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Muktzah On Yom Tov

There is also an additional category of muktzah, applicable mainly to food on Yom Tov, known as muktzah mechamat hachana, which means muktzah because one had no intention on Erev Yom Tov to eat such food on Yom Tov.

For example, the owner of a deli may not eat food on Yom Tov that was part of his stock in trade and intended for sale, nor may one use food on Yom Tov that was stored away for use after Yom Tov.

Similarly, on Yom Tov one may not eat the meat of an ox ordinarily used for ploughing or a chicken ordinarily used for laying eggs and not for food. This prohibition is based on the principle known as hachanah de’rabbah.

Hachanah de’rabbah requires that before Yom Tov we specifically designate in our minds the food that we will use on Yom Tov. It is considered disrespectful to Yom Tov to postpone plans for Yom Tov meals to Yom Tov itself.

This type of muktzah mechamat hachanah applies on Yom Tov but not on Shabbat. This is because on Shabbat one is not allowed to cook and therefore one naturally plans Shabbat meals before Shabbat, whereas on Yom Tov one is allowed to cook and might postpone such plans to Yom Tov itself.

Included in the category of muktzah mechamat hachanah is food one could not have intended on Erev Yom Tov to eat on Yom Tov because such food only came into existence on Yom Tov – “nolad.”

Thus, for example, an egg laid on Yom Tov, and, according to some opinions, milk taken from a cow on Yom Tov, would be prohibited for use on Yom Tov. Whether or not food in the category of nolad is muktzah on Shabbat is a matter of halachic debate. The Rema prohibits it but the Magen Avraham permits it.

Although muktzah objects may not be moved directly by hand, they may, where necessary, be moved indirectly or in an unusual way, such as with the back of one’s hand. Thus, one may kick aside money dropped on the sidewalk on Shabbat in order to retrieve it after Shabbat. It is also permitted on Shabbat to have a muktzah object removed by a non-Jew.

About the Author: Raphael Grunfeld’s book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Moed” (distributed by Mesorah) is available at OU.org and your local Jewish bookstore. His new book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Nashim & Nezikin,” will be available shortly.


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