2. Examples of fixing that involve Tikkun Keli

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2. Examples of fixing that involve Tikkun Keli:

A. Removing cloth balls and straw from one’s clothing:[1]

In order to beautify the clothing: One who gathers cloth balls which are on clothing, such as the cloth balls that are found on wool clothing, which remain from [after] the weaving, as well as straw and thin twigs which were woven into the clothing unintentionally, one who removes them after the weaving is liable for [the] “Hitting with a hammer” prohibition, if he is particular about them. This means that he removes them intentionally in order to beautify the clothing. [This is forbidden to be done] as [in such a case] this beautification is considered the completing work of the clothing and its fixing, as he is particular about them that they be removed.

Out of mere casualty: However, if one is not particular about them [being removed] and he only removes them out of mere casualty, then he is exempt [from Biblical liability]. However, it is Rabbinically forbidden to do so.   

Removing the “Shelal” threads of the tailor:[2] The “שלל” which the tailors make, which refers to [the following]; in the beginning of their sewing they attach with threads the upper part of the clothing with what they are sewing under it, and after they are finished sewing they remove these threads from the clothing, it is questionable whether one who removes them on Shabbos is liable for [the] “Hitting with a hammer” prohibition if he is particular regarding them [to have them removed], and [as well it is questionable] whether it is Rabbinically forbidden if one is not particular [to have them removed and rather just does so casually].

The final ruling:[3] One is to be stringent. 



It is forbidden to remove from clothing cloth balls or protruding pieces of straw and items of the like which remained from the weaving.[4]



May one remove cloth balls from clothing if they came as a result of laundering the clothing?

Seemingly this would be Biblically forbidden. However, this requires further analysis as perhaps this is similar to returning the stuffing of a pillow, which is allowed as will be explained.


May one remove plastic threads that come out of the clothing?



May one remove dirt etc from his clothing?

Doing so does not pose a prohibition of “Tikkun Keli.” It, However, may pose a laundering prohibition, as explained in Chapter 302.

Fixing a smashed hat:

It is permitted to fix a smashed hat Permitted as is Tikkun Kal that will not last and is after Gemar Melacha.

May one remove a tag from a shirt or pants?

Seemingly this would be Biblically forbidden due to Tikkun Keli if it was placed onto the clothing prior to its completion, while if it was placed on after its completion, then it would be permitted, as explained in Halacha 4F regarding opening a tailor’s knot.[5] However, some Poskim[6] rule that it is always permitted to break these tags off the garment even if it was attached prior to the completion of the garment as the tags created no physical impediment against wearing the garment, and hence since the garment remains fully wearable even with these tags, therefore it is not considered Tikkun Keli to remove them on Shabbos.

May one cut the string attaching two new shoes, or gloves, or socks etc on Shabbos?

This follows the same law, and distinction and opinion of leniency, as the previous Q&A.


B. Making a design on a vessel:

See above Halacha 1!


C. Placing stuffing into a pillow:[7]

Mochin [which is a general term for any soft material such as cotton and strings [made] of soft wool of an animal, and the scrapes of worn-out clothing[8]] which fell out from a pillow are permitted to be returned.[9] However, they are forbidden to be initially inserted [into the pillow] on Shabbos due to that by doing so he is now turning it into a vessel. See Halacha E brought next.[10]



It is Biblically forbidden to initially place stuffing into a pillow. However, to return stuffing into a pillow that it fell out from is allowed.


May one return a different stuffing to the pillow?

Some Poskim[11] rule one may not do so.[12] Other Poskim[13] rule one may do so, and so is implied from Admur.


D. Fixing a needle:[14]

A needle which has bent even slightly is forbidden to be straightened.

The reason for this is: (due to [the prohibition of] fixing a vessel.)

Fixing a skewer on Yom Tov: See Admur 509:1



May one straighten a bent Yarmulke pin/clip on Shabbos?



May one straighten a bent safety pin?


