Laws of moving doors, windows and locks on Shabbos
The following chapter will discuss the laws that involve inserting and removing doors, windows and other parts into and out of houses and vessels on Shabbos. It will also discuss the laws of inserting locks onto ones door. At times doing the above transgresses the building prohibition, as well as the Muktzah prohibition.
Part 1: Inserting a shutter or windowpane into a window
May one insert the frame and glass of a window into a window or skylight on Shabbos?
The inserts for a window, such as a board or any other item with which one seals off a window, even if it is something that does not have the status of a vessel at all, and was also never used before as an insert during the week, and one [now] wants to insert it for its first time on Shabbos, then if he had in mind from before Shabbos to insert it (on Shabbos or he thought about it that it be prepared and designated to be inserted into a window, even though he did not think about [using it] on Shabbos explicitly,) then it is allowed [to be inserted on Shabbos].
The reason for this is: because through this thought [that the person had before Shabbos, the insert] received the status of a vessel and has thus become permitted to be moved just like all other vessel (as is written in chapter 308 [Halachas 50-51] that one’s thought helps [to give a status of a vessel] for an item which is common to be designated towards [the purpose that one thought of].)
If it was used one time before Shabbos: (As well if one inserted it one time before Shabbos, even if he did not think about inserting it on Shabbos, it [also] receives the status of a vessel as a result of this insertion since it is an item that is common to be designated for this use, as explained there [in Halacha 51].)
Sealing off a skylight with an insert: Even the skylight of a roof is permitted to be sealed off with an insert that is permitted to be moved, even if it was not tied and hanging from [the roof] before Shabbos.
The reason that this does not contain the Ohel prohibition: Doing [the above] does not transgress the [prohibition of] putting up a tent on Shabbos because through doing so one is only adding to the [already existing] tent [meaning the roof], and [even] this addition is only temporary being that [the insert] is not meant to stay in there for very long being that [a sky roof] is meant to be constantly opened. [It is thus permitted to be inserted, as] adding a temporary tent [to an already established tent] is permitted [on Shabbos], and it was only forbidden to build an entire temporary tent, as will be explained in chapter 315 [Halacha 2].
Inserting a board or the like for it to remain there for long periods of time: For this reason, if this insert is not meant to be opened regularly, but rather [only occasionally] after long periods of time, then it is forbidden to insert it even into a window that is in the wall as this is like adding a permanent structure into the wall [which carries with it the building prohibition].
Part 2: Inserting a lock onto ones door
Barricading ones door with a wooden rod:
No need to tie the rod to the door before Shabbos: A rod which one has made to be used as a lock, [through] inserting it by the wall near the door, does not need to be tied to the door before Shabbos. As even if it were not to be tied and hung there from before Shabbos, and one inserts it there on Shabbos, [nevertheless] this is not considered building on Shabbos since he is not nullifying it there, and rather it is meant to be removed and inserted constantly.
Must modify the rod in a way that it is evident that it is meant for locking with: Nevertheless [locking with a rod] is a bit more similar to [the prohibition of] building then is the sealing of a window and skylight [through an insert], therefore even if one thought before Shabbos to use it to lock with on Shabbos, and even if one designated it for this purpose forever, and even if one had used to lock with many times during the week and it was designated for this use, nevertheless it is forbidden to use it to lock with on Shabbos unless one modified it and did an action to it and prepared it [to be used for] this, in a way that the modification shows on it that it is designated for this [use]. (As in such a case it is readily evident that the rod has not been nullified [to permanently] stay there, but rather is meant to remove and reinsert regularly, as his action of modification proves this, as through this action of modification it gives it the status of a vessel, and it is not usual to insert a vessel into a building and annul it there forever.)
The status of the rod once a modification has been done: [If one does this modification] it is allowed to lock with it even if one had never locked with it before hand, before [this] Shabbos.
As well it is permitted to move it even not for the sake of using it and [using] its space, as is the law by all other vessels which are designated for a permitted use.
However if [the lock] is made in a way that it is forbidden to lock with it on Shabbos, then even though it is designated to lock with during the week, [nevertheless] it is forbidden to move it unless [doing so in order] to use it [for a permitted purpose] or [to use] its space, as is the law of a vessel which is designated for forbidden usage.
