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Traveling on a Ship 6 – Embarking on Shabbos (Klal 4 Siman 1) Erev Shabbos – S0106

D'var Halacha
D'var Halacha
Traveling on a Ship 6 - Embarking on Shabbos (Klal 4 Siman 1) Erev Shabbos - S0106

 We are beginning siman 3 (we will skip siman 2). Until now, we have discussed embarking on a voyage earlier in the week when it means remaining on a boat over Shabbos. We also learned that embarking on Friday is muttar if it is for the purpose of a mitzvah (S0102). Today, we will discuss the possibility of embarking on Shabbos itself.

The Chayei Adam writes that there are a few conditions necessary to embark on Shabbos itself. It must be for a mitzvah purpose, and it must be that it was not possible to embark for this purpose on Friday. 

There are two concerns when leaving on Shabbos, the issur derabanan that travel on a boat is akin to swimming, and that a person is actively leaving their techum. When a person was on a boat from before Shabbos, they are not leaving their techum. Since they are on a boat, they are above 10 tefachim and therefore never had a techum from the outset of Shabbos. In our case, the person began Shabbos with a techum on land from the outset of Shabbos, and will now be leaving it.


Regarding the second issue of techum, the easiest solution is to get onto the boat before the outset of Shabbos, remain on the boat through the entire period of bein hashmashos, and establish the boat as their place for Shabbos. By doing so, they have established that their home is the boat, and in a certain sense they are not actually leaving their techum when the boat embarks the next day. 

The Rema adds that it is preferable to make kiddush on the boat, in order to publicize that this is their place for Shabbos. Either way, once the bein hashmashos period is completed, the person can leave the boat, return to their home, and return the next day in order to embark.


Regarding the first issue, the concern is that traveling on a boat appears to be akin to swimming. Swimming itself is prohibited out of concern that one will build a flotation device in order to remain in the water (see S0101), and traveling on a boat is considered by Chazal as within the realm of swimming. This solution of being on the boat during bein hashmashos also address this issue. The reason why being on a boat is considered akin to a floatation device is because it is also a way to move through the water. When establishing oneself on the boat from bein hashmashos, one establishes the boat as their home, not as a floatation device. However, this solution only works for a boat with rooms. It will not work for a flat raft or the like.


If the boat only arrives at the port on Shabbos, this solution will not work, since the boat was not available.


Once a person has established the boat as their place for Shabbos, they can move around the entire boat. If the boat comes to a port of call, one cannot leave the boat nor move around the city, except for some special exceptions.


We will see a few more points and then move on to the next Klal, regarding hadlakas neiros, be’ezras Hashem.



There are a few conditions in order for one to embark on a boat journey on Shabbos itself:

  1. It is for a mitzvah purpose
  2. It was not possible to leave before Shabbos
  3. They get onto the boat before Shabbos and remain on the boat for the duration of bein hashmashos, in order to establish their makom as on the boat.

Once they do so, they can return home on Friday night and embark on Shabbos.


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