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Trapping a person on Shabbos

Question:

Hello,
I was wondering whether the issur of trapping on shabbos applies to a person?
For example if you know a robber is in a room can you lock him in there until you call the police after shabbos. (understood this only comes in to play with the understanding that there isn’t a pikuach nefesh issue of not locking him in the room.

 

Answer:

According to most poskim, trapping does not apply to people, such as holding robber for the police to come. This is for a combination of factors. Firstly, the Torah prohibition against trapping on Shabbos is limited to when a person is trapping because the meat or skins of the animal are needed, which is not the case here. Therefore, at best it would be a rabbinical prohibition. There is a second rabbinic factor here, that you don’t need the person, rather you only want to inhibit him from roaming around in other places. Additionally, the poskim say that it is permitted to trap a domesticated animal, such as a tame dog. This is because it is already not really considered confining it, and bringing it under human control, as it is already domesticated. So too, people are considered domesticated (at least most of the time) therefore the rules of trapping usually don’t apply to people.

Best wishes

Sources:

Yesodei Yesurun (39 Melachos) 1 pg. 260, Chut Shani brought in Torah Hamelachos Tzod ftnt 131, Shmiras Shabbos Khilchoso Chap 27 ftnt. 119 (new edition), Aliba Dhilchoso vol. 61 pg. 175 column 3, May Tal Tzod 14.

 

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2 Comments

  1. So i guess if you wanted to skin the thief it would be ussur ;)

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