Locking ones door with placing a peg in the doorstep behind the door:
A Nagar which is a peg that is inserted into the hole that is by the doorstep [behind the door] in order to lock the door, since it is inserted below into the doorstep it appears more like building than the insertion of the rod into the wall from the side [of the door]. [Therefore] one may not lock with it despite it being designated for this purpose and even if one mended it in a way that shows on it that it is designated for [locking, it may not be used]. Rather it must be tied to the [door] from before Shabbos, (in which case it is then permitted to lock with it even if it had never been locked with beforehand and even if it had not been designated for this) as since it is tied and attached to there from before Shabbos it does not appear like one is building on Shabbos.
How does one tie the peg?
By a peg that has a bolted head: If its head has a bolt, meaning that its head is thick and is fit to be used to crush and grind peppers, then since it is similar to a vessel it does not appear so much as one is building [when inserting it into the lock], as it is unusual to insert a vessel into a building [and] nullify it there. Therefore it does not need to be tied on strongly and rather even if it is attached with a thin rope in which case [the peg] is not fit to be taken with it, [meaning] that if one were to want to take the [peg out] from [the lock] and move it using this rope then [the rope] would immediately tear [from the peg], [nevertheless] this suffices even if it is not tied onto the door itself but to the latch of the door (or to the doorpost. As even though it is not so recognizable that it was tied to there before Shabbos to serve as a lock for the door being that it is not tied to the door itself as well as that it is not tied strongly, nevertheless it does not appear like building on Shabbos since it appears like a vessel)
[Furthermore] even if the rope is long and thus the peg is not hanging at all in the air when it is removed from the hole in the doorstep, but rather is entirely resting on the ground, [nevertheless] this poses no problem since it was tied to there from before Shabbos through a rope.
By a peg that does not have a bolted head but is attached to the door: If the peg does not have a bolted head then if it is tied to the door itself, even if it is tied with a thin string which is not fit to [remove the peg from the lock], it suffices. (As it is well recognizable that it was tied there before Shabbos for the sake of locking the door, being that it is tied to the door itself, even though the knot is not strong, and thus [inserting this peg into the lock] no longer appears like building on Shabbos). [As well this suffices] even if the entire [peg] rests on the floor when it is removed from the hole.
If the non-bolted peg is not attached to the door: However if it is not attached to the door itself, but rather to the latch (or doorpost) then the knot must be strong enough that [the peg] is able to be removed [from its hole] through [pulling at the rope], (as when [the peg] is well tied with a strong rope it is recognizable that it is designated to be used for locking the door, even though it is not tied to the door itself, and thus [inserting it into the lock] no longer appears like building on Shabbos). [This applies] even if the entire [peg] rests on the floor when it is removed from the hole that is in the doorstep.
A peg that inserts into the ground:
However all the above [is only allowed] if the doorstep is elevated [from the ground to the point that] its hole [in which the peg is inserted in] does not reach the ground. However if the hole goes beyond the bottom of [the doorpost] and reaches the ground in a way that when the peg is inserted into the hole, the peg punctures a hole under [the doorpost] into the ground, then it appears like building and is forbidden to be locked with in any circumstance, [including] even if it has a bolted head and is tied to the door with a strong rope.
If there is a set hole in the ground into which the peg is inserted: However this only applies if the peg constantly punctures a new hole into the ground. However if to begin with one made a hole in the ground large enough for the head of the peg to be inserted into, and thus the peg no longer adds to the hole already made in the ground, then it does not appear like building, and is permitted to be locked within the ways explained above [regarding tying the peg].
Locking with a peg which had a handle inserted into it
A peg which had a handle inserted into its middle, and is thus similar to a mallet which is a vessel, is permitted to lock with even if it punctures a hole in the ground, and even if it is not tied on at all, as it does not appear like building being that it is readily apparent that it is a vessel. This is not similar to [a peg] that has a bolted head which is also similar to a vessel but must nevertheless be tied and may not puncture the ground, as here one has done an action with his hands by inserting the handle into [the peg] and through doing so has turned it into a vessel, as opposed to by the bolted peg where no action was done with ones hands to give it the status of a vessel.
