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The Gemorah in Shabbos Daf 67a gives a segulah for someone who has a bone stuck in their throat to get it out. The Gemorah says to bring another bone of the same type, put it on the person's head and recite a sort of "chant": then, seemingly, the bone will fall out of place.

The question was raised whether this segulah may be performed on Shabbos. Let's say it's a fish bone that is stuck in the person's throat. May they take a fish bone (either from a plate or from the trash) and use it for the segulah? Seemingly the fish bone is muktzeh (not like bones from meat or chicken that may be given to the dogs so are not muktzeh — see OC Siman 308 Sif 27). However, perhaps one could find a heter to pick up and move the fish bone for this purpose? Is there any such heter in regards to "tlltul muktzeh" for such a purpose?

(This is all assuming that there is no life threatening situation here and that the gemorah was speaking about a case — as is my intent here as well — in which the bone is simply somewhat bothersome and not life threatening! I'm asking this as a theoretical shailo (question) in order to understand the issur of tiltul muktzeh and when a possible heter of tiltul would apply.)

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  • Is this a case of life and death? If so, judaism.stackexchange.com/a/7129/1569
    – b a
    Dec 23 '12 at 22:33
  • @ba I don't know what your point is exactly. Let's assume this is not a life threatening situation and that the gemorah wasn't speaking about such a case either (maybe it was?) A small fish bone can get stuck in ones throat and be somewhat of a bother however not life threatening!
    – Yehoshua
    Dec 23 '12 at 22:35
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    I see. (My immediate reaction to seeing something dealing with something stuck in the throat is to consider it choking.)
    – b a
    Dec 23 '12 at 22:37
  • @ba Although I thought this would be quite obvious (as I understood the gemorah this way) I went ahead and edited the question to make this point
    – Yehoshua
    Dec 23 '12 at 22:38
  • Daf Yomi Challenge?
    – Seth J
    Dec 23 '12 at 22:53
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Judging based on the date of your question, it looks like someone might have also asked your query to the Poskim at dinonline here where they wrote

I don’t think there is any special heter to pick up the bone, unless one ensures that some flesh remains on the bone.

I imagine the presence of some flesh doesn’t ruin the segulah.

If there are no bones with flesh remaining, it will be permitted to perform the segulah in cases of danger.

Nonetheless, it's surprising to me that they wouldn't allow moving the muktzah fish bone based on the gezeirah derabanan not being made b'makom tzaar - this person with a bone stuck in his throat all shabbos might not be in danger, but will be enduring discomfort or pain which I would've thought would waive the muktzah derabanan.

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