From the Rav’s Desk: Replacing a door on Shabbos

  1. Question: [Sunday, 4th Marcheshvan, 5782]

We have a side door of our home of which the door came out of its hinges on Friday night. What am I supposed to do? Can I replace it back onto its hinges, or at the very least, may I reinsert the door into the door frame? We use this door regularly to enter and exit our home.


The door may not be replaced onto its hinge on Shabbos, although if the door is used for constant exiting and entering then you may enter it into the doorframe with an irregularity [i.e. without using the palm of your hands or fingers] without entering it into its hinges.

Explanation: The replacement of a door back into its area touches upon two prohibitions, one being that of building, and the second being that of Muktzah. Now, regarding the laws of building, it is a clear prohibition to ever insert a door into its hinges on Shabbos, so this option is certainly not available. The only other option that remains is to enter the door into the frame of the doorpost without placing it into the hinges. Now, this too is under restriction due to the building prohibition and is only allowed to be done without the fulfillment of further conditions if the door is meant for constant exiting and entering. Thus, in the above case, if the side door is meant for constant entering and exiting, which is usually the case, then it would be permitted to at least enter it back into the doorframe without placing into the hinges. This however only covers the prohibition of building. Another prohibition that becomes relevant when a door comes off its hinges is the prohibition of Muktzah, and indeed the clear ruling is that a door which came off its hinges whether on or before Shabbos is considered Muktzah, and therefore may only be replaced into the doorpost with an irregularity which is by using the back of the hands or elbows and feet and other parts of the body, which may prove quite difficult.

Sources: See regarding the prohibition to place it into hinges: Admur 313:8; 17; 314:19; See regarding the prohibition of removing and replacing a door that is not on hinges: Admur 313:8-10; Michaber 313:3 See regarding the Muktzah prohibition that is relevant to a door: Admur 308:35; Shabbos 122b; M”A 308:38; M”B 308:35; Vetzaruch Iyun why no mention of this issue of Muktzah was made in 313 ibid!

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