A bolt which has a handle:
The same applies by a bolt that is inserted one end into the hole in the wall of one side of the door and the other end into the hole [in the wall] of the other side of the door, if it has a ring in its middle with which one holds onto when removing and inserting [the bolt] and uses it to pull the bolt [into or out of its hole], then [the ring] is [considered] a handle to the bolt and it is permitted to use it to lock with even if it is not tied.
Part 3: Inserting a door into an opening/doorway
The following laws will discuss when it is allowed to place a door into a doorway or entrance on Shabbos and when it is allowed to be removed from the doorway and entrance. The issue here is regarding whether or not doing so is considered like one is building on Shabbos.
If the door was placed before Shabbos onto its hinges and thus revolves around them, then it is always allowed to be opened and closed in all circumstances.
Openings that are only sporadically used for entering and exiting:
Doors with hinges: All openings which are not made to be constantly entered and exited from but rather only sporadically, such as for example ones backyard which one does not constantly enter and exit, then if one made for its opening a door that does not spin on a hinge (the definition of a hinge is a piece of sharp wood which protrudes from the door to be inserted into the hole in the sill in order so that the door move back and forth) and rather when one wants to close [the opening] with [this door], one stands [the door] upright over the opening of the doorway in order to close it, then whether this door is made of beams or whether it’s made of mats of bamboo which one hung and placed upright [to be used] as a door, or [another example of the above type of door, if one had] a crack [in ones fence of his] garden or courtyard which one closed up with thorns in a way similar to a door, and at times one sporadically opens this door and enters and exits through its crack [in the fence] and then goes back and locks it, then [in all the above cases] if there are hinges on these doors or even if currently there aren’t hinges on them but in the past it had hinges which were broken off it and it is still recognizable [that there once were hinges on it], then one is allowed to close them on Shabbos. [The reason for this is] because due to the detection of the hinges it is recognizable that they were doors made for opening and closing and it [thus] does not appear like [one is] building [by placing these doors by the doorway].
Not to enter the hinges into the sockets: However one must beware that if they have hinges that one not return the hinge to their sockets as will be explained [in Halacha 17].
Doors that have no remnant of having had hinges: However if [these doors] do not have any remnant of having had hinges in the past, then it is forbidden to close them on Shabbos, as since they are only meant to be opened sporadically, they thus appear when being used to close [up an opening] like [one is] building a permanent wall, so long as they are not recognizable as doors.
Tying the door to the opening: Even when [the doors] have hinges, [the Sages] only permitted to close them if they were tied and hung [by that opening] from before Shabbos in order to lock with. In such a case the case [the Sages] allow one to lock with it, even if when [the door] is opened it drags on the ground and when it is closed one lifts it up and stands it upright on the doorstep, as since they are tied and attached to there from before Shabbos [closing them] does not appear like building on Shabbos.
If the door was strongly tied then it is allowed to be closed it even if it never had hinges: If one tied and established [the door] there in a way that even when they are opened they do not drag on the ground, then even if they are only elevated from the ground a threads worth, they are allowed to be closed even if they do not have the remnant of a hinge. [The reason for this is] because it does not appear like building through closing it being that even when they are opened they are well attached and established there [to the point that they] do not drag on the ground [when opened or closed].
Openings that are constantly used for entering and exiting:
An opening which is made for constant entrance and exit is permitted to be closed even with a door that does not have remnant of a hinge and drags on the ground when opened, or even if it is completely removed [from the opening] when one comes to open it due to it not being tied to there at all.
The reason for this is: because since [this opening] is made to be constantly opened up it, therefore by closing it one is not making a permanent wall but rather a temporary [one], and there is no prohibition in making a temporary wall on Shabbos unless made in ways to be explained in chapter 315 [Halacha 3].
Inserting doors into openings that do not have a threshold:
All the above refers to a door[way] that has a lower threshold that one stands [the door] up on, as this threshold shows that the door is made for locking purposes and not for building [a wall].