May one bend a plastic cup into shape?

Yes, as the bending is not sturdy.

May one bend back into shape an indented Kiddush cup?

No. However, Tzaruch Iyun regarding if one is able to bend the metal back with his finger.

May one bend, open or close, the rim of a disposable baking pan?

Yes, as it is meant for constant opening and closing and is not meant to last at all.


E. Inserting straps into clothing:[15]

Inserting the straps of a shoe and sandal into its hole:[16] If the straps of shoes and sandals have come out [of the hole that they were fastened into] it is permitted to return them to their place as long as one does not make a knot at the end of the strap, so it does not escape from the hole, being that [such a knot] is a permanent knot.

However, [even this] only [is allowed] in places that it is not common to tie such a knot [at the end of the strap]. However, those places that are accustomed to make this knot then it is forbidden [for them] to even reinsert [the straps] due to a decree that they may come to tie it.[17]

To do this for the first time on Shabbos:[18] Furthermore, even in those places that are not accustomed [to make such knots] it was only permitted to reinsert [the straps after having come out of their hole], However, a new shoe [which never yet had its straps fastened] is forbidden for one to insert the strap on Shabbos being that doing so is fixing a vessel.

To reinsert into a narrow hole:[19] Furthermore, even reinserting the strap was only permitted by a wide hole which it can be inserted into without effort, However, if the hole is narrow to the point that one needs effort to enter the strap into it then it is not considered like he is reinserting it but rather like he is doing so for the first time and is [thus] forbidden due to that it is fixing a vessel.

Inserting straps into pants:[20] The same applies by the straps of pants. However, belts are allowed to be initially inserted into pants on Shabbos being that he does not nullify it there as it is made to constantly insert and remove, [and] therefore it does not pose a problem of fixing a vessel. However, it is forbidden to enter a string into the [pants] being that he nullifies it there.



Inserting laces and the like into sandals and pants:[21]

It is forbidden to insert laces in the following cases:

1) It is the first time that the laces are being inserted into the shoe or clothing and one intends to permanently leave the lace there.

2) It is not the first time, but the holes are small, and it is thus difficult to enter the lace into the hole.

3) It is not the first time and the holes are wide, but the custom is to make a permanent knot at the end of the lace that is inserted so it does not come out of the hole.

Thus, it is only permitted to insert a lace if it is placed there temporarily, or is placed permanently but it is not being placed there for the first time and is not difficult to insert and it is not common to make a knot by its end.


May one attach the wool lining of a coat on Shabbos?

Some opinions[22] rule it is forbidden to do so when one intends to leave the lining in the coat for a long period of time, as this is similar to fixing a vessel, as well as that doing so resembles sewing.[23] Others[24] However, rule it is allowed.

May one insert shoelaces into his shoes on Shabbos?[25]

Inserting shoelaces into a used shoe: It is forbidden to insert shoelaces if the holes are small and it is thus difficult to insert the shoelace. This applies even if one already inserted shoelaces into these shoes in the past. Nevertheless, if one does so in a way that will force him to have to remove the laces after Shabbos, such as he places laces that are bright unusual colors for such shoes, then it is allowed even if the holes are small. Similarly, if he places the laces only on the front two holes [the holes closer to one’s ankle] then it is allowed.[26]

Inserting shoelaces into a new shoe: It is forbidden to insert shoelaces into a new pair of shoes for the first time on Shabbos. However, some Poskim[27] rule that by shoes today this is permitted to be done provided that the holes of the shoes are wide and hence it is easily attainable to insert the laces.[28] However, seemingly according to the ruling of Admur this allowance does not apply even by today shoes.[29] Nevertheless, if one does so in a way that will force him to have to remove the laces after Shabbos, such as he places laces that are a bright unusual color for such shoes, it is allowed. Similarly, if he places the laces only on the front two holes [the holes closer to one’s ankle] it is allowed.[30]

If the shoelaces were already partially inserted before Shabbos: If the shoelaces were already inserted in some of the holes from before Shabbos, one may insert them in the remaining holes.

