[Avodah] carrying an ID card on shabbat

Kenneth Miller kennethgmiller at juno.com
Fri Mar 8 12:18:06 PST 2013

R' Zev Sero wrote:
> 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.

R' Micha Berger responded:
> I don't know why you say a label is batel if its not fully
> attached, but whatever you're saying about shaatnez labels
> would be true of ID cards, no?

I suspect that RZS's comment about "permanent" was meant to compare (for example) a total sewing and stitching on all four side with a safety pin: The degree of attachment is totally irrelevant. The determining factor is the relationship between the garment and the other item.

A shaatnez label enhances the garment, as evidence of its permissibility to be worn. A label which shows the name of the manufacturer, or the laundry instructions, will be seen either as similarly enhancing the garment, or as totally irrelevant, negligible, and batul. Either way, mimah nafshach, it won't render the garment to be a problem with meleches hotzaah.

In sharp contrast, an ID tag which serves to identify the person to the civil authorities has no relationship with the garment at all. Even a permanent attachment will not make it batel to the garment (at least not lechatchilah). The stitching is irrelevant -- it is no more part of the garment than if it were sitting in the pocket.

How did gloves enter this discussion? A glove is a beged, pure and simple. The only reason not to wear gloves is the fear that one might remove it and carry it. RMB mentioned a chumra to sew one's gloves to the sleeves - that sounds like a good idea to me. I have no problem attaching a beged to another beged. The problem with the ID card is thinking that mere attachment can transform the ID card *into* a beged. (What I've written is very similar to what RZS wrote about a "handsie" coat and "footsie" pyjamas.)

Akiva Miller

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