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Is Lego Muktzeh? and can Adults use it too?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 19 down vote accepted

http://www.hakhel.info/archivesCABs/HAKHELCOMMUNITYAWARENESSBULLETINSummerPart25764.pdf

"Any toy that needs to be screwed together is prohibited because of the issur of Boneh. Therefore, one may not play with a construction set on Shabbos. On the other hand, because one merely sticks together the pieces, one is permitted to play with Legos, Tinkertoys and the like on Shabbos."

Teshuvos written by HaRav Yisroel Belsky, Shlita

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Thanx alot Curiouser –  SimchasTorah Dec 31 '10 at 20:17
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There is definitely a machloket on this - I have seen some hilchot shabbat books forbid it, some permit it, and some permit it only if it is intended to be taken apart relatively quickly. See your LOR. –  Yaakov Ellis Jun 7 '11 at 10:47

If the blocks are easily removed - even adults can play it.

But if you need to apply some force in order to connect/remove the blocks it more miskaem, so there are different opinions on that case. When I asked about it my Rav he told that even in latter case there is no problem for adults to play it. However I've heard others that forbid playing hard-stucking lego to adults.

In any case, even if just children are allowed to play it - it is not a muktze.

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I need sources or even who you asked that told you this –  SimchasTorah Dec 28 '10 at 13:08
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in view of a number of similar active questions, it may be worth reminding everyone of the message in red print at the top of this page. For questions like this, one should always consult their own Rav. –  Jeremy Dec 28 '10 at 14:34
    
Fair enough Jeremy; but I think it's a good question, everyone has "heard" the Lego is a problem for grownups, but it would be nice to know which poskim actually said it. –  Shalom Dec 28 '10 at 18:07
    
I have heard jutky's answer, but hard for whom to remove? The user? –  YDK Dec 28 '10 at 18:29
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I've asked my Rav, he lives in Bnei-Brak and his name is Refael Antin (there is no chance you can know him). Source to the opposite opinion: שמירת שבת כהלכתה פרק ט"ז , הלכה י"ח He says that it is allowed to plays blocks that are easily removed, but it they are not easily removed it is forbidden, and in any case He says in halakha aleph that all toys are allowed just for children and not for adults. But there is a slight discussion in heara נ"ג, so the conclusion is a bit dimmed. –  jutky Dec 29 '10 at 6:35

You seem to be asking two questions here:

  • Is Lego© Mutar for an adult to use? How about a child?
  • If it's only Mutar for a child, does that render it muktze for an adult?

(Perhaps I'm reading into your question because of the availability of my answer, but either way it will address your question.)

Hacham Ovadia Yosef, in Yechave Da'at (2:55), Addresses Lego©. (He starts off by saying that if something is Assur for adults, then its Assur for children too, yet) he seems to conclude that it's fine for children to play with Lego© on shabbat, but adults should stay away. He argues mostly that there's no melacha according to the Shulchan Aruch, but seems to be machmir for adults anyway (possibly because he is choshesh for the opinions that are machmir.) He restates this conclusion in Yabia Omer (O"C 7:39), where he says, "העלתי שמותר לתת לקטן 'אבני פלא' וכיו"ב לשחק בהם להרכיבם ולפרקם"

Regarding muktze, Hacham Ovadia in Yabia Omer (ibid.) says that Lego© is not muktze for an adult:

וגם נראה שמותר לגדול לתת לקטן לשחק בצעצועים המיוחדים לקטנים, ואין בהם משום מוקצה

Harav E. Y. Waldenberg, in Tzitz Eliezer (13:30), (also quoted in Yabia Omer, among other modern poskim that Hacham Ovadia quotes,) rules that Lego© is completely mutar, even for an adult:

(From 13:30.6)

בהא נחיתנא ובהא סליקנא דאין כל איסור בונה או סותר בבנית או סתירת אבני - פלא שהילדים שוחקים בהם. וגם לרבות לא משום תיקון מנא. ומותר לשחק בהם בשבת. בכבוד רב וביקר אליעזר יהודה וולדינברג.‏

He backs up this pesaq din in 13:31, the following siman.

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I have heard an opinion that it is permitted even for adults simply because the intended purpose of the Lego product is to put together and then take apart. Therefore, it's status would not change based on personal intentions or whether they are easy or hard for the user to take apart.

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