Army Shoes: Seemingly it is forbidden to insert a lace into army shoes, as a knot is commonly made at the end of the string by the first hole.


May one place a string into a sweatshirt hood, or sweatpants?


May one place new shoelaces into old shoes?

Some Poskim[31] rule one may not do so.[32] Other Poskim[33] rule one may do so, and so is implied from Admur.


F. Inserting a door into vessels that do not hold 40 Seah and are not attached to the ground:

By doors that have hinges on their top and bottom as opposed to their side:[34] All doors of vessels, such as for example [the doors of] a drawer, a box or a portable tower, that have doors on their sides and have two hinges, meaning that they have two heads protruding out from the door, one on its top which enters into a socket that is in the top of the door frame and one on its bottom which goes into a socket that is in the threshold[35], then if [on Shabbos] the bottom hinge became completely dislocated from its [socket], then it is forbidden to reinsert it.

The reason for this is: [due ] to a decree that one may come to [properly] fix it, meaning that one [may] strongly insert it [into the socket] using a mallet and  hatchet in a way that one will no longer be able to take it out from there, and [one thus] will become liable for [transgressing the] building [prohibition] as will be explained, or [he will transgress the] “final blow’ [prohibition] as will be explained in chapter 314.


Practical Q&A

May one inflate a ball, tire, or mattress with air on Shabbos?

Opinion 1: Some opinions[36] hold that this is forbidden in all cases, whether it was already previously filled with air or is being filled now for the first time, due to that it is considered like he is fixing a vessel and is thus a possible Biblical prohibition of Makeh Bepatish.

Opinion 2: Other opinions[37] hold that items which have been previously filled with air and are occasionally deflated and then re-inflated, such as air mattresses and the like, then it is permitted to add air to it on Shabbos. However, by other items it is forbidden due to that it is considered one is fixing the item.

Opinion 3: Other Opinions[38] hold that it is permitted to inflate all items which have been previously inflated once before, as this is similar to the case of returning the fallen stuffing of a pillow which is allowed.

Opinion 4: Other Opinions[39] hold it is permitted to inflate items in all cases even if it had never yet before been inflated, as since the air will eventually dissipate it is not an everlasting form of fixing and is thus not similar to adding stuffing to a pillow for the first time which is forbidden.


May one inflate a balloon?[40]

It is allowed to be done according to the lenient [4th] opinion mentioned above, even if the balloon contains pictures[41]. However, in accordance to the first three opinions it would be forbidden, and so practically rule some Poskim[42]. According to all, it is forbidden to tie the top of the balloon.[43]


Question: [Thursday, 4th Elul, 5781]

I am in the process of recovering from covid, and my doctor instructed me to inflate balloons several times a day for the sake of exercising my lungs. I will inflate them and then deflate them and then reinflate them for this purpose. Is there any problem for me to do so on Shabbos?



You may do so even on Shabbos to a balloon that has been inflated at least one time before Shabbos, making sure never to close the balloon after it is inflated by making a knot on its top, and the like, and you may simply inflate it and then deflate it and then re-inflate it constantly as necessary.


Inflating balloons on Shabbos enters into the question of whether it contains a fixing of a vessel prohibition, as well as a tying prohibition.

The tying prohibition: Practically, due to the tying prohibition it is forbidden to tie a balloon on Shabbos being that the way that a balloon is tied on its top is in a way that it is forbidden to be done on Shabbos, as a single not which is made using only one end of the string is questionable if it is considered a professional knot, and thus has the same status as a double knot. Now, the question is perhaps we should forbid inflating balloons on Shabbos due to this reason alone, as perhaps one will come to make a forbidden knot on its top as is usually done during the week, and as we find that the sages prohibited entering shoelaces into a shoe if it is common to make a forbidden form of knot after entering the shoelace. Now, although one could argue that the sages never intended to make a general prohibition against doing things on Shabbos lest one come to make a knot, nonetheless, we still face the issue of fixing a vessel in the process of inflating a balloon, as will now be explained.

