1. The definition of the prohibition

This article is an excerpt from

To purchase this Sefer, click here

Important Note:

Building or fixing an item on Shabbos contains two possible prohibitions. The Makeh Bepatish prohibition and the Building prohibition. In Chapter 1 we will deal with the Makeh Bepatish prohibition, its definition and cases of application. In Chapter 2 the laws relevant to the building and destroying prohibition will be discussed. It is incumbent for the reader to read through both chapters prior to deducing permissible forms of fixing and building. When explained in the summaries and Q&A below that something is allowed, all the possible prohibitions were taken into account, and thus may be relied upon in actuality. 


1. The definition of the prohibition:[1]

The principal Prohibition:[2] 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[3] of the Tabernacle.

The offshoot of the above prohibition:[4] [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. [This applies even if the fixing is done by an amateur and does not require a professional’s work.[5]]

For example-Making a design on a vessel:[6] 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[7], nevertheless now that the vessel is complete and fixed through his action it is considered [a Biblically forbidden form of] work.

Fixing a vessel:[8] Similarly, anyone who [intentionally[9]] does any fixing to a vessel, [whether to a new vessel that will now enter its first use, or a vessel that broke and now requires fixing[10]] this fixing is considered a [Biblically forbidden form of] work, and one is [thus] liable [for a sin offering]. [Furthermore, even if the fixing was done unintentionally but one intends to now receive benefit from the item that was fixed, then it is forbidden to be done, as will be explained below.] See Q&A regarding a light fixing

Building a vessel from scratch:[11] 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[12]] and 322 [Michaber Halacha 4[13]]. [Vetzaruch Iyun if it is done in a way that one is liable for Boneh, according to the stringent opinion in 314/17, is one also liable for Makeh Bepatish.[14]]

Unintentionally fixing a vessel-Plucking the grapes off a Hadas:[15] It is forbidden to pluck the grapes off an invalid Hadas branch on Yom Tov of Sukkos if one is doing so in order to validate the branch. Furthermore, even if one is not doing so in order to validate the branch, but rather in order to eat the grapes, but this is the only branch one has to fulfill the Mitzvah, then nevertheless it is forbidden to do so. This prohibition is due to Tikkun Keli, of which it is forbidden to be done even if one has no intent to do so, [being that one does plan to benefit from the vessel that his action created].[16] If However, one does need to use this Hadas for the Mitzvah, being he has other valid Hadassim available, then it is permitted to pluck the grapes from the Hadas for the purpose of eating being one is not fixing anything, as he has no use for it.[17]



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.


Is placing the 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 the “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.

May one replace the falling sticker of a soda bottle?

Seemingly, there is no prohibition of Tikkun Keli to simply replace the sticker of a soda bottle, just like there is no prohibition to return the stuffing to a pillow. Nonetheless, this would in any event be prohibited due to the sewing prohibition which applies anytime one sticks an item onto another item using glue or tape.

Does the prohibition of Tikkun Keli apply even after the vessel has been completed and now has broken in a way that needs fixing?

Yes.[18] However, if this fixing is very easily done, without force, and can be easily become undone on its own, then it is permitted, as fixing without force is not called fixing, being that it will anyways not last.[19] See also Admur 340:17; 514:18 which proves this point and further that a fixing is always allowed if it became attached u8nintentionally!!! However, when being done for the first time, then it is under the prohibition of Tikkun Keli even if the action can be easily done without force.[20]


[1] Admur 302:5

[2] Admur ibid; Mishneh Shabbos 73a and Rashi there; Mishneh 102b

[3] Admur ibid; Tosafus Shabbos 102b

Other opinions: Rashi ibid writes that the Av Melacha of Makeh Bepatish was that in the Mishkan they would break the stones off the mountain to use for building. Tosafus ibid However, negates this explanation stating that this Melacha of honing stones from mountains was not found in the Mishkan. See also Rashi 73a that writes like Tosafus.

[4] Admur ibid; Taz 302:1; M”B 302:9

[5] Is the Biblical prohibition of Makeh Bepatish only if one does a Melacha needed by professionals, or even by a Melacha that can be done by amateurs? Some Rishonim say it must be done by professionals. [Ramban; Ritva] However, from the fact that one is liable if he uses a vessel to cut twigs to use as a toothpick, as well as many other examples given, proves that we do not rule this way and therefore even a fixing that can be done by any amateur is liable for Makeh Pepatish.

