Weekly Halacha Series
By HaRav Shimon Anshin shlit”a
Laws pertaining to Carrying Belongings on Shabbos where there is no Shabbos Boundary (Eruv)
a. Hooks: A hook that is torn and remains attached on one side, and a “loop” torn on one side – for instance as found on trousers, as used to thread a belt – should one intend to repair it after Sabbath, it is forbidden to go out with it, as the loop is of importance and is not worthless to the garment. Although, should one intend for it to remain as is, then one is allowed to go out with, as it is no longer of value and it is unimportant to the garment.
b. Bottons: A regular button, although not currently being used, is permitted to go out with. An “ornamental” button is permitted to go out with too. A button that is loose, should it not be possible to button up with, or should one not wish to button up with it, one must not go out with it. However, should the button add beauty to the garment, in in a way that the garment look odd with its absence, then one may be lenient and go out with it.
If the button has already fallen off and only the thread remains, in any event, one may go out with the garment. (And not to remove the thread on Sabbath. Note: If a button falls off and it is one’s intention to sew it back after Sabbath, it is not considered “muktze” (object forbidden for use on the Sabbath) and it is allowed to be picked up and placed aside for safekeeping.
With regards to a “spare” button that is attached to the garment, there are those who forbid it as it does not have any use for the garment. And there are those who permit it since it is attached to the garment and as it has no value to the garment. And there are those who say that this is only permissible should the button be regular and not of importance, which is not in the case of a special button that is not common since it is important and is of value to the garment.
In fact, one who is stringent, and one who is lenient, has whom on which to rely upon. Although, should the button be placed in the pocket of a garment, then according to all opinions (knowledge) it is forbidden to go out with.
a. Labels: A label showing the type of fabric, laundry instructions, price, tested for “shatnez” (checking for linen /wool) should it be sewn or glued to garment it is permitted to go out with, although, should one wish to remove it after Sabbath, then it is forbidden.
b. Towels: If one wears it on one’s head or shoulders and it protects one from the wind or cold or sun, it is permissible to go out with, in this manner. Although, if one wears it only in order to carry it, it is appropriate to be stringent, as nowadays, it is no longer carried in this way at all.
Shoes that become dirty with mud
a. If the mud is still damp, and if the sole is made from leather, then one may drag ones shoes, but not vigorously. And also one should not scrape it off with a knife as there is a prohibition to “erase” as the leather is smoothed in this manner.
If the sole is made from rubber, then one may drag the mud even vigorously and one may use any object for this purpose in order to remove the mud, as this is not a prohibition to “erase” as this law does not apply to plastic.
a. If the mud has still not completely come off, then one may pour water over it, but not rub it. However this is only allowed on the sole itself, which is not the case with the remainder of the shoe as doing this may constitute the prohibition of pouring water and rubbing and this would be the prohibition of “washing”.
b. If the mud has already dried, then it is forbidden in any event to drag the shoes, as this would fall within the prohibition of “grinding or mincing”, but one may remove by water as mentioned above. (And know that likewise there is a possibility of prohibition of grinding or mincing while removing dry dirt from a garment. And G-d willing there will come a time to clarify this.)
Going out with an object forbidden to go out with: Should one realize that one has gone out with an object forbidden to go out with, one should do as follows:
One should NOT stand still. Rather, one should continue to walk and let go of the object in a different manner. In other words, if one was holding the object in one’s hand, one would let go of the object and not place it on the ground. And if placed in one’s pocket, one would turn the pocket inside out in order that the object would fall out, and should leave the object there until Sabbath has exited.
This should be done even if one has stopped walking, although, from the outset, one should not stand. Should the object be of value and one cannot leave it there, there are a few suggestions how to return the object to a guarded place but this is not the place to elaborate.
As this is a translation of the original Hebrew, if you are unclear on any of the Laws outlined herein in any way whatsoever, please consult with a Posek (Halachic Authority).