web analytics
May 24, 2015 / 6 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Q & A: Sabbath Shuttle? (Part IV)

QuestionsandAnswers-logo

Last week, we cited the Responsa Emek Halacha (vol. 1:26), wherein Hagaon Harav Tuvia Goldstein, zt”l, quotes the Ben Ish Hai’s ruling permitting the use of a non-motorized bicycle on Shabbat in an area with an eruv. The Ben Is Hai rejects the argument that riding a bike should be prohibited due to mar’it ha’ayin since mar’it ha’ayin only applies to cases where the action appears like a biblically prohibited act (e.g., eating meat with almond milk). Riding a bike, however, is not such an act since it is clear that the person is moving via peddling, not via a motor.

He also dismisses the opinion that riding a bike should be prohibited because some may mistakenly infer that riding in a motorized or horse-drawn coach is permitted by saying it is impossible to take into account every fool’s error. Regarding the concern that the bicycle may break and the rider will be tempted to fix it, the Ben Ish Hai writes that it is not a common occurrence. Yet, many others disagree with the Ben Ish Hai’s ruling.

* * * * *

Rabbi Goldstein (Responsa Emek Halacha, ad loc.) cites from Responsa Yaskil Avdi (vol. 3, 19:4), which addresses the Ben Ish Hai’s statement that a bicycle is not given to breakdowns (and thus there is no fear that one may come to repair it on Shabbat in violation of metaken klei shir).

He writes that the Ben Ish Hai undoubtedly was not proficient in the workings of a bicycle’s mechanisms, and that those who informed him about them did not explain the matter properly. He states that it is possible (in the Ben Ish Hai’s defense, as well as those who informed him) that bicycles were not that common in his time and therefore most people were unaware of the possibility of them breaking down. Such is not the situation nowadays, he writes, when there are many bikes on the road, and we are witness to breakdowns every day. Without a doubt, he argues, if the Ben Ish Hai had been aware of the frequency of breakdowns, he would not have permitted riding bikes on Shabbat so easily.

Responsa Yaskil Avdi continues: “I have heard, from those whose word is to be believed, that after the Ben Ish Hai was made aware of the [possibility of breakdowns], he retracted [his ruling] and prohibited their use [on Shabbat]. Therefore, there is no reason to permit their use even in an area surrounded by an eruv.”

Rabbi Goldstein cites Responsa Keren David (Orach Chayim 96), who discusses wheeling baby carriages in an area with an eruv. Should we be concerned about carriages breaking down? Responsa Keren David cites the Magen Avraham (Orach Chayim 313:12), who argues that we need only be concerned about breakage regarding items like candelabras, which are constructed of various sections. If a candelabra breaks, its parts will dissemble, and one will be tempted to affix them to one another again. Our sages only prohibited using such items – nothing else – and we are not permitted to add further enactments based on own comparisons.

However, Responsa Keren David sees reason, nonetheless, to prohibit wheeling baby carriages. He argues that it may be an uvdin d’chol – a weekday activity. He writes: “At first I didn’t see how uvdin d’chol has any connection here, for [based on this reasoning], let us prohibit everything as uvdin d’chol. Yet, in truth, I did find a bit of a hint from the discussion in Tractate Beza (25b) to cause us to prohibit this activity: Our Sages taught: A blind person may not go out with his cane… and one may not go out carried in his [sedan] chair on the festival. Rashi (ad loc., svein ha’suma…’) explains that this prohibition is due to uvdin d’chol.”

About the Author: Rabbi Yaakov Klass, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “Q & A: Sabbath Shuttle? (Part IV)”

  1. Anonymous says:

    The wheelchair should be prohibited as it might. however slight, break down and the crippled person would be left with no way to move. Concerning the bicycle, if it breaks down, a rider is able to leave it until after Shabat and walk to his destination. A man and wife rode their bicycle for two from Maine to Florida with flat tires as their only breakdown; so the bicycle's mechanical parts are very reliable.

  2. Margaretha Tierney says:

    Is there no compassion for an 80-year-old lady who wants to attend synagogue on Shabbat, but unable to walk the distance?

  3. Garden State says:

    It is very hard to see how using a motorized wheelchair can be likened to riding a shuttle driven by a gentile driver for the obvious reason that the former is directly controlled by the person while the latter is not. Also, it would seem that the benefits of using the shuttle to get to the synagogue would outweigh the possible violations associated with the ride.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Tzipi Hotovely, new Deputy Foreign Minister.
Foreign Minister Hotovely: Tell the World ‘God Gave Israel to the Jews’
Latest Judaism Stories
Leff-052215

There is a great debate as to whether this story actually took place or is simply a metaphor, a prophetic vision shown to Hoshea by Hashem.

Staum-052215

Every person is presented with moments when he/she must make difficult decisions about how to proceed.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

One does not necessarily share the opinions of one’s brother. One may disapprove of his actions, values, and/or beliefs. However, with brothers there is a bond of love and caring that transcends all differences.

Torah

This Shavuot let’s give G-d a gift too: Let’s make this year different by doing just 1 more mitzvah

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if […]

God and the divine origin of His Torah are facts even though we do not fully comprehend them.

So if we basically live the same life, why should he get eternal reward and not me?”

The question is: What about pidyon haben? Can one give the five sela’im required for pidyon haben to a kohen’s daughter?

In Parshas Pinchas the Torah introduces the Mussaf for Shavuos by describing it as Yom HaBikurim when we bring the new offering.

Rachel was thrown by the sight and began to caringly think whom this person might be.

The desert, with its unearthly silence & emptiness, is the condition in which the Word can be heard

The census focused on the individual, proving each is created as irreplaceable, unique images of God

Jewish survival in a dysfunctional world requires women assuming the role Hashem gave them at Sinai

The Honor Of Reading The Kesubah
‘Witnesses Sign Only After Reading…’
(Kesubos 109a)

Why does the Torah use two different words for “to count,” and what does each indicate?

From Bemidbar on and in Nevi’im, the nation is viewed primarily by its component parts, the tribes

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass
Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if […]

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times on each hand alternatingly? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ask-the-rabbi/q-a-sabbath-shuttle-part-iv/2014/01/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: