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Muktzeh MeḤamath Ḥisaron Kis is a category of Muktzeh that one is prohibited from moving on Shabbath because the item is so valuable that one is afraid to lose or damage it.

What are the parameters of this?

Of consideration:

One is encouraged to wear nice, fancy clothing for Kavod Shabbath. It is conceivable that one might have clothing or jewelry of considerable value that one might specifically want to wear only on Shabbath.

Furthermore, the RaMBa"M gives a few examples of items under this category, and they all tend to be professional items, ie., tools of the trade. They might not be prohibited as Kelim SheMelachtam LeIsur (vessels whose [primary] functions are prohibited [and are thus prohibited from being moved under the general rules of Muktzeh]), because their functions may actually be permissible on Shabbath, however, they tend, nonetheless, to be items that one would use in a professional capacity and that, therefore, one may pay a high price to purchase/replace.

Do the above considerations mean that expensive jewelry, watches, clothing, etc., do not fall under this category? Does it mean that they MIGHT NOT fall under this category GIVEN THE RIGHT CIRCUMSTANCES? If the latter, what would those circumstances be (are they definable, or is it a "know it when you see it" type of situation)? Are there other parameters, other types of things that are very valuable, that do not (or might not) fall under this category?

(Inspired by the question "When is a watch a watch?")

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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I've never done this before (that I recall), but I have just found what I consider to be the definitive answer to my own question.

In this Shi'ur on the subject, it is clear that:

A. Muktzeh MeḤamath Ḥisaron Kis is not defined in the way many might think it is.

These are the different keilim which are chisaron kis:
• Keilim (used for an issur) one is makpid not to use for anything other than its designated purpose.
• Keilim (even used for heter) that are set in a fixed position in order to prevent them from getting damaged.
• Keilim (even used for heter) that are for sale and one is makpid not to use for one’s own benefit.

B. An expensive item that does not fit the above criteria is not subject to the restriction of Muktzeh MeḤamath Ḥisaron Kis.

When the G’raz in simon 308:4 talks about this type of muktze, he mentions that it is a k’li she’mlachto l’issur. In other words, if it were a k’li she’mlachto l’heter it would not be muktze even if one were makpid.

Therefore a very expensive piece of jewelry, or gold/silver wine cup, which for the majority of the year are behind a locked showcase, are not muktze because they are not keilim used for an issur. See SS”K (Sh’miras Shabbos Kehilchasa) 20-19. The reason is because there is always a slight chance that one would use these keilim on Shabbos, and therefore they are not cast aside from one’s mind.

However there are two exceptions:
1. Merchandise – even keilim shel heter; and one is makpid about them, are muktze.
2. Valuable items, even if they are keilim shel heter, but one does not move them around because they might get damaged and ruined, since they have a fixed position they are muktze. See SS”K 20-22. Therefore a grandfather clock or a picture one is very careful with, are muktze.

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