Bitel Kli Mehechano

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  1. It's forbidden to make a usable vessel into muktzah so that it forbidden to move on Shabbat because it's similar to breaking the vessel on Shabbat.[1]

Practical Cases

  1. It is forbidden to place a container underneath a dripping wax candle on Shabbat because the wax is muktzah and falling into the container will make the container muktzah.[2] One can circumvent this by placing something else important in the container as well [3] However, one can place it before Shabbat and leave it there during Shabbat.[4]
  2. One who doesn't want the sparks of the candles to fly around may place a container under the fire to catch the sparks, since they are insignificant. However, he should not put in water because then he is extinguishing the fire before it otherwise would have gone out.[5]
  3. It is permissible to remove a Tallit from the Tefillin bag because one is not actively ruining the use of the Tefillin bag and some are strict to put a siddur in the bag before removing the Tallit.[6]
  4. Sephardim hold that it is forbidden to make something forbidden to move even if one could tilt off the muktzeh and has intention to do so.[7] If the muktzeh is garbage some are lenient.[8] Ashkenazim are lenient.[9]
  5. For Sephardim some say that one should not almond or other nut shells on a plate without first placing something non-muktzeh food on that same plate. Otherwise by placing the shells on the plate the plate will become a bosis and in doing so one has violated bitul kli mehechano.[10] Ashkenazim can be lenient since one has intentions to clear the shells off the plate afterwards.[11]
  6. It is permitted to place garbage in an empty garbage on Shabbat and it isn't considered bitul kli mehechano since it is designated to have garbage in it.[12] Some say that the same is true of a disposable grocery bag.[13]


  1. Rashi (Shabbat 42b s.v. kli) writes that it is forbidden to cause a permitted item to become muktzeh because it is similar to plastering it down to the ground permanently. Similarly, Rambam Shabbat 25:23 writes that mivatel kli mehechano is a problem midirabanan because it is like destroying. However, Tosfot Shabbat 43a says it is like boneh when one fixes an item into place. Shulchan Aruch 310:6 rules that it’s forbidden to put a vessel underneath a Muktzeh item which will fall into the vessel because one is effectively ruining the usability of the vessel on Shabbat (Mevatel Kli Mehechano). The Mishna Brurah 310:20 explains that it is prohibited it is similar to breaking a vessel on Shabbat. Mishna Brurah 265:6 adds that it depends on whether the vessel remains Muktzeh afterwards or not.
  2. Mishnah Shabbat 3:4, opinion of Rav Chisda in Gemara Shabbat 42b-43a, Rambam Shabbat 25:23, Shulchan Aruch 265:3, Yalkut Yosef Shabbat vol. 1 265:1, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 75:11
  3. Mishna Brura 265:6
  4. Aruch Hashulchan 265:8, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 75:11
  5. Gemara Shabbat 47b, Shulchan Aruch 265:4
  6. Meiri 142a s.v. kikar, Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata ch. 22 fnt. 40, Yalkut Yosef Shabbat 5773 v. 2 p. 376. Yalkut Yosef (Shabbat, vol 2 pg 357, 482, and 641) rules that even according to those who hold that Tefillin is Muktzeh it is permissible to remove a Tallit from the Tefillin bag because one is not actively ruining the use of the Tefillin bag and some are strict to put a siddur in the bag before removing the Tallit. In the footnote there he writes that there are several reasons to be lenient; he writes that based on the מאירי there’s no prohibition of Mevatel Kli Mehechano when it’s only done passively. Additionally, it’s questionable whether Tefillin are mutkzah and even if they are it’s questionable whether the prohibition of Mevatel Kli Mehechano applies to Kli Sh’Melachto LeIssur (or only Muktzeh Machmat Gufo). He doesn’t explain the reason for those who are strict in the footnote.
  7. Ran 66b s.v. diy, Rashba 154b s.v. ha, and Maggid Mishna Shabbat 25:10. Bet Yosef 265:3 accepts this opinion against the Baal Hameor and Hagahot Ashri Shabbat 3:18.
  8. Yalkut Yosef (265:8, 5771 Shabbat v. 2 p. 259)
  9. Hagahot Ashri Shabbat 3:18, Magen Avraham 265:2, Mishna Brurah 265:5, Chazon Ovadia v. 3 p. 213 quoting Rav Elyashiv
  10. Ben Ish Chai (Miketz n. 16) writes that one should place something permitted on the plate before putting down muktzeh shells which are inedible in order not to violate bitul kli mehechano. This assumes that it is forbidden to create a temporary bosis. That is in line with Bet Yosef 265:3. Rav Ovadia Yosef in Kol Sinai p. 102, Chazon Ovadia Yom Tov p. 27, and Halichot Olam v. 3 p. 211 agreed with the Ben Ish Chai. (See Tiferet Mishna Brurah 308:102 which seems to cite Kol Sinai differently.) However, Chazon Ovadia Shabbat v. 3 pp. 211-4 retracted and points out that according to many rishonim including the Ramban, Rashba, Ritva, Ran, and Meiri it is permitted to tilt off the muktzeh since it was only placed there mid-Shabbat and one had intention to remove it. Also, the nut shells are insignificant. Yalkut Yosef (265:8, 5771 Shabbat v. 2 p. 259) notes this seeming contradiction and answers that originally he wrote that we are strict for the Bet Yosef and in the last writing he added that we can lenient if the muktzeh is insignificant.
  11. Chazon Ovadia v. 3 p. 213 quoting Rav Elyashiv
  12. Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata ch. 22 fnt. 115 no bitul mhechano if it is designated for that purpose. Orchot Shabbat v. 2 p. 170 says Rav Elyashiv agreed. Chazon Ovadia v. 3 p. 213 agrees. He cites the Levush 265:3, Maharal Shabbat 42b, and Sfat Emet 42b to support this. See Yalkut Yosef who supported it from the Meiri.
  13. Orchot Shabbat v. 2 p. 171 permits putting garbage in a disposable bag because it is meant for disposable use and meant to be thrown out.