[Avodah] carrying an ID card on shabbat

Zev Sero zev at sero.name
Thu Mar 7 21:16:12 PST 2013

On 7/03/2013 10:37 PM, Micha Berger wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 07, 2013 at 05:41:14PM -0500, Zev Sero wrote:
>>> >>According to SSK pg 215 RSZA says this is why extra buttons sown
>>> >>onto a garment can be worn as well. (I am told RMF and RSYE hold
>>> >>similarly.)
>> >Those are batel to the garment.  The permanent attachment is irrelevant;
>> >they'd be just as batel if they weren't permanently attached.  They have
>> >no independent metzius, they're just part of the garment.

> I don't know why you say a label is batel if its not fully attached,

Why should it be fully attached?  I say it because the yellow Jew-patch
doesn't have to be fully attached, and also a pin (with a plain head)
used as a fastening doesn't have to be fully attached.

Note in the Biur Halacha that you quote later on, he notes that it
should make no difference whether gloves are sewn on to the coat, tied
with a permanent knot, or with an impermanent knot, and quotes the Pri
Megadim that the only reason an impermanent knot is no good is that it
might get undone.  While it's done up it is indeed just as good.

> but whatever you're saying about shaatnez labels would be true of
> ID cards, no?

No.  Why would it be batel?  It's not part of the garment, it's its own
metzius, that you put there for its own purpose.  How can merely attaching
one thing to another make it batel to that other thing?

> SSK 18:27 fn 109 invokes this
> line of reasoning for watches that you would not wear when run down. In
> contrast to a watch you wear even when it isn't telling time is a
> tachshit, and under the original gezeira.

I haven't got the sefer, but surely you've got that exactly backwards.
A watch that you would wear even if it weren't running is an ornament,
and therefore you *can* wear it, unless you're likely to take it off.
A watch that you wouldn't wear if it weren't running is not an ornament
at all but a burden, so you *can't* wear it, not because of the gezera
lest you take it off, but me'ikar hadin!

> While unsuccessfully looking for the mar'eh maqom, I found the SA OC
> 301:37, "mutar latzeis beShabbos bebatei yadayim". And when noting the
> "yeish mi shemachmir", the chumerah is to require sewing them to your
> sleeves. The SA says it's better to be machmir -- although it's not his
> iqar hadin.


>  The MB shares this preference but notes in the Biur Halakhah
> that most are indeed meiqil because we have so few rh"r deOraisa nowadays.

Um, that's not in the BH, that's in the MB.

> So we already see the mechaber considers applying the gezeira beyond its
> initial limits is a chumerah, not din

Where are you getting that from?  He doesn't say that at all; you're just
reading it in.  The obvious basis for the matirim is not that gloves weren't
included in the gezera, but that one isn't that likely to remove them and
walk four amos without them.  It's a machlokes about metzius, not principle.
Should we be worried about it or not?   In the case of an ID card (even if
one made it into a garment or ornament in its own right), the only purpose
of carrying it in the first place is in *order* to take it off and hand it
to a policeman on demand, so of course we have to worry about it.

> but still no one applies it to
> things permanently attached to your coat, as in my suggestion.

And you think that's because they become batel to the coat?!  Look in the
MB you quoted.  He says the reason this helps is simply because it makes it
impossible to carry them.  The Taz's objection to this is that we should
still worry that one will walk four amos with the empty glove flapping from
the sleeve, and since it's *not* batel to the coat it will be carrying.
The Biur Halacha quotes two answers: 1) The Eliyahu Rabba says that gloves
attached to the sleeve are indeed batel, because they become part of the
sleeve; what you have now is not a coat with gloves attached, but a "handsie"
coat (like "footsie" pyjamas).  In other words they're batel because they
extend the functionality of the coat. (This is very different from the label,
or the Jew-patch, which are batel because they are mere *non*-functional
pieces of fabric that one has no intention of ever removing.)  2) The Nehar
Shalom and [TVSh?] answer that since this is not a derech of carrying gloves
it would be kil'achar yad, so banning the gloves altogether for fear that
one will carry them in this way would be a gezera lig'zera, while the Taz
and the GRA must hold that this is a derech of carrying gloves.  The MB
doesn't quote him, but the Machtzis Hashekel gives the same answer.  Note
that nobody suggests the mere attachment itself makes the glove batel to
the coat.  The purpose of the attachment is to physically prevent carrying.

To review: something can become batel to a garment in one of two ways:
it can be an insignificant bit of stuff that one never thinks about and
will never remove, *or* it can be functionally integrated into the garment,
as the key on a key belt is integrated, or as attached gloves might be said
to be integrated into a coat's sleeves.  Obviously the first way cannot
apply to an ID card, so the only option would be the second way, to make
it an integral link in a belt, with the same strictures as a key belt
(which as you will have seen in the se'if just above, is not as glattik
as people think).  Once you've done that, you *then* have to deal with
"shema yishlof", which in the case of an ID card seems insurmountable,
unless we say that the mere presence of the unusual shabbos contraption
will remind one to put it back on as soon as the policeman hands it back.

Zev Sero               A citizen may not be required to offer a 'good and
zev at sero.name          substantial reason' why he should be permitted to
                        exercise his rights. The right's existence is all
                        the reason he needs.
                            - Judge Benson E. Legg, Woollard v. Sheridan

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