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4. Examples of cutting and breaking which involve Tikkun Keli:
A. Tearing an item in the process of barbecuing fish on Yom Tov:
Tearing a piece of paper to place under the fish: One who roasts fish over a grill is not to cut a piece of paper in order to soak it in water and then place it under the fish over the grill in order to prevent the fish from burning.
Breaking a piece of earthenware to place under the fish: Similarly, one may not break a piece of earthenware in order to place it under the fish.
Breaking open a cane to place its sheath under the fish: Similarly, one may not break open a cane in order to place its sheath under the fish.
Making the cane into a skewer: As well, one may not break open the cane to make it into a figure like skewer to roast with.
The reason for all the above restrictions is: because in all cases that one makes and fixes an item to be fit for a use, it is like he has fixed a vessel on Yom Tov.
B. Cutting a vine to fit a use:
Using a vine as a rope to help draw water with: A [detached] vine which has its head split like a fork and is [thus] fit to [use to] hang a bucket on and to [thus use to] draw [water] with [such as to place it down a well to draw water, using the vine as a rope to place it down and bring it back up], then even if one thought about this from before Shabbos to use the [vine] to [help] draw [water] with on Shabbos, then [nevertheless] it is forbidden to use it to draw with, unless the vine was tied to the bucket from before Shabbos.
The reason for this is: due to a decree that perhaps the vine will be too long for him, and one will cut it, being that it is soft and easy to be cut, and will thus end up [transgressing the prohibition of] fixing a vessel on Shabbos.
C. May one remove a reed from one’s broom?
It is forbidden to remove a reed from a broom which is used to clean the house, being that through removing it he is fixing it for the use that he wishes to use it for, which is for hitting the children with, and [the law is that] any item that one fixes to be used for any use is included in the prohibition of fixing vessels. [Furthermore] even through a gentile it is forbidden to remove it, meaning [to even have him] detach it and remove it out from under the binding area of the broom, and it goes without saying that it is forbidden to [ask a gentile to] break the reed off from the broom, as by breaking it there is an additional prohibition [being transgressed which is] breaking a vessel, as will be explained in chapter 337 [Halacha 3]. However, when one removes out an entire reed [from the broom] there is no [prohibition involved] of destroying a vessel, as this is similar to a vessel assembled by placing many pieces together, which does not contain [the prohibition of] destroying [a vessel] when taking it apart, unless the [attached pieces] were inserted [in their sockets] strongly and professionally.
It is forbidden to break a reed off a broom, or even detach a reed from its setting in a broom, in order to make a use of it. It is forbidden to do so even through a gentile.
D. Using a twig as a toothpick:
A twig which is not animal food, even to take it in order to pick at his teeth is forbidden [due to it being Muktzah, and to cut a piece off is forbidden also due to the prohibition of “fixing a vessel”].
E. Plucking a leaf from a branch to use as a funnel:
Is forbidden. See below Halacha 5 “Tikkun Keli by foods”
F. Cutting a knot:
Cutting the sewing and knot of a tailor: [Furthermore] even if the collar had already been opened [after being made] but a professional [tailor] returned and sewed [the two sides of the collar] together in the way done by professionals, or if the professional tied it [in a way] that one is unable to untie it, then it is forbidden to cut the strings.
However, this [prohibition to cut an un-openable knot] only refers to a knot tied by the professional prior to having finished making the clothing, being that then the cutting of the strings of this knot involves the [prohibition of doing a] “Finishing touch”, as this finalizes the work needed to be done to the clothing being that through doing so the clothing is now fit to be worn, while until this was done it was never yet fit to be worn, [and it is thus forbidden as] any [action] done which is the finishing stroke [of the making of the vessel] contains [the prohibition of] “Finishing Touch” as was explained in chapter 302 [Halacha 5]
Cutting the knot of the launderer: See “The laws of Cutting and Tearing” Prohibition #2 Halacha 3E for the full details of this subject. See summary below for a summary what is explained there!
Summary-Cutting the strings of a knot:
Anytime it is permitted to open a knot on Shabbos one is likewise permitted to cut it. However, one may not be lenient to cut it in front of an ignoramus, and rather should do it privately. [As well in a case that the knot attaches an item to the ground then the rope may not be torn even if one is allowed to untie the knot being that doing so involves the destroying prohibition.] Anytime that the knot is forbidden to be undone, it is likewise forbidden to be cut.
May one open a new shirt or pants on Shabbos, and remove its parts?
Seemingly to remove the plastics and needles is permitted, as its merely external. However, to cut the tags is seemingly forbidden due to Tikkun Keli, as explained above.
G. Cutting and tearing sewn threads:
See “The Laws of cutting and Tearing” Prohibition #1 Halacha 4!
