Saturday, November 08, 2008

Lech Lecha:Milah Knife and Muktzah

This week’s chaburah discussed an interesting issue regarding muktzeh machmas chisaron kis. The Shulchan Aruch in Siman 308:1 says those items that one would not use because the owner does not want them to get ruined are muktzeh machmas chisaron kis. The example the Shulchan Aruch gives is a mila knife. The question is, if the milah knife would break and the owner would no longer be worried about ruining it, would it lose its status of muktzah. There are 3 opinions in this halacha.

Magan Avraham

The Magan Avraham (308:19) writes that if a utensil that is muktzeh breaks on Shabbos even though the reason for the muktzeh no longer applies, the item is still muktzeh. The Levushei Serad explains that the Magan Avraham is referring to muktzeh machmas chisaron kis and the reason it is still muktzeh is because of the rule that if it is muktzeh when Shabbos started it is muktzeh the whole Shabbos (migu d’itzkatzoi bein hash’mashos itzkatzoi l’kulo yoma).

Rabbi Akiva Eiger

Rabbi Akiva Eiger disagrees and says if a milah knife broke it is no longer muktzeh. We pasken like Rabbi Shimon who does not hold that if it is muktzeh when Shabbos started it is muktzeh the whole Shabbos. Furthermore, in the beginning of Siman 308, he writes that it might be possible to remove the muktzeh by changing your mind. If you decide to no longer use this knife as a mila knife it now loses its muktzah status. However, on this last part Rabbi Akiva Eiger is mesupak since maybe you need a ma’aseh to remove the chisaron kis from the object.

Chazon Ish

The Chazon Ish takes a middle of the road approach. He says that even Rabi Shimon holds if it is muktzeh when Shabbos started it is muktzeh the whole Shabbos unless there is a chance the muktzah would be removed on Shabbos. If such a chance exists then you are considered as waiting for the muktzah to fall off (yosheiv u’mitzapeh) and the object is muttar when the muktzeh is removed. By the milah knife, you are not yosheiv u’mitzapeh and therefore even when it breaks it is still muktzah. However, a milah knife that is damaged and might break would not be muktzeh if it broke on Shabbos . In this case we say you are yosheiv u’mitzapeh that it will break and the rule of migu d’itzkatzoi doesn not apply.

The real question is what is the sevara of Rabbi Akiva Eiger. Why does he say the knife is muttar without any qualifications.

Stay tuned...

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