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Mekalkeil 2 (Klal 9) Hilchos Shabbos – S0308

D'var Halacha
D'var Halacha
Mekalkeil 2 (Klal 9) Hilchos Shabbos - S0308
  Sponsorships for the upcoming Klalim, which discuss the 39 melachos of Shabbos, are available. Please contact Rabbi Reingold for more information at or 301.996.5910   We have finished Klal 9. The purpose of this Klal was to learn about broad klalim which come up regarding melachos of Shabbos. We will discuss a few other concepts not discussed by the Chayei Adam.   The concept of mekalkeil is not a problem in and of itself. For example, if one follows the opinion that the melacha of boneh does not apply to keilim, destroying a kli (e.g., a package of food) is negative, but since there is no melacha involved, there is no issur. Thus, we are only discussing mekalkeil within the context of the 39 melachos. Another example is paper towels or toilet paper which become destroyed when they are used, or a towel which gets dirty from use. None of these are problematic, since there is no melacha involved.    There are scenarios where mekalkeil, even within the context of the 39 melachos, will be muttar. If one tears open the leather cover of a barrel to access the contents, one opinion is that it is mekalkeil, so it is not an issur deoraysa. There is no issur derabanan either, because Chazal did not extend the issur derabanan to food-related needs. Similarly, one can tear open a bag of cups or other food utensils, or even the wrapping on (pre-cut)tissues for the bathroom. Chazal did not extend their gezeira to valid Shabbos purposes.    There are some scenarios where something might be considered mekalkeil but still a melacha. One example is shechita. The animal arguably is worth more alive than dead, but since it is normal to do so, it is chayav. Another example is if a person tears kriah on Shabbos for a relative for whom they are chayav to tear. There is no benefit to the clothing by tearing it, but there is still a benefit to the action in that they fulfill their chiyuv kriah. Another example given in the Gemara is one who tears something to demonstrate anger or upsetness over a situation (it is not appropriate to actually get angry; this is a case where one is showing anger without feeling internally angry).    The above explanation is based on the Rambam’s understanding, but Tosfos disagrees. If one has a practical question, they should ask their rav.   Summary
  • One is only chayav mideoraysa when the melacha is constructive; if it is mekalkeil it is patur but assur miderabanan.
  • There are scenarios where Chazal did not extend their issur derabanan, such as food and other valid Shabbos purposes.
  • A destructive melacha for the purpose of something constructive will be chayav mideoraysa, both whether the constructive purpose occurs inherently within the destructve action, or whether it will follow later.
  • Mekalkeil is only chayav when it is done on an action which is one of the 39 melachos. If it is not a melacha, there is no issur.

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