H. Tearing the cover off of a bottle:
A person may tear the hide which [seals] the opening of the barrel of wine or other liquids if he is doing so for the need of Shabbos. He need not worry [about any tearing prohibition involved in doing so], because tearing a detached item is allowed to be done even initially. [However, this is only allowed] as long as one does not intend to make something similar to a drainpipe out of the torn skin [i.e. a funnel] being that doing so is considered like fixing a vessel.
Is permitted to tear the leather covering of a bottle for a Shabbos need so long as one does not form it into a drain [and it is a single entity like a piece of leather as opposed to a cloth].
Why is tearing the cover off a bottle not considered Tikkun Keli, that one is fixing the barrel?
As a cover of a bottle is not considered a complete attachment, and hence is considered as if it is not on the bottle.
If the cover has letters or designs may it be torn?
One may only tear it open around the letters.
I. Taking apart two vessels which are attached to each other:
May one separate plastic ware which is attached together, such as two plastic spoons which are attached or two yogurts which are attached?
No. This is forbidden due to the fixing a vessel prohibition. [Seemingly, however, according to those opinions who permit opening disposable cans likewise here it would be permitted to separate the above disposable items. See Chapter 2 Halacha 9 Q&A!]
May one separate a two-part ices?
No. This is forbidden due to the fixing a vessel prohibition. [Seemingly, However, according to those opinions who permit opening disposable cans likewise here it would be permitted to separate the above disposable items. See Chapter 2 Halacha 9 Q&A!]
May one tear garbage bags or tablecloths that are attached to each other?
Question: [Thursday, 17th yar 5781]
We bought a pack of six individual plastic cups of pudding which are attached to each other by the sides and forgot to separate them from each other and open them before Shabbos. Am I allowed to separate them and open them on Shabbos in a time of need such as this?
*Indeed, the answer to this question is debated amongst todays Rabbanim and Sifrei Melaktim, with some allowing everything and some prohibiting everything, and the following represents Rabbi Goldstein’s position and ruling.
The law: It is forbidden for one to break them and separate them from each other on Shabbos due to the prohibition of Tikkun Keli. Likewise, it is best not to open them from their top by peeling away the cover due to the possible Koreia prohibition. The best way to open it is by either cutting/tearing through the top covering with a knife in a way that it will not ruin any letters, and if this is not possible, then one should cut it with a knife from its bottom where there are no letters and eat it from there. One can also give it to a child under age two to open it and eat some of it so long as one does not tell him directly to open it. All in all, from this it is understood how important it is to always make sure to separate the cups from each other before Shabbos and to also open them up before Shabbos in order to avoid all the above issues.
Explanation regarding not separating them from each other on Shabbos: It is clear from the Poskim that included in the prohibition of Tikkun Keli is the tearing or breaking of any item in which the purpose of doing so is to make it fit for a use and that this applies even if it was already fit for use and the action of tearing or breaking is simply making it more fit. Therefore, breaking apart the yogurts for the sake of having individual cups is clearly under the prohibition of Tikkun Keli, as is explicitly written in the Poskim regarding the prohibition to break apart two vessels which are attached. However, regarding the prohibition of Michateich, it does not apply in this case being that one does not care to cut it in an exact dimension and measurement and one only transgresses Michateich when one cuts something to an exact measurement and dimension for a certain purpose.
Explanation regarding not peeling off the top cover from the cup on Shabbos: The prohibition of Koreia applies whenever one tears apart two things that have been glued to each other, and this prohibition applies even when the items are glued to each other only for temporary purpose, although being merely a rabbinical prohibition in such a case. Now, while we do find an allowance to tear items which are only temporarily sewed, this allowance only applies not in the face of an ignoramus and is hence only to be followed by Torah scholars in discrete. Now, while the Poskim do allow one to tear off the leather covering of a barrel, perhaps the permission is only to cut it off or to cut through it and not to peel off the area that is glued together. Vetzaruch Iyun.
Explanation regarding cutting through the bottom of the cup: Cutting through the bottom of the cup were there are no letters does not consist of a Soser prohibition being that the Soser prohibition does not apply by items that are not considered to be of strong structure and are merely there to protect the food until the time arrives for the food to be eaten, and the sages even initially allowed one to break through such structures on Shabbos in order to get to the food that is in them.