[6] Admur ibid; Shabbos 75; Rambam 10:16

[7] 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; Alternatively, some suggest that there is no writing or erasing prohibition involved in engraved pictures [See Tehila Ledavid 340:3 in his initial understanding of Rambam-See Koveitz Ohalei Torah 1083 p. 108] Now, although Admur 340:6 explicitly rules that one may not engrave into ash, perhaps that refers only to letters and not pictures. Now, although the Poskim do not differentiate between pictures and letters and rather rule that making a drawing is a Tolda of writing [See Admur 340:10; M”A 340:6; Rambam Shabbos 11:17; Degul Merivava 340; Tehila Ledavid 340:3] perhaps Admur holds that when it comes to pictures, there is a difference between writing and engraving. See Admur 340:10 who writes “One who makes marks and designs on a document and the like, in the way that the artists design, is liable due to an offshoot of the writing prohibition. The same applies for one who erases it.” Admur does not simply write that pictures have the same status as writing, and qualifies the case with “on a document..in the way that artists design..” This extra wording of Admur seems to imply that there are cases that the writing prohibition does not apply to making a picture, and perhaps an engraved drawing is one of those cases.

[8] Admur ibid; Rambam 23:4; Smak 280; However, see Rashi 73a that “One is only liable on the Gemar Melacha”

Fixed only partially and needs to be fixed more: From various sources it is implied that there is no transgression of Makeh Bepatish involved in only partially fixing a vessel in a way that it still can’t be used [i.e. entering one leg into a table board], or fixing it in a way that will not last, although it would be forbidden due to Boneh according to those who hold there is Boneh by Keilim. [See Rashi in Shabbos 146 and Dirshu 314 Hakdama]

[9] Fixed vessel without intent: If one did an action which consequentially ended up fixing a vessel, then one does not transgress any prohibition if a) he did not intentionally do the action in order to consequentially fix the item and b) he does not plan on using the item for the new use that was created. [Regarding A: Implied from Admur 340:17; M”B 340:13; and so rules explicitly Maggid Mishneh brought in Magen Avraham 318:36-37; Sheivet Haleivi 8:57; Shabbos Kehalacha Vol. 1 p. 27. Meaning that although in general we rule that whenever something inevitably occurs it remains Biblically forbidden, nevertheless, here all agree that intent is needed to make it a Biblical Melacha, and thus without intent it remains a Rabbinical prohibition, and is allowed when the inevitable act is not wanted. [Maggid Mishneh brought in Magen Avraham ibid]. Regarding B: See Admur 646:13 that we do say Pesik Reishei by Tikkun Keli even if one does not have intent to do so, thus one may not Kasher the Hadaas by removing the grapes from it even if he intends to eat the grapes, as it is inevitable that the Hadas will become Kosher. Nevertheless, in 646:14 Admur explains that in truth this Issur only applies if one needs this Hadas for the Mitzvah, while if he doesn’t then there is no Tikkun involved at all.]

[10] Fixing a vessel that broke-when is it forbidden: Fixing a vessel that broke is considered Tikkun Keli, as proven from a number of examples such as the prohibition to return a leg to a couch [is Boneh or Tikkun Keli], straightening a bent needle is Tikkun Keli. However, when it comes to fixing a vessel that was already in use, we are more lenient in certain cases, as can be seen from the fact that we allow returning the stuffing of a pillow. Seemingly, when it comes to making a vessel from scratch, any act of fixing no matter how light it is, is considered under the prohibition, while an item that is already in use and now broke, is not considered under the fixing prohibition unless the fixing is done in a way that it will last, as opposed to simply stuffing a pillow in which case the feathers can fall out once again being that they are not attached at all. See Q&A!

[11] Admur ibid; Rambam 23:4; Smak 280; However, see Rashi 73a that “One is only liable on the Gemar Melacha”

[12] There it is explained that according to some opinions [Rashi Shabbos 47a] 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.

[13] 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.

[14] From the wording of Admur it is implied that he is liable for both, Vetzaruch Iyun.

[15] Admur 646:12-13; See Michaber 646:11; M”A 646:2

[16] Admur 646:12

[17] Admur 646:13

[18] So is proven from all the following cases in which we rule that there is a prohibition of Tikkun Keli involved: Straightening a bent needle; Returning a leg to its socket

[19] So is proven from the allowance to return laces to a shoe, and return pillow stuffing to a pillow.

[20] So is proven from the prohibition against placing stuffing into the pillow for its first time even though once it has already been done, the stuffing may be returned on Shabbat if it falls out.

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Leave A Comment?

You must be logged in to post a comment.