The prohibition

The definition of the prohibition[1]:

The principal Prohibition: It is the common way for craftsmen who make a metal vessel to strike the vessel with a hammer after it is completed, in order to smooth out any bumps through this striking. This striking is the final work done to this vessel and is a principal form of labor which existed with the vessels of the Tabernacle.

The offshoot of the above prohibition: [Thus] anyone who does an action which is the finishing work of the vessel and of its fixing, this completion is considered a Melacha and is an offshoot of [the principal prohibition of] “Hitting with a hammer” which existed in the Tabernacle.

For example-Making a design on a vessel: For example one who designs a [picture of a] figure on a vessel which is waiting to be designed on, even if he only designed part of the figure, he has done part of the finishing touch of the vessel and is liable [for a sin offering]. As although the figure on its own is not considered a [Biblically] forbidden form of work[2], nevertheless now that the vessel is complete and fixed through his action it is considered [a Biblically forbidden form of] work.

Fixing a vessel, and building a vessel from scratch: Similarly, anyone who does any fixing to a vessel, this fixing is considered a [Biblically forbidden form of] work, and one is [thus] liable [for a sin offering]. It goes without saying that one who makes a vessel from scratch is liable for the “hitting with a hammer” prohibition, even if it is done in a way that does not contain the building prohibition, as will be explained in chapter 314 [Halacha 17[3]] and 322 [Michaber Halacha 4[4]].

 

Summary:

It is Biblically forbidden to perform any act of fixing to a vessel on Shabbos. It goes without saying that it is forbidden to initially make a vessel. It is Biblically forbidden to perform any part of the finishing touch of a vessel.

 

Q&A

Is placing a company wrapper over the company’s product considered Tikkun Keli?

  • Example: Wrapping the coke symbol on the coke bottles?

Seemingly doing so is Biblically forbidden due to “Fixing a vessel” prohibition, as it is similar to making a drawing on a vessel which is Biblically forbidden as brought above. This would be in addition to the sewing prohibition which is involved in taping or gluing the wrapper to the bottle.


[1] 302/5

[2] Perhaps this is referring to an incomplete figure, in which case there is no writing prohibition involved as explained in chapter 340/8, or perhaps this is referring to the building prohibition, that in it of itself it does not apply to a drawing. However the writing prohibition does apply to a complete drawing as explained in chapter 340/10.

[3] There it is explained that according to some opinions there is no building prohibition applicable to vessels which are not attached to the ground. However, nevertheless even such vessels are forbidden to be built due to the “Hitting with a hammer” prohibition.

[4] There it is explained that one who breaks a twig to use as a toothpick transgresses the “Makeh Bepatich” prohibition despite not transgressing the building prohibition.

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