Sources: See regarding the prohibition of Tikun Keli: Admur 302:5; 308:54-55; 340:17-18; 508:2; 514:18; Michaber 322:4; Piskeiy Teshuvos 314:3; See regarding the prohibition of Michateich: Admur 314:16; Piskeiy Teshuvos 340:34 footnote 308; Aruch Hashulchan 321:40; Az Nidbaru 1:79; See regarding the Koreia prohibition: See Admur 302:4; 278:1-3; 314:12; 317:7; 340:17; M”A 314:14; Mishneh Berurah 340 Biur Halacha “Eiyn Shovrin”; Shaareiy Teshuvah 314:4; Piskeiy Teshuvos 340:34; 314:7; SSH”K 9 footnote 36; Ketzos Hashulchan 119 footnote 34 that if it is not meant to last it does not contain a tearing prohibition; See regarding the Soser prohibition: Admur 314:1; Michaber 314:1; Beitza 33b; Mishneh Shabbos 146a
Compilation-Cutting items on Shabbos, such as a table cloth, garbage bag, paper towel, piece of tinfoil, and toilet paper?
It is Biblically forbidden to perform an action on Shabbos which prepares an item for a use. The principal Melacha of this prohibition is called “Makeh Bepatish,” while its offshoot is known as Tikkun Keli. Accordingly, it is forbidden to cut or tear an item on Shabbos for the sake of making a use out of the cut piece. If one cuts the item with a vessel, such as a scissor or knife, it is Biblically forbidden. If one tears it with his hands, it is Rabbinically forbidden. In addition to the above prohibition of Tikkun Keli, cutting or tearing an item on Shabbos [even not for a use] may also transgress other Biblical or Rabbinical prohibitions, including: Koreiah/Tearing; Michateich; Tochein; Soseir/destroying; Erasing letters.
Based on the above prohibition of Tikkun Keli, it is forbidden to cut or tear the following items on Shabbos and they are all to be prepared, and pre-cut, before Shabbos:
- Tablecloth: It is forbidden to cut a tablecloth roll for the sake of using the cut piece to cover one’s table [or other usage]. This applies whether or not one cuts the tablecloth on the pre-serrated lines. It is forbidden to do so even with one’s hands, and certainly with a knife.
- Garbage bags: It is forbidden to cut a garbage bag from a garbage bag roll on Shabbos.
- Plastic sandwich bags: A pack of sandwich bags in which each bag is slightly attached to the bag under it, and needs to be torn off, is forbidden to be used on Shabbos. This applies whether or not one cuts the tissues on the pre-serrated lines.
- Tinfoil: It is forbidden to cut a piece of tinfoil from a roll, on Shabbos, whether with one’s hands or using a knife.
- Paper towel: It is forbidden to cut a piece of paper towel from a roll, on Shabbos, whether with one’s hands or using a knife. This applies whether or not one cuts the paper towel on the pre-serrated lines.
- Toilet paper: It is forbidden to cut a piece of toilet paper from a roll, on Shabbos, whether with one’s hands or using a knife. This applies whether or not one cuts the paper towel on the pre-serrated lines.
- Tissues: A pack of tissues in which each tissue is slightly attached to the tissue below it, and needs to be torn off, is forbidden to be used on Shabbos. This applies whether or not one cuts the tissues on the pre-serrated lines.
Are the above items Muktzah on Shabbos?
All the above items that may not be cut on Shabbos receive the status of Keli Shemilachto Li’issur, of which the ruling is that it may not be moved to save from damage, but may be moved for the sake of using it, or to free up its space. If practically the item is not useable due to one’s inability to cut it, then it may be judged under the higher status of Muktzah called Muktzha Machams Chisaron Kis, or Muktzah Machamas Gufo, of which the ruling is that it may not be moved for any purpose. If, However, one would not abstain from using the item without cutting it [i.e. placing the entire garbage roll in the garbage can and opening the one on top, or placing the plastic tablecloth on the table and resting the roll on a chair at the edge] then seemingly its status would be of Keli Shemilachto Li’issur.
In the above cases, does it help to cut the above items to a larger quantity then necessary to avoid the above prohibition of Tikkun Keli?
The prohibition applies even in such a case, as any cutting which further assists one in achieving his use of the vessel is forbidden due to Tikkun Keli.
In the above cases, does it make a difference if one cuts the item with one’s hands versus a knife?
The prohibition applies whether it is cut with a knife or torn with one’s hands, although the level of prohibition, and whether it is Biblical or Rabbinical does change if it was cut with one’s hands versus a knife and the like, as explained above.
Does it make a difference if one cuts the above items on the serrated lines, or elsewhere?
No. The prohibition of Tikkun Keli applies wherever one cuts it. Likewise, cutting it by the dotted lines does not necessarily transgress the additional Michateich prohibition, and hence there is no Halachic difference regarding where one intends to cut it.
May one ask a gentile to cut the above items on Shabbos?
No, as is always the rule regarding Amira Lenachri. However, in a case of great need, or for the sake of a Mitzvah, one may ask the gentile to cut it for him using his hands, without mentioning the use of a scissor or knife.