However if it does not have a threshold and when one locks with it one places it down on the earth and when one opens it one removes and uproots it, then since [this opening] does not have the form of a doorway, one is not allowed to close it even if [the door] has a hinge, so long as [the door is not inserted in its socket and thus] does not spin around on its hinge.
This applies even if [one tied the door in a way that] it is elevated off the ground, and even if the opening is meant for constant entering and exiting.
Other Opinions: [However] there are opinions which permit [placing a door] by an [opening that does not have a threshold if the] opening is made for constant entering and exiting.
The Final Ruling: One may be lenient in a [dispute over a] Rabbinical command, [and thus may place a door by even an opening that lacks a threshold if the opening is made for constant entering and exiting].
Placing a door made of a single plank of wood into a doorway
The same law [that one may not place the door on Shabbos] applies for a door that is made of a single board [of wood and the like] which when opened one removes [the entire board] and uproots it [from the doorway], as since it is not similar to other doors one is not allowed to close it even if it has a hinge, so long as it does not revolve on its hinge. [This applies] even if [the door is tied in a way that it is completely] elevated from the ground, and even if its [opening] has a threshold, and even if it is made for constant entering and exiting.
The reason for this is: because [placing such a door by the opening] appears like one is building and placing a beam into the wall [so it become an extension of the wall].
Other Opinions: [However] there are opinions which permit [placing this door] by an opening that is made for constant entering and exiting.
The Final Ruling: One may be lenient in a [dispute over a] Rabbinical prohibition, [and thus may place this type of door by an opening made for constant entering and exiting].
The law by a door made of many beams:
However a door which is made from many beams and [its opening has] a threshold is permitted to be closed according to all opinions if the opening is made for constant entering and exiting, even if upon opening [this door] one completely removes it and uproots it, being that it is not tied at all to the opening, and even if it does not have any remnant of a hinge as explained above [in Halacha 10].
Using many individual beams to close the opening: The same law applies in a case that one closes up [an opening] using many individual beams by inserting the beams into an engraved [line worth of space] by the top and bottom [of the door frame], as since the door is closed using many beams, they are all considered like a single door which is made of many beams, and it is [thus] permitted to close with it even if one completely removes it upon opening it, and even if it has no remnant of any hinges, as long as its opening is made for constant entrance and exit.
Part 4: The rules of when the prohibition of building and destroying apply in assembling and disassembling a vessel on Shabbos
Inserting the door of a vessel back into its hinges on Shabbos
By doors that have hinges on their top and bottom as opposed to their side:
If the entire hinge came out of the socket: 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, 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 [Halacha 17].
If only part of the bottom hinge came out of its socket: However if only part [of the bottom hinge] came out [of its socket] then one may press on it until it returns back into its place. [The Sages in this case] were not worried that one may come to [properly] fix it [with tools] because [such a strong insertion] is not so necessary [in this case] being that [the hinge] did not completely come out of its socket [and thus does not require much action to secure it back into its socket].
If part of the upper hinge came out of its socket: However if even [only] part of the upper hinge came out it is forbidden to push it and return it back into its place, due to a decree that one may come to [properly] fix it.
The reason for this decree by the upper hinge is because: the upper [hinge] is required to be inserted more strongly than the lower [hinge], being that the lower [hinge] is consequently secured within its socket when the upper [hinge] is in its place [correctly, thus by the upper hinge there is a suspicion that one may come to strongly insert it and thus transgress the building prohibition].
By doors with a hinge on their side:
Even a door that does not have a hinge on its top or bottom, but rather on its side, meaning that on its side there is one bolt that protrudes which has a hole opposite it within the doorpost, into which one inserts the bolt into this hole when he closes the door, and when one opens the door he removes it out from the hole, in which case here there is [thus] no suspicion that one may come to [strongly] insert [the bolt into its hole] being that the door is made for constant opening and closing [and thus one will purposely not place the bolt too strongly into the hole], nevertheless it is forbidden to return this hinge into its hole on Shabbos due to a decree [that if one were to be allowed to do so then he may come to also insert] a hinge which is not on the side of the door, [in which there is suspicion that one may insert it strongly].