The fixing of a vessel prohibition: As is known, it is forbidden to fix a vessel, and certainly to initially make a vessel, on Shabbos. The question however is regarding whether the action of inflating a balloon transgresses this prohibition, as it is questionable whether the act of simply entering air into a balloon and making it into a ball is considered like one is fixing a vessel or not. Practically, this matter is debated amongst the Poskim, with some viewing the act of inflating air into an item to make it usable as an act of fixing and thereby biblically prohibit it, and with others viewing it as meaningless being that air does not contain any real substance and will eventually dissipate from the item, and with others taking a compromising approach and saying that if it was a ready filled one time before Shabbos then it is permitted to reinflate it, although if it was never inflated before, then it is forbidden to be done. This compromise is based on the precedent ruling that if pillow stuffing came out of a pillow on Shabbos it may be reinserted even though it is forbidden to initially do so on Shabbos for the first time.

Our final ruling in this case: Practically, although initially one should avoid inflating balloons on Shabbos due to the above issues, and due to the fact that in any event one cannot make a knot on top of it, and therefore according to no opinion is it possible to make an actual balloon on Shabbos for it to be played with, nonetheless, in our case we were lenient. The reason for this is because aside for the medical necessity, in this case one does not desire to make a knot on top of the balloon as if one does so it will lose its ability of being used for the exercise anymore, and in such a case that one will simply deflate the balloon right afterwards, perhaps even the stringent opinions would agree that there is no prohibition involved, especially if it was inflated one time before Shabbos in which case most authorities agree that it is permitted.

Sources: See regarding the issue of fixing a vessel involved in inflating a ball: Forbidden: Ketzos Hashulchan 110 footnote 16; Minchas Yitzchak 6:30; Chelkas Yaakov 167; 3:159; Piskeiy Teshuvah 1:55; Permitted: Betzeil Hachachmah 4:92; Beir Moshe 2:20; Mishnas Yosef 11:74; Permitted if inflated before Shabbos: Rav Poalim 1:25; Yesod Yeshurun 4 page 270; Minchas Shlomo 1:11; SSH”K 15:89; 34:24 See regarding inflating balloons: Beir Moshe 2:20; 6:23 [permitted without knot]; Sheivet Halevy 9:78 [forbidden]; SSH”K 16:7 [forbidden unless uncommon to tie]; Piskeiy Teshuvos 340:2 [old] 30 [new]; See regarding making a knot at the end of an item: Admur 317:3 and 5; Rama 317:1; M”A 317:9; Tosafus Shabbos 48a; Michaber and Rama 317:2; SSH”K 16:7  See regarding inserting the stuffing of a pillow on Shabbos: Admur 340:14; Michaber 340:8


May one inflate using a mechanical pump?[44]

It is permitted to use a mechanical pump in those cases that it is permitted to inflate the object with air, based on all the different opinions mentioned above.

May one make a necklace or bracelet by entering items into a string?[45]

This is forbidden due to the “fixing a vessel” prohibition[46], and according to others[47] also due to the “Meameir” prohibition. Some[48] However, permit it to be done, as they say that the Meameir prohibition only applies by gathering items that grow from the ground, and they do not mention that doing so involves the fixing prohibition.[49]

Toy necklaces and bracelets:[50] Toy necklaces and bracelets which are not made to last, but rather to have the pieces inserted, removed and reinserted constantly, do not pose an Issur of Tikkun Keli.

May one use earplugs on Shabbos?[51]

See “The Laws of Mimacheik/Smearing” Q&A for the full details of this subject! In Short:

Wax earplugs: If they are required to be shaped to fit into one’s ear some Poskim rule they may not be inserted as this may be forbidden due to the smearing prohibition[52] as well as possibly the “Makeh Bepatish” prohibition.

