ftnt. 12 in the name of R’ M. Feinstein and R’ M. Stern zt”l, Poskim,

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you. If the mask will continuously fall off of you don’t bend it into shape, would it still be allowed? Also, in the last line of your response, I assume you meant that it would be permitted?

    1. The mask is still made to be adjusted, and it isn’t considered broken when not adjusted, the same way your shoes and other garments are not considered broken even though they will fall off if not adjusted.
      Correct, it should say that it is permitted.
      Thanks

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