Its law on Yom Tov: However on Yom Tov it is allowed [to insert this type of hinge into its socket, when done] for the sake of the joy of Yom Tov, [such as to get into ones food storage house to get food for Yom Tov], as will be explained in chapter 519 [Halacha 1].
Removing doors off their hinges
By vessels that are not attached to the ground:
If the hinges are only loosely placed in their sockets: All the above discussion was with regards to returning the door [back into its sockets], however to remove the doors from vessels is allowed in all scenarios that the hinge has not been strongly affixed into them.
The reason that this is allowed: This does not involve the [prohibition] of destroying [an item on Shabbos] because by vessels [as opposed to buildings attached to the ground] there is no [prohibition] against building and destroying.
If the hinges are strongly placed into their sockets: However if they are strongly affixed [into their sockets] then taking it apart involves [the prohibition of] destroying as will be explained [in Halacha 22].
By vessels that are attached to the ground:
Removing the door of a house or pit: However the door of a house and of a Bor pit and Dus pit or of vessels which are attached to the ground, such as for example a chicken coop which is a vessel and is attached to the ground, it is forbidden to either remove or return [these doors into or out of their sockets even if they are placed in loosely], as anything attached to the ground has the [prohibition] of building [it] and destroying [it].[see note]
Removing the window frame from the window of the house: Thus that which is accustomed to be done by large [festive] meals [on Shabbos], to remove the windows through a gentile, is not proper to be done being that this removal carries with it the liability to bring a Chatas offering if it were to be done by a Jew, being that he is destroying [the window] in order to build it [again latter], as one plans to eventually return [the window] afterwards [back to its opening]. Therefore when one tells a gentile [to do so] this [telling him] is a total Rabbinical prohibition and is not [within the category of] a Rabbinical decree on a Rabbinical decree which was permitted in order to prevent pain, as was explained in chapter 307 [Halacha 12].
Other opinions: [However] according to those that say that destroying in order to rebuild is only [Biblically] liable if one had intention that the rebuilding of it will make it better then the way it was originally, as explained in chapter 278 [Halacha 2], then the removal of the windows is only a Rabbinical prohibition [as here the eventual reinsertion of the window is done in no better a way then the way the window was before it was removed], and [thus it is permitted] to tell a gentile [to remove the windows in the above scenario as it] is a Rabbinical decree upon a Rabbinical decree which is allowed to be done in a distressful situation [such as here that it is too hot in the house and one needs to remove the windows for a breeze].
The Final Ruling: [Due to the above existing opinion one] therefore does not need to reprimand people who are lenient [to ask a gentile to do so] being that they have upon whom to rely. However every person should be stringent upon himself like the first opinion, which is the main [Halachic] opinion.
As well one needs to warn the masses that stumble [and transgress] by removing a quarter of the windowpane from the window unknowingly that this contains a great prohibition.
By vessels that are large enough to hold 40 Seah:
Even vessels that are not attached to the ground, if they are large enough to hold 40 seah, meaning that their size is one cubit by one cubit [16×16 inches] with a height of three cubits [48 inches] including the walls [in its circumference] [but] without [including] the thickness of the feet and the crown [within its height], then they are considered like a tent and carry with them the building and destroying [prohibition], and therefore it is forbidden to remove their doors from them.
Removing and placing doors into and out of its hinges by non-sturdy vessels:
[The Sages] only said that [the Biblical prohibition of] building and destroying does not apply by vessels, if the vessel being built or destroyed is not sturdy. Such as for example removing the door from [the socket of] a vessel and returning it [to its socket], that returning it is not [considered] a sturdy [form of] building being that [the door] is still [in truth] detached from the vessel as it was not strongly inserted and thus can be easily removed from it, and therefore also when removing it one is not considered to be destroying a sturdy structure.
Assembling and disassembling the parts of a vessel on Shabbos:
Inserting and removing when the parts are loose: The same applies for all vessels that are put together through [inserting] individual parts [into sockets], that if the parts are not strongly affixed, then taking it apart is not considered destroying a sturdy structure and reassembling it is not considered [Biblically] building a sturdy structure.
