Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Who’s Fridge?
‘If The Owner Retains a Holding There’
(Eruvin 85b)



We learned above (mishnah 72a) that guests who sleep in an owner-occupied home on a temporary basis (fewer than 30 days – see Biur Halacha, Orach Chayim 370) are not required to make an eruv even if they have private dining and sleeping quarters.

However if long-term guests occupy the home, they must join in an eruv if they wish to carry from their private quarters to the jointly-used courtyard (or hallway).

The halacha follows R. Yehuda in the mishnah on our daf who asserts that in certain situations an eruv is not required for a courtyard occupied by a landlord and his tenants. R. Yehuda maintains that if the landlord retains “tefisas yad” – i.e., he keeps some of his belongings in the rental units – no eruv is needed because the tenants have the status of temporary guests residing at the landlord’s house.


The Gemara explains that the halacha of “tefisas yad” applies only if the items stored by the landlord in the tenant’s units are muktzeh and can’t be removed on Shabbos. However if the items stored are non-muktzeh, an eruv is necessary.

The Tur (ad loc., Orach Chayim 370) adds that if the stored items are very heavy, making their being moved rather unlikely, the “tefisas yad” exemption applies even though the items are not muktzeh.

Landlord’s Fridge

Rav Moshe Feinstein (Responsa Igros Moshe, Orach Chayim Vol. 1:141), based on the halacha of “tefisas yad,” asserts that an eruv is not required in an owner-occupied apartment house (to permit the tenants to carry from their apartments to the common hallway and courtyard) provided that the owner supplies his tenants such utilities as a stove or a refrigerator.

Since these items belong to the owner and cannot be removed on Shabbos, R. Yehuda’s law of “tefisas yad” applies and the residents may carry from their apartments to the hallway and to their fellow neighbors’ apartments without an eruv.

Tenant’s Fridge

The Chazon Ish (Siman 82) asserts that R. Yehuda’s law of “tefisas yad” is applicable only if the owner retains rights to store his personal items in his tenant’s apartments. However, if the items are for the tenant to use in the course of his tenancy – such as stoves and refrigerators – they are not considered “tefisas yad” of the owner and an eruv is necessary.


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Rabbi Yaakov Klass is Rav of K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush; Torah Editor of The Jewish Press; and Presidium Chairman, Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim.