Books, Notebooks, and Papers on Shabbat

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Books

  1. It’s forbidden to cut or rip pages of a book that were not properly cut through in binding. [1]
  2. If pages were stuck together by glue or some or material (like water) then it depends; if the pages are stuck in a place of letters it’s forbidden to pull them apart because in doing so one breaks the letters, however, if the pages are stuck in a place of no letters it’s permissible to pull the pages apart. [2]
  3. It’s preferable not to open a book with words or pictures written across the edge of their leaves and are broken and put back together when the book is opened and closed, however, many authorities permit opening the book in such a case. The problem is best avoided by not writing on the edge of books. [3]

Broken books

  1. If a page is torn in a book it’s permissible to place the two half pages next to one another in order to read it if no other copy of the same book is available, however one may not tape the two pieces together. [4]
  2. One may not sort loose pages that fell out of a broken book in a particular order unless one intends to read them immediately. [5]

Loose-leaf binders

  1. It’s permissible to open and close the rings of a loose-leaf binder. [6]
  2. A loose leaf binder that contains commercial documents, building plans, account documents, passports, or identity certificates is considered Muktzeh and shouldn’t be moved. [7]
  3. Blank pieces of paper are Muktzeh. If a loose-leaf binder has pages with content together with blank pages, and the pages of content have some importance and one sometimes reads them, then, the binder is not Muktzeh and one may turn the blank pages in order to reach the pages of content. However, if the pages of content aren’t of importance and one doesn’t read them, then the binder as a whole is Muktzeh and should be moved. [8]

Notebooks

  1. If a notebook is empty it’s mutkzeh. If it is partially filled, and the pages of content have some importance and one sometimes reads them, then, the notebook is not Muktzeh and one may turn the blank pages in order to reach the pages of content. However, if the pages of content aren’t of importance and one doesn’t read them, then the notebook as a whole is Muktzeh and should be moved. [9]

Index cards

  1. It’s permissible to remove an index card from an index in one plans on using that card immediately. If unintentionally, the wrong card was removed, no transgression was incurred. [10]
  2. If one has removed a (single) card, it’s permissible to find a place in the index to replace it. [11]

Loose papers

  1. One may not sort loose pages that fell out of a broken book in a particular order. [12]

References

  1. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 28:1
  2. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 28:1
  3. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 28:2
  4. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 28:3
  5. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 28:8
  6. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 28:9
  7. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 28:9
  8. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 28:9
  9. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 28:10
  10. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata (in old edition 3:43, in the new 3:47)
  11. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata (in old edition 3:43, in the new 3:47)
  12. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 28:8