MUKẒEH (Heb. מֻקְצֶה; "set aside," "excluded"), rabbinical term for objects which it is forbidden to handle on the Sabbath or festivals. According to one authority in the Talmud, the law of mukẓeh is a biblical injunction derived from Exodus 16:15 (Beah 2b; Pes. 47b). Maimonides explains that the law is intended to emphasize the distinction between the Sabbath and festivals, and weekdays (Yad, Shabbat, 24:12). The Talmud (Shab. 124a) enumerates several categories of mukẓeh, including: (1) objects, such as money and tools, whose nature renders them unfit for use on the Sabbath or festivals because of their connection with forbidden work (Sh. Ar., OḤ 308:1). Such objects may only be handled if they are needed for an act permitted on these days, such as a hammer for cracking nuts (308:3); (2) objects not normally used at all (e.g., broken property, pebbles), unless a specific use had been determined for them on the eve of the Sabbath or the festival (308:7); (3) objects which were not in existence (termed nolad), or were inaccessible at the commencement of the Sabbath or festival. This category includes newly laid eggs (322:1), fruit fallen from a tree on the same day (322:3), and milk obtained from an animal by a non-Jew (305:20); (4) objects which at the commencement of the holy day served as a base for others which are forbidden to be handled on that day, such as candlesticks or a candle tray (309:4). An object which is mukẓeh can only be moved if its place is needed (311:8, 15a), and if it is moved in an unusual way, if it is kicked for instance, and not moved by hand (Be'ur Halakhah to 266:13). In all cases, objects which were mukẓeh at twilight on the eve of the holy day, remain mukẓeh throughout the holy day. See general laws of sabbath . -BIBLIOGRAPHY: J.J. Neuwirth, Shemirat Shabbat ke-Hilkhetah (1965), 128–52.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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