Foam earplugs: Are permitted to be used.

Compilation-May one wear a Covid mask on Shabbos and adjust the metal strip around one’s nose?

Background: It is forbidden to fix things on Shabbos due to the prohibition of Tikkun Keli.[53] Thus, it is forbidden to even simply bend a needle back in shape due to the prohibition of Tikkun Keli.[54] The question is thus asked as to whether due to this law it would likewise be forbidden to adjust the metal strip of a face mask to fit one’s nose on Shabbos.

The law: While bending the metal strip within the mask seems similar to bending the metal needle into shape, and therefore should be forbidden, in truth it is not similar at all. The prohibition of Tikkun Keli only applies when fixing an item from a broken state or at least enhancing it into a state that it will now permanently remain in. For this reason, bending a needle back into shape is forbidden, as when it is out of shape it is unusable, and its bending into shape is meant to be a permanent fix. However, the metal strip within the mask is not considered broken in its current state, and is meant to be bent back and forth as needed. Its adjusted state is also not necessarily permanent and can easily bend back and need readjusting. Thus, in conclusion it is permitted to wear a mask on Shabbos and adjust the metal strip around the nose. Just as it is permitted to adjust the cloth onto the face, so too the metal strip. This is similar to the allowance to bend the brim of a hat back into shape if it folded upwards on Shabbos, and doing so is not considered under Tikkun Keli, as it is meant to be adjusted to various directions and is not considered broken in its prior state. A similar idea can be found in the Poskim[55] regarding the allowance to reinsert feathers that came out of a pillow, back into the pillow on Shabbos, and doing so does not transgress Tikkun Keli.



It is permitted to wear a mask on Shabbos and adjust the metal strip to fit one’s nose and doing so does not transgress Tikkun Keli.



[1] Admur 302:6; Michaber 302:2

[2] Admur 302:7

[3] Admur 302:7

[4] To remove them intentionally to beautify the clothing is Biblically forbidden. To remove it casually without any particular intent is Rabbinically forbidden.

[5] See Admur 302:6 and 317:6

[6] See Tehila Ledavid 317:9; Ritva Shabbos 48b; M”B  317:23; Chazon Ish 52:17; Rav SZ”A in SSH”K 15 footnote 223; Lehoros Nasan 10:37; Piskeiy Teshuvos 317:8

[7] Admur 340:14; Michaber 340:8

[8] 257:5

[9] The reason: This is no different than replacing a Keli Shel Perakim loosely together, or inserting laces easily into the shoe, which is permitted on Shabbos. Seemingly the reason for this is because its only considered Tikkun Keli when a) The vessel has never yet reached Gemar Melacha or b) The vessel has reached Gemar Melacha but is now broken in a way that needs force to be fixed. If, however, it has already reached Gemar Melacah and now something in it needs to be fixed, then if this fixing is very easily done, without force, it is permitted, as fixing without force is not called fixing. Seemingly the reason for this is because a unforceful fixing will easily get undone and is hence not considered fixing at all.

[10] There it is explained that it is forbidden to place a lace permanently through a hole [even if wide] when being done for its first time

due to that doing so is considered fixing a vessel.

[11] Kaf Hachaim 340:70 in name of Ritva; See also M”B 317:18 in name of Elya Raba 317:7

[12] The reason: As from the perspective of this pillow its as if you are now finishing its Gemra Melacha.