To initially make a vessel: However to initially makes a vessel [on Shabbos] is [considered building] a sturdy structure and one is thus liable for building. [As well as] if one breaks a complete structure [not made of parts], then this is [considered] destroying a sturdy structure and is thus liable for destroying.
To strongly insert a handle into a vessel: As well one who inserts the wood into the ax to serve as a handle is liable for building. Similarly anyone who inserts wood into wood, whether one inserts it with nails or whether into the wood itself, to the point that they became unified [meaning sturdy], then this is an offshoot of [the] building [prohibition] and one is thus liable.
[Consequently] anyone who removes wood that is inserted [into other wood and the like] is liable for destroying just like one who destroys a sturdy structure.
Assembling parts together firmly for permanent basis:
[Furthermore] even by a vessel made of individual parts, if one strongly inserts the pieces, meaning that one strongly secured them together in a way that requires strength and professionalism, then this is [considered] a sturdy structure and one is [Biblically] liable for building if it was built to last a long time.
Assembling for temporary basis: However if it was not made to last a long time then it is considered a temporary building and is [only] Rabbinically forbidden unless it is not made to last at all [in which case it is even initially permitted to be done for a Shabbos need] as will be explained [in the next Halacha].
Assembling the parts together semi-firmly:
For the above reason [that strongly inserting the parts of a vessel is a Biblical transgression], all vessels made [through assembling] individual parts [into sockets] which got displaced the Sages forbade to return [the part] on Shabbos even if one only slightly strengthens it inside [its socket] in a way that it is semi-loose, due to a decree that [if one were to be allowed to do so then] one may come to firmly insert it [into its socket].
Assembling the parts completely loose: However if one does not insert it at all, and rather leaves it there completely loose, then it is allowed [to be done] as long as it is usual for the vessel to be left loose [like this] forever. However if it is usual for it to be secured and strongly inserted, then even if now one wants to place it in loosely, [nevertheless] it is forbidden to return it due to a decree that one may come to affix it strongly.
Assembling a cup together semi-firmly-First Opinion: A cup made of individual parts, some opinions say that even though it is usual for it to be assembled together semi-firmly, [nevertheless] it is permitted to reassemble it semi-firmly as we do not suspect that one may come to insert [the parts] firmly [into each other] being that it is not usual at all for a cup to be so strongly assembled to the extent that one would be liable for building. [Thus it is permitted to be done semi-firmly as] it was only [made] forbidden [by the Sages] to assemble [a vessel] even slightly firmly by a bed made of individual parts and other similar items in which there can be suspicion that one may come to assemble [the parts] together in a strong way.
Other Opinions: [However] there are opinions that say that there is no difference between a cup and other vessels, and [it is thus] forbidden to reassemble the cup unless [the parts are] assembled completely loosely.
The Final Ruling: One should be stringent like the latter opinion unless it is a very pressing situation in which case one may then rely on the lenient [opinion] if it is not usual at all for the cup to be assembled firmly.
Cups that are made to be assembled firmly: However cups that are made with incisions along their circumference [in which one] inserts [the parts] firmly, then according to all it is forbidden to reassemble them even if one wants to place [the parts in] completely loosely.
Attaching a cover to a vessel: Nevertheless the covers of vessels which are made with incisions along their circumference, even though they are inserted onto the mouth of the vessel very strongly, doing so contains no prohibition, neither of destroying when removing [the cover] nor of building when placing it back on.
The reason for this is: because the [inserted cover] is not meant to last at all but rather [is meant] to be constantly opened and closed also on Shabbos itself, and [the Sages] only prohibited building a temporary structure and destroying it if it was not made with intent to destroy it on Shabbos itself, as will be explained in chapter 314 [Halacha 19].
Disassembling vessels that are only semi-firm within their sockets
All vessels made of assembled parts which are firmly attached to the point that if this insertion were to be done on Shabbos one would be liable, then it is forbidden to disassemble it on Shabbos due to [it carrying the] destroying prohibition.
