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Assorted Shabbat questions

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Topic: Borer, Shabbos, Children

Michael Steinberg from Syracuse wrote:

Are magnets "muktza" on Shabbos?

Dear Michael,

Normal magnets are not muktza on Shabbat. Of course, they may be used only for activities permitted on Shabbat.


  • "The Halachos of Muktza" - Rabbi P. Bodner, Lakewood, page 23.

Ira Rosen from Rutgers asked:

May one use a tap on Shabbat that has a water filter attached to it, given that it separates certain items from the water? The filter is permanently attached. Does it make a difference if the filter must be turned on?

Thank you for your time.

Dear Ira,

It is permitted to use the filters you have described on Shabbat as long as the water is potable even without the use of the filter -- and the filter is there "just to be extra safe." I assume that is the case where you live. In terms of "turning it on," as long as you did not need to throw an electrical switch, it would be permitted to "redirect" the water to the filter from the spigot.


  • Rabbi Yehoshua Neuwirth - Shemirath Shabbath 3:56.

Elias in the Old City of Jerusalem wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

I run a Shabbos playgroup for children. Occasionally, one of them will cause a disruption, and I want to eject the child from the group. Is this "borer" (the prohibition against "forbidden selecting")?

Dear Elias,

"Borer" is only an issue if there is a mixture of two or more components. If the children are not heaped up in a pile or the like, the prohibition of borer does not apply. If they are in a pile, then either scatter them first, or pull the offender out from the pile for immediate "use." BTW, was this question serious?


  • Rabbi Yehoshua Neuwirth - Shemirath Shabbath 3:1-3.

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