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Prohibition # 2: Tikkun Keli-Fixing an item for a usage in the process of cutting it
1. Cutting an item to make a use for it:
Cutting an item with a knife to make a use with it: Although cutting items detached [from the ground] is initially permitted when one is not particular to cut it in a specific measurement, as explained in chapter 314 [Halacha 16] nevertheless if through doing so one fixes the item to be used for a certain use, then he is liable for [the] “fixing a vessel” [prohibition] if he cut it using a knife as was explained in chapter 322 [Michaber Halacha 4] regarding the cutting of a twig.
Tearing it with ones hands to make a use of it: If it was done without a knife then one is exempt [from Biblical liability], although it is [Rabbinically] forbidden.
Summary of cutting an item to make it fit for a use:
Is forbidden to be done whether using a knife [in which case it is Biblically forbidden] or one’s hands [in which case it is Rabbinically forbidden].
2. Breaking earthenware and tearing paper for a use:
Due to the above one may not break earthenware and may not tear paper which is permitted to move [i.e. is not Muktzah] in order to use the [torn or broken piece] for a use due to that doing so is similar to him fixing a vessel. See Chapter 508 [Halacha 2]
It is forbidden to break off a piece of earthenware or a piece of paper in order to make it fit for a use.
3. Cutting a hole into a vessel:
See “The Laws of Building and Destroying” Chapter 1 Halacha 6!
Making a hole in a vessel:
Is Biblically forbidden when made for both entering and removing items through the hole, or when intentionally made into elegant hole, due to the prohibition of fixing a vessel. It never carries with it the building prohibition.
Is Rabbinically forbidden when made for only entering items through the hole, or for only removing items through it.
Is totally permitted when it is not intended to be made for either entering or removing items through it, and is rather consequently made due to an action that one does.
May one widen an already existing hole? It carries the same laws as one who initially makes the hole on Shabbos.
4. Examples of cases which involve fixing a vessel:
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 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, then 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 [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, [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 [additional 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.
D. Using a twig as a toothpick:
A twig which is not animal food, even to take it in order to pick his teeth is forbidden [due to it being Muktzah, and to cut a piece off is forbidden also due to the fixing a vessel prohibition].
E. Cutting a knot:
Cutting the sewing and knot of a tailor: If the collar of a shirt 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 undoable 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: However, other knots which were tied after the clothing had finished having its work done to it, such as the knots of the laundering or the strings of a cloak which have been tied and one is not able to undo, [then] it is permitted to cut them.
Nevertheless, even so one may not be lenient [to cut it] in front of an ignoramus, and rather should do it privately.
By a knot made to last 7 days: If one is accustomed to only cut the strings [of the collar knot] upon changing the cloak from Shabbos to Shabbos, then it is forbidden to cut [the strings of the knot] just like it is forbidden to undo it [as will be explained in “The Laws of Tying and Untying on Shabbos”].
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.
5. Tikkun Keli by foods:
Using straw or hay as a toothpick: Therefore, it is permitted to cut even with a knife [even into a particular measurement] straw or hay and [use it] to pick at his teeth [i.e. to use as a toothpick].
Using a twig as a toothpick: However, 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 fixing a vessel prohibition].
Plucking a leaf from a branch to use as a funnel: Plucking a leaf from a detached branch in order to place it into the hole of the barrel, is prohibited due to [the prohibition of] “fixing a vessel”, as any item which is altered on Shabbos so it be fit to be used for a given purpose carries with it [the prohibition of] “fixing a vessel”.
The reason for why this is forbidden even if the leaf can be used for animal fodder:  Even if the leaf is soft and is [thus] fit to be eaten by animals, nevertheless it is prohibited to pluck it due to “fixing a vessel”. As [the Sages] only said that [modifying] animal fodder [into a vessel] does not carry with it the prohibition of “fixing a vessel” being that they are soft and do not last, as will be explained in chapter 322 [Halacha 4], in a case that one modifies the food to become an independent vessel, such as cutting a piece of straw to use as a toothpick in which case it is not considered like one is fixing a vessel being that it is not at all common to initially make a vessel out of food, due to the fact that it does not last long. However, it is common to [use food] to modify through it a vessel that is already made, such as to place the leaf in the hole of the barrel which is already made. Therefore, when one plucks [the leaf out from the detached branch] for this purpose this removal carries with it [the prohibition of] “fixing a vessel”.
Summary of Tikkun Keli by foods:
All foods that are edible for animals do not contain the Tikkun Keli prohibition and may thus be cut for the purpose of making a use out of the torn piece. It However, may not be cut for the purpose of attaching the food to a vessel.
May one fix a vessel through using food parts, such as to carve a piece of vegetable to be fit to be used as a funnel for a barrel?
No, doing so may be Biblically forbidden.
 Admur 340:17
 There it is explained that cutting wood to a desired measurement is Biblically forbidden.
 This will be brought below in Halacha 4
 Admur 340:17
 There Admur brings different cases that tearing or breaking an item is forbidden due to one making it now fit for a use.
 Admur 314:2
 Admur 314:1
 Admur 314:5
 Admur 314:3
 Admur 314:5
 Admur 314:2 and 3
 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.
 Michaber 322:4
 If done with one’s hand it is Rabbinically forbidden, and if done with a vessel is Biblically forbidden. [M”B 13]
 Admur 317:6
 Admur 317:6
 Admur 314:19
 Michaber 322:4
 M”B 322:9
 M”B 322:10
 In which case it would normally contain the cutting prohibition, although here it is allowed being that it is a food, and by foods the cutting prohibition is not applicable. [M”B 322:12]
 If done with one’s hand it is Rabbinically forbidden, and if done with a vessel is Biblically forbidden. [M”B 322:13]
 Admur 314:11
 Meaning we do not suspect that one will come to pluck a leaf from a tree, however from a branch that had been previously cut off, we do suspect.
 Admur 314:11
 Of the Michaber. This chapter of the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch did not make it to print.
 M”B 322:11