However if [the parts were only] slightly secured [into their sockets] to the point that there is no [Biblical] prohibition in this assembly [and it is only prohibited] due to a decree that one may come assemble it firmly then it does not [carry with it the prohibition of] destroying and one may thus [even] initially disassemble it [on Shabbos]. [see note]
Placing an item to support the beam of a roof that is caving inwards:
Using a vessel as support: A beam from the roof of a house which has broken [and has begun to cave into the house] is allowed to be supported by a bench or on the long beams of a bed, [being] that they are a vessel. [However they may] not [be placed there] in order to lift up [the beam back into the roof] as this is [considered] building, rather [it may only be placed] in order to prevent the [beam] from falling down any further.
Using a non-vessel as support: However it is forbidden to use an item which is not a vessel to support the beam from under, even if it had been prepared to be moved [from before Shabbos, and is thus not Muktzah], because [doing so] is similar to building. This is in contrast to [supporting the beam with] a vessel which [is not similar to building being that] it is not usual to nullify it to a building, as explained above [in Halacha 4].
Placing the vessel in loosely: The vessel needs to be slightly loose under the beam in a way that it may be removed whenever one wishes to do so. However if it is inserted [under the beam] strongly in a way that one cannot remove it from there anymore, then it is forbidden [to be done] because [doing so] nullifies the vessel from what it was prepared to do [beforehand].
[The laws of] a bench which had one of its legs become detached was explained in chapter 308 [Halacha 47].
Leveling the floor and the ground:
One who levels the floor of the house or of a courtyard, such as for example he leveled a mound or filled up a ditch or valley, then this is [considered] building and he is [Biblically] liable.
Leveling the ground of a courtyard unintentionally: Therefore a courtyard that [its floor] became ruined during the rainy season, one may bring hay and throw it [over the floor] being that the straw will not be nullified [to permanently stay] there, as it is fit to be animal fodder or [to be used] for cement, and therefore there is no building [prohibition involved in doing so].
However one may not throw something there which will get nullified [to stay] there [permanently] because this appears like one is [doing so] intentionally to level the floor and since it will be nullified there it is a permanent form of building.
However this restriction only applies by a courtyard that got ruined, as since one is coming to fix the courtyard it appears like one is also intending to level its ground, however in a different scenario [where it is not apparent that one needs to level his ground then] one is allowed to throw there even something that will be nullified there being that he has no intent to level the ground [by doing so].
How to spread the hay on the ground of a ruined floor:
When one spreads the straw on a ruined courtyard, one may not throw it with a basket or a box, but rather with the bottom of the box. [Meaning that] one turns over [the box upside down] and places the straw on the bottom [part of the box that is now facing upwards]. [This is done] in order to change [the way one spreads out the straw] from the way that it is normally done during the week. However it is forbidden to spread [the hay out] with ones hand.
 Back then the term window referred to the opening in the wall and not to the actual glass frame placed inside the opening. Thus the following laws equally apply with regards to placing the frame of one’s window into his window on Shabbos. However to note that this law only refers to items that are a) not placed into sockets [see Halacha 17] and B) placed for a short period of time [end of this Halacha]. Otherwise it is forbidden.
 Lit. comes
 Lit. Chimney
 Such as a wooden barricade placed behind a door, which is hung on hooks that protrude from the walls that are horizontal to the door.
 However if it is inserted into holes made in the walls which are vertical to the door, and thus prevents the door from being pushed open, then it has different laws, as will be explained in Halacha 7.
 However see Halacha 7, based on Beis Yosef and Rif, that if one placed on it a handle, then it may be inserted under all circumstances even if it is not tied, and even if it makes a hole in the ground.
 Meaning leaving it there permanently without ever planning to take it out.
 From here it seems that in the typical scenario the rope is not long enough when hanging to have the peg reach the ground and is thus pulled at and stretched in the process of placing the peg in the ground.
 Such as a regular large nail and the like.
 Meaning that the rope is so long that it reaches the floor and thus has the peg rest on the floor.
 Meaning that the rope is so long that it reaches the floor and thus has the peg rest on the floor.
 Seemingly the Alter Rebbe is saying that only if the head of the peg is placed in, as in such a case it does not make a larger hole, is it allowed, however to place in the pointy end of the peg which can make a deeper hole, then it is not allowed.
