- Question: [Thursday, 25th Mar Cheshvan, 5781]
Is opening a climbing scaffold allowed on Shabbos? One can fasten two bolts/screws with ones hand without needing a screwdriver or other tool. It needs to be fastened hard so that it doesn’t fall apart and we might forget to close it after Shabbat.
The fact you can use your hands and tighten the screws and don’t need a screwdriver is completely irrelevant. The only way that it would be permitted on Shabbos to screw or unscrew it is if it is meant to not last even temporarily meaning not more than that days’ worth and at the very least not more than 48 hours. This would depend on how you use the item. Practically, what I would resolve in this case is that you do not do so unless the common way of you using this vessel during the week is in a way that the screws do not last for that day and you constantly put them in and out. If the latter is correct, then even if by mistake you forgot to remove the screws after Shabbos or one time during the week it doesn’t affect the allowance, as it nonetheless retains the status of being meant for constant opening and closing and not to last at all.
Sources: See Admur 313:14; 20-21; 259:7; Ketzos Hashulchan 119 note 12