Is a baby born on Shabbos Muktza as Nolad until the end of Shabbos?

I mean, he is quite literally Nolad - born on Shabbos. I understand that anything that the baby needs would would obviously be Mutar - the baby would be treated as a Choleh Sheyesh Bo Sakana. I'm asking about handling the baby when it doesn't benefit the baby in any way, for example if you want to change the baby into cuter clothing or something like that.

(Note that I am aware the Minhag is not to treat the baby as Muktza. I am primarily asking why the baby is not Muktza.)

Any sources you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

  • If you look at Siman 332 and 523 it doesn't seem like a newborn animal is muktza (though 513:8 does sound that way) – Double AA Nov 25 '20 at 21:28
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    The baby was fully formed before Shabbat too. I'm not sure why this should qualify as a new thing. – Double AA Nov 25 '20 at 21:34

There's a halachah that in certain cases, A can hand something to B, who then hands it to C, etc., such that no person carries it more than four amos. When the Mishnah (Eruvin 95b) presents this halachah, it mentions וכן בנו (and so too with his child). Rashi there (based on the Gemara, ibid. 97b) explains that this means a baby who was born in the field on Shabbos, and who needs to be transported home.

So obviously the baby isn't muktzeh, then, otherwise that point would be brought up.

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    +1. We still would like to know what the reasoning is, though. Why isn't the baby muktza? – Mordechai Nov 25 '20 at 21:10
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    How does this prove the baby isn't muktza? I don't understand the proof. We can clearly move even a muktza baby if it's for his safety since he is dangerously ill. The question notes this already. – Double AA Nov 25 '20 at 21:19
  • @DoubleAA If it was for his safety, then they wouldn't need to go through the whole workaround of one person passing him to another - פיקוח נפש דוחה שבת. It's necessarily a case where it's just for the baby's comfort, for example if it's a bit cold outside; the Ritva there says just that. – Meir Nov 26 '20 at 1:43
  • @Meir obviously הקל הקל תחילה and we violate derabanans even for an illness that isn't life threatening – Double AA Nov 26 '20 at 1:47
  • @DoubleAA And the Chachamim there (implicitly) disagree and say that you can't use this workaround. Thus demonstrating that it's not a matter of illness of any kind. – Meir Nov 26 '20 at 14:34

The only source that we find in shas of a new-born child being muktzeh is if it will not live.


בן שמנה הרי הוא כאבן ואסור לטלטלו בשבת אבל אמו שוחה עליו ומניקתו מפני הסכנה

The baraita teaches: And a child born after eight months of pregnancy who is placed in the window reduces its dimensions. The Gemara challenges: Perhaps his mother will come and remove him from there. The Gemara answers: This is referring to Shabbat, when it is prohibited to move this child, as it is taught in a baraita: A child born after eight months is like a stone with regard to the halakhot of set-aside [muktze], and therefore it is prohibited to move him; but his mother may bend over the child and nurse him, due to the danger that failure to nurse will cause her to fall ill.

It is therefore evident that there is no other scenario in which a new-born child is muktzeh.

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    Your source doesn't say "only". – Double AA Nov 25 '20 at 4:25
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    @DoubleAA The gemara says the child is muktzeh because it was born after an 8 month term and will die, but otherwise we see a child is not muktzeh? – The GRAPKE Nov 25 '20 at 4:36
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    It would be good to clearly distinguish using boldface what is in the original text and what is interpretation. – Kazi bácsi Nov 25 '20 at 7:24
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    @TheGRAPKE The Gemara there is not specifically talking about a child born on Shabbos. The same Halacha would be true if it was born on Friday. You can't be Medayek anything from it. – Eliyahu Nov 25 '20 at 14:27
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    @Eliyahu This is the only case where the gemara refers to a child being muktzeh. Therefore we see that normally a baby is not muktzeh, regardless of when it was born? – The GRAPKE Nov 25 '20 at 21:55

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