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Shutfus 4 – Animals – (Klal 3 Siman 23-24) Erev Shabbos – S0097

D'var Halacha
D'var Halacha
Shutfus 4 - Animals - (Klal 3 Siman 23-24) Erev Shabbos - S0097


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We are beginning siman 25. The Chayei Adam discusses a Jew who owns an animal through shutfus (jointly) with a non-Jew. The problem is that the Torah gives us a mitzvas asei of shevisas beheimah (letting one’s animal rest). There is also an issur for the animal to perform melacha, even if the Jewish owner is not the one causing the melacha to be performed. Thus, if an animal is owned through shutfus between a Jew and non-Jew, it is a problem for the animal to work on Shabbos. 

The Chayei Adam writes that the Jew must inform the non-Jew that the non-Jew cannot use the animal for work on Shabbos. The Jew must inform the non-Jew that if the non-Jew ignores the Jew and performs work with the animal on Shabbos, he will assume full responsibility for the animal–including the Jew’s portion–even for unforeseen circumstances. Essentially, the Jew transfers ownership of the animal to the non-Jew. The Chayei Adam adds that the Jew should put this stipulation in writing, and bring it to a non-Jewish court, in order to publicize their arrangement. The Chayei Adam writes that by transferring ownership to the non-Jew, the Jew avoids any issues related to Shabbos. 

The Mishnah Berurah writes that it is preferable that the Jew make an actual kinyan with the non-Jew, rather than just documenting it. 

 If an animal is owned by a Jew, and a non-Jew wishes to rent the animal over Shabbos, we have the same problem as we had with shutfus of a Jew and non-Jew. Even if the animal is rented for a long period of time, so it is not clear that the animal will be used on Shabbos, we are still concerned for the possibility that it will be used over Shabbos. The Chayei Adam will discuss how to avoid this problem in Klal 58.

If the animal is not generally used for melacha, we do not have this concern. Thus, an animal used as a pet, or used for the product it generates (chickens for eggs, sheep for wool, etc), is not included in this concern. 


The Chayei Adam adds that if a person is traveling and realizes they will not reach a inhabited place before Shabbos, and they have a pack animal carrying his items, it is assur for the animal to continue to carry the items over Shabbos, as the animal is performing the melacha of hotza’ah. Although we tend to think of “work” for animals as labor with a yoke, carrying items is melacha as well. Although the Jew should technically drop all of the possessions being carried by the animal, Chazal recognized that if they instruct a person to drop everything, they may end up doing something else which is even more inappropriate. The Chayei Adam will discuss this scenario later, in siman 59. 

The above halacha also applies to a person who is carrying without realizing it is assur (e.g., did not realize they had an item in their pocket, did not realize the eruv was down, etc.). These cases will be discussed in Klal 59 as well.



  • If a Jew an non-Jew own an animal through shutfus, the Jew must inform the non-Jew that the animal cannot be used for melacha on Shabbos, and if it is, the non-Jew assumes full ownership and responsibility for the animal. They should preferably make a kinyan, and at least sign a document in a non-Jewish court.
  • It is a problem for a Jew to rent an animal to a non-Jew over Shabbos, even if it is not clear that it will be used for melacha. If it is not a work animal, we do not have a concern.
  • Technically, it is assur for an animal to carry possessions for a Jew over Shabbos. However, we will learn later that Chazal created certain leniencies in this situation.

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