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The Gemara Shabbath (several pages, but look anywhere from 59a through at least 62a for several discussions) contains a great deal of discussion about wearing "Tachshitim" (ornaments/jewelry) on Shabbath and whether or not it is considered carrying outside.

I think I must have missed something, though. About half the time that the Gemara concludes that something is a Tachshit, it says it is therefore totally fine for someone to wear outside on Shabbath, but the other half of the time the Gemara concludes that something is a Tachshit, it concludes that it is therefore forbidden for someone to wear it outside on Shabbath.

Which is it? Is it permissible or forbidden to wear a Tachshit on Shabbath?


This question is part of the Daf Yomi Challenge.

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An edition of The Shabbos Weekly Halachos Series on Hilchos Shabbos provides the following answer which fits with what I was taught.

Background: although jewelry and ornaments are not ‘clothing’ nevertheless they serve a function and wearing them on Shabbos is not considered carrying, provided that they are worn in the regular manner. [2]

Chazal however were concerned that one would remove one’s jewelry to show to a friend and carry it in a reshus harabim (a public domain) and transgress the issur of carrying. They therefore prohibited wearing most jewelry.

Most jewelry and ornaments may be worn nowadays because the Rama writes [3] that women do not remove their jewelry to show their friends and therefore the major concern is removed. The explanation being that in former times pieces of jewelry were not common and women would wear them only on Shabbos, thus they would show their trinkets to friends. As jewelry is much more common nowadays and worn all the time, this no longer applies.

As mentioned, the prevalent custom is to wear jewelry but there is room to be mehader and not to rely on the various leniencies, [4] especially in big cities that are likely to be a reshus harabim d’oraisso.

[2] Based on many se’ifim in simonim 310 and 303. See also SS”K 18:12.

[3] Simon 303:18.

[4] Bi’ur Halacha simon 303:18 Shulchan Aruch HaRav simon 303:23, SS”K 18:12.

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So my confusion is basically stemming from the fact that the Gemara is weaving in and out of related discussions quite fluidly, and sometimes it's discussing the Torah Isur/Heter of wearing something vs. carrying something, and sometimes it's discussing the rabbinic Isur/Heter of wearing something lest it come to be carried? (Say 'yes', because this is what I've concluded on my own, and otherwise I'm lost!) –  Seth J Dec 17 '12 at 20:16
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Yes. IIRC, there are some things which are not tachshitim and even if worn will be considered as carrying; there are tachshitim where there is no worry of "lest it come to be carried" and are mutar to wear and there are tachshitim where there is a worry of "lest it come to be carried" where there is a rabbinic prohibition. –  Avrohom Yitzchok Dec 19 '12 at 23:00
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