 Admur 508:2
 Admur 308:54
 Admur 308:55
 Lit. a branch
 Meaning out from the area where all the reeds have been fixed into.
 When breaking it off for a use it contains two prohibitions, destroying and Tikkun Keli. When simply detaching it from its setting, then if loose, it only contains the Tikkun Keli prohibition.
 Michaber 322:4
 If done with one’s hand it is Rabbinically forbidden, and if done with a vessel is Biblically forbidden. [M”B 322:13]
 Admur 317:6; Michaber 317:3
 Admur 317: 6
 Chapter 314 Halacha 19
 Admur 317:7
 Admur 314:12; M”A 314:14
 See “The Laws of Cutting and Tearing” Halacha 2
 See Chazon Ish Shabbos 51:11
 Piskeiy Teshuvos 314:3
 This refers to a long plastic tube which contains sweet frozen ices inside. The tube is split into two parts with a narrow area in the middle that connects them. It is customary during the week to cut the tube down the middle and give out one ices to each child. The question is can this be done on Shabbos. Although foods do not contain a Tikun Keli prohibition, the plastic which holds the ices perhaps does.
 Tearing with a Shinuiy in time of need: Seemingly is only Rabbinical with Shinuiy which is mutar in time of need. See 307/12. However, tzaruch iyun on definition of time of need.
 Admur 302:5 “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. [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. 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].; Mishneh Shabbos 73a and Rashi there; Mishneh 102b; Rambam 23:4; Smak 280; Taz 302:1; M”B 302:9
 Admur 340:17; 308:54; 82; 314:12; 508:2; See Michaber 340:13; M”B 322:13
 See Admur 302:4; 278:1-3; 317:7; 340:17; Mishneh Berurah 340 Biur Halacha “Eiyn Shovrin”; Piskeiy Teshuvos 340:34
 See Admur 314:16; Aruch Hashulchan 321:40; Az Nidbaru 1:79
 Admur 314:16; M”A 314:14; M”B 31441
 Piskeiy Teshuvos 340:34
Does the Koreiah prohibition apply in the cases listed below? The Koreiah prohibition only applies if the item is made of several fabrics or pieces which are being torn apart. Accordingly, the Koreiah prohibition would not apply in the cases listed below in which the item is a single solid material. [See Admur ibid;] However, Tzaruch Iyun, as perhaps the beads of plastic which are melted to form the plastic sheet would be considered “several fabrics” which would transgress the Koreia prohibition. Likewise, paper which is made from ground wood may also be defined as “several fabrics” and transgress the prohibition. [See Piskeiy Teshuvos]
Does the Biblical Tikkun Keli prohibition apply in the cases below? As stated above, if one cuts the item with a scissor or knife, it is a Biblical prohibition, while if he tears it with his hand, it is a Rabbinical prohibition. This is unlike Piskeiy Teshuvos 340:34 footnote 308 who writes that according to Admur there is no Biblical prohibition, as in truth, while there is no Biblical prohibition of Koreia according to Admur, there is a Biblical prohibition of Tikkun Keli if cut with a vessel. However, see there based on Maor Hashannos 4 that the Biblical prohibition of Tikkun Keli does not apply being that the vessel is able to be used in a time of need even without cutting and thus the simple act of cutting is not considered a complete fixing. However, in the case of the garbage bags or plastic bags, since the cutting turns it into a useable bag, then it is a Biblical prohibition of Tikkun Keli [if done with a vessel]. The practical ramification is regarding Amira Lenachri and if we can consider it Shevus Deshvus to cut it even with a knife.
Does the Michateich prohibition apply in the cases below? For the most part, the Michateich prohibition does not apply in the below mentioned cases even if one cuts it by the dotted lines as one has no intent to truly cut it to a specific measurement. [See Admur 314:16; Piskeiy Teshuvos 340:34 footnote 308] However, see Aruch Hashulchan 321:40 and Az Nidbaru 1:79 who rules that one who tears paper for a use transgresses Michateich. Vetzaruch Iyun.
 See Piskeiy Teshuvos 340:34 footnote 309
 See Admur 308:2, 12; M”A 308:5; M”B 308:10
 See regarding blank paper that it becomes both MMCK and MMG: Admur 308:6; M”A 308:10 in name of Shiltei Giborim 8; M”B 308:3
 See Admur 308:54 regarding shortening the length of a vine” due to it being too long for him”; However, see Tzitz Eliezer 13:45 that when one does not care of the size of the cut then it is not Tikkun Keli
 Piskeiy Teshuvos 340:34
 See footnotes above where this matter was explained.
 See Admur 307:12, 16; Piskeiy Teshuvos 340:34 footnote 310
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