In certain instances, a person who must carry something with them on Shabbos is allowed to do so, but should try to do it by way of shinuy (שינוי), a way different from the norm, in order to minimize the amount and seriousness of prohibitions done*. (see, eg, שמירת שבת כהלכתה לב:נד, about bringing medicine that is critical [but not necessarily urgent])

Since that is so, what shinuyim can be done? I'm looking for practical suggestions on unusual ways to carry an object in public, not necessarily for a halachic discussion; the definition of shinuy is here.

Every person should consult their own rabbis as to whether they are allowed/required to carry with a shinuy**, as well as to whether any of these answers count as a good shinuy, before implementing any of them.

A good answer to this question will be practical, easy, concealable (who wants to look funny?), and not cause pain*** to the carrier.

* For more discussion about the precise definition of "shinuy," see What constitutes a shinui?
** Assuming the situation isn't critical or urgent to saving life, in which case השואל הרי זה שופך דמים (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 328:2)
*** See my answer


I've seen and done many shinuyim in my time.

The easiest that I could think of, if you're the black hat type (or heavily involved in Winterbash ;-), is to put something under your hat. There's usually plenty of room in there.

Another shinuy could be to put something in your sock, though if you'll be walking for a while, expect blisters on your ankle (that's what I did this week).
Also, you won't want to do this with things that you'll want to eat ( I threw out that candies that I walked ~two miles with this week, when I got back home :P)

Another thing you might try is to put something in between the waistband of your pants and your hip....though you should be careful that it doesn't fall out, which might cause problems with picking it up after it falls. ( *if it's needed, it's needed....but the point of the shinuy was exactly to avoid איסורי תורה, which you can get pretty easily by picking something up in רשות הרבים* )

If you're carrying something small like Winkies (also called "Rockets"), they'll sometimes fit inside the belt loops of a pair of pants. I've found that two to three of them will fit nicely in a belt loop together with a belt, and will not fall out easily.

For whatever it's worth to you, these shinuyim all passed by my rabbi.

  • 1
    Key in your mouth... – Double AA Dec 16 '14 at 23:28
  • @DoubleAA You're more than welcome to post your own answer, though I'm not sure that this fits the OP's requirements of "easy" and "practical" ;-) – MTL Dec 16 '14 at 23:31
  • How far are you carrying it? Sometimes all you need is to cross the street and mouth is easier than taking off your shoes. – Double AA Dec 16 '14 at 23:32
  • @DoubleAA That's true, certainly. – MTL Dec 16 '14 at 23:33
  • @DoubleAA Anything stopping you from posting your own answer? :P – MTL Dec 17 '14 at 17:57

When I've needed to do this (which isn't often thankfully), it's usually a short distance inside the house, and for whatever reason it's also usually in the kitchen. Therefore I use what's available and carry the object with another object - I use salad tongs.

  • 1
    Is your kitchen outside? Also why are you allowed to carry the tongs? – Double AA Dec 18 '14 at 17:53
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    @DoubleAA The Shemirat shabbat reference was prefaced with eg - for example. It does not mean that is the only possible reason for a shinui. You are welcome to answer in relation to hotzaah, but that doesn't mean everyone else must. The OP even said as much above - that while he meant to restrict it to hotzaah he didn't. There is no call for the level of rudeness you're displaying. – Popular Isn't Right Dec 23 '14 at 4:55
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    @DoubleAA A different way of approaching a question is not wrong. However constantly jumping down people's throats every time they voice opinions contrary to yours is. If only SE had an ignore button like the good old usenet days.... – Popular Isn't Right Dec 23 '14 at 5:05
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    @DoubleAA Next time you disagree with someone, try responding politely and pointing out a disagreement, rather than responding with a smug snarky comment designed to put down rather than inform. This is not the first time you've exhibited behavior that is very unbecoming of a moderator. You made a set of assumptions and decided to chastise anyone who disagreed with them. Not that it matters - I expect this whole comment chain to be deleted shortly anyway, and I just have to modify this to work in tamper monkey: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3360/ignore-users-script – Popular Isn't Right Dec 23 '14 at 5:43
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    @DoubleAA is right -- the question is only about hotzaah, so this answer doesn't really cut it. I feel bad that this question sort of caused a flame war, but I really only meant to ask about הוצאה. Sorry, everyone! – MTL Dec 23 '14 at 16