 A mallet is a smaller sized sledge hammer.
 Vetzaruch Iyun how this case [of a bolt] is any different than the case of a rod, explained above [in Halacha 2]. [Alter Rebbe]
 Seemingly this refers to the bottom panel of the door frame, and not the doorpost as is done by most modern doors today.
 However see next Halacha regarding their law if they are tied strongly to the opening.
 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.
 Vetzaruch Iyun why here Admur leaves in doubt whether one transgresses the building prohibition or the Fixing prohibition, while in many other cases he rules plainly that attaching detached parts transgresses the building prohibition [see 313/20 or here 5A]. Perhaps though one can explain that Admur here is referring to the dispute brought later on in 314/17 that some opinions hold that one is never liable by building even complete structures for building but rather for Makeh Bepatish, and thus here he leaves it open to both opinions. However Tzaruch Iyun why specifically in this case did Admur choose to not finalize like whom we rule while in other cases he rules plainly that it has a building prohibition.
 A dus pit is a pit that has a wall surrounding it, while a Bor pit does not have anything surrounding it, and is rather just a hole in the ground. [See Baba Basra 64a and Rashi there] In Chapter 587/1 the Alter Rebbe explains that a Dus is any building which majority of its space is underground level. However if only minority of it is above ground level, then it has the same law as a house.
 This Biblical prohibition applies even if the door was only semi-firmly placed into its sockets. [Ketzos Hashulchan 119 note 4]
 However by a door of a vessel attached to the ground this is only a Rabbinical prohibition and thus it is permitted to remove the covering of an item attached to the ground if it is meant to be constantly opened and closed and if it is not attached onto hinges, as explained in chapter 259 Halacha 7 and in 314 Halacha 19.
 Back then the windows were not move in a frame or revolve against hinges, and thus to open the window meant to remove it entirely from the opening in the wall.
 Seemingly the case here is discussing a window that is set into sockets in the wall as otherwise it would have the same law as the law in Halacha 1 that it was permitted to place an insert to the window on Shabbos. [So seems to learn also the Ketzos Hashulchan in 119 Halacha 15]
 Whenever one destroys in order to rebuild it carries with it the Biblical prohibition of destroying by vessels attached to the ground. However to destroy and not plan to rebuild is only a Rabbinical prohibition.
 Evidently this refers to a window frame made of many removal parts.
 Meaning that one measures the 1×1 cubits from the outside of the vessel, and thus even if within the volume that is inside the vessel there is not 1×1 cubits, nevertheless it is included in the above law.
 Meaning it does not include the thickness of the bottom panel of the vessel, and thus must be three cubits high measuring from the inside of the vessel.
 This refers to a decoration that extends above the surface of the vessel, such as a crowning which surrounds the top of a box and the like. Thus it is saying that this decoration is not included in the 3 cubit height measurement.
 Seemingly this refers to making a vessel out of a single material, as opposed to assembling many pieces together, such as to make a clay pot and the like. The novelty here is that the rule of “there is no destroying and building by vessels” was not said in such a case.
 Vetzaruch Iyun what the novelty is in saying this, after having already mentioned in the previous Halacha regarding putting together a handle on an ax. Is that not a case of assembling parts together?
 The Ketzos Hashulchan [119 note 34] writes that this is only allowed to be done for a Shabbos need.
 The Ketzos Hashulchan [119 note 34] writes that this is only allowed to be done for a Shabbos need.
 Lit “Loose [but] not [too] loose”
 However by all vessels attached to the ground it is a Biblical prohibition even if the parts are only semi-firmly placed into its sockets. [Ketzos Hashulchan 119 note 4]
 See Ketzos Hashulchan 119 note 18 that this is allowed to be done even not for a Shabbos need, as since the vessel can be easily put back together it is not considered destroying at all.
 Tosafos Yom Tov on Shabbos chapter 23 Mishneh 5
 Seemingly this refers to that the courtyard became muddy and very difficult to walk on due to the rain, and thus one wants to place material over the ground so he be able to properly walk on it, having no intention to level the ground in doing so.