[13] Ketzos Hashulchan 146 footnote 3

[14] Admur 340:18; M”A 340:11; See also 509:1

[15] Admur 317:5; Michaber 317:2

[16] Admur ibid; Michaber ibid

[17] Admur 317:5; M”A 317:9; Tosafus Shabbos 48a; See Michaber and Rama 317:2; SSH”K 16:7 

[18] Admur ibid; M”A 317:7; M”B 317:16

[19] Admur ibid; Rama ibid

[20] Admur ibid; M”A 317:7; M”B 317:20

[21] Halacha 5

[22] Chelkas Yaakov 4:24; Sheivet Halevy 3:51

[23] Sheivet Halevy ibid

[24] Beir Moshe and SS”K chapter 15 Halacha 74 based on a ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurbauch, as this is the normal use of the clothing

[25] Piskeiy Teshuvos 117

[26] Based on Ketzos Hashulchan chapter 146:3 which rules there since one will definitely remove the laces after Shabbos there is no prohibition of Tikkun Keli, as rules Admur above regarding the strap of pants. Now although the allowance in Ketzos Hashulchan is only in reference to new shoes, this likewise applies to small holes, as the entire prohibition of inserting into small holes is likewise due to Tikkun Keli as writes Admur above. This is unlike the ruling of other Poskim [See Beir Moshe 6:60] which understand the prohibition against inserting into small holes due to it being a Tircha. According to them there would be no allowance to enter the shoelaces in the above way into small holes.

[27] Beir Moshe 6:60

[28] As the concept of Tikkun Keli by shoes only applied in shoes of the old days in which case without the laces they were unusable. However, today that shoes are useable even without laces no concept of Tikkun Keli applies with their insertion. [ibid]

[29] As Admur [308:45] already brings and recognizes the difference between the old and new sandal which do not need laces to make them useable, and hence in the Laws of Muktzah he novelizes a change in a previously accepted Halacha, due to the change of shoe. However, in 317 where the prohibition of entering laces for the first time are mentioned he makes no mention of any change in Halacha due to the change of shoe style. This shows that the change of shoe style has no repercussion on the Tikkun Keli prohibition of entering new laces.

Perhaps the explanation to this is because nevertheless, even if a shoe is useable without laces the final touch for all normal shoes are to insert laces. Hence it is considered that one has done Tikkun Keli.

[30] Ketzos Hashulchan chapter 146:3

[31] Elya Raba 317:7; M”B 317:19; See also Kaf Hachaim 340:70 in name of Ritva

[32] The reason: As from the perspective of this new shoelace it’s as if you are now finishing its Gemar Melacha.

[33] Ketzos Hashulchan 146 footnote 3

[34] Admur 313:14

[35] Meaning that the case here is not discussing the classical hinges of a door which are positioned on the side of the door, but rather that the hinges are on the top and bottom of the door.

[36] Ketzos Hashulchan 110 footnote 16; Minchas Yitzchak 6:30; Chelkas Yaakov 3:159; Piskeiy Teshuvos 1:55

[37] Rav Poalim 1:25; Minchas Shlomo 1:11; SSH”K 15:89; 34:24

[38] Yesod Yeshurun 4 page 270

[39] Betzeil Hachachmah 4:92; Beir Moshe 2:20; Mishnas Yosef 11:74

[40] Piskeiy Teshuvos 340:23 [30]; SSH”K 16:7  

[41] So rules Beir Moshe 2:20; 6:23 that it is allowed.

[42] Sheivet Halevy 9:78

[43] Beir Moshe ibid; As this is considered similar to double knot as one is making a single knot on a single end, as explained in “The Laws of Tying”.

[44] Piskeiy Teshuvos 340:23; SSH”K 34 footnote 92

[45] Ketzos Hashulchan 146 footnote 49-25; Piskeiy Teshuvos 340:26

[46] Ketzos Hashulchan 146 footnote 49-25

[47] Orchos Chayim 13

[48] Shevisas Hashabbos Meameir

[49] According to all it does not involve the writing prohibition as there is no prohibition in forming a word as explained above.

[50] Beir Moshe 6:36

[51] SSH”K 14:39

[52] Admur 314:20

[53] Admur 302:5; Rambam 23:4; Smak 280; However, see Rashi 73a that “One is only liable on the Gemar Melacha”

[54] Admur 340:18; M”A 340:11; See also 509:1

[55] Admur 340:14; Michaber 340:8

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