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Practical Halachos of Techum Shabbos

 

Adapted from a shiur by Rav Yosef Jacobowitz on Parshas Beshalach

(אל יצא איש ממקומו ביום השביעי (שמות טז:כט

 

Techum Shabbos dictates that one may not walk more than 2000 amos on Shabbos past his location (or his contiguous inhabited area) when Shabbos began.

  • Traveling less than 12 Mil is derabanan.
  • More than 12 Mil outside the techum is subject to machlokes:
    • Some hold it constitutes an issur deoraisa based on the pasuk
    • Others hold, that too, is only derabanan.
  • One who traveled past the Techum may walk four amos around him (or anywhere within his reshus hayachid, e.g., house or Eruv).

 

One’s animals and property also receive the techum of the owner. But poskim dispute the severity:

  • Maharlbach – It is derabanan, even if the halacha of Techum is deoraisa past 12 Mil
  • Maharam Alshaker – If Techum is deoraisa, then this too is deoraisa.

 

Practical examples:

  • If a Lakewood resident travels to New York for Shabbos, a guest needing a raincoat may not borrow his raincoat and wear it outside of the Eruv, since the Techum follows the owner in New York. However, Rav Dovid Feinstein ruled that if the guest is staying in the house with permission to use it, it is permitted.
  • If someone from Lakewood went to the hospital (out of the Techum) on Shabbos, Rav Dovid Feinstein ruled that the kids at home may wear or carry items outside of the Eruv (on Yom Tov) that are associated with them. However, they may not take items used only by the parents outside the Eruv. This because ownership here follows the general use of the object, not the rules of Choshen Mishpat.
  • Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach allows someone traveling to the hospital on Shabbos to bring as many items as he wants, as his property follows his changed status concerning Techum, and he receives a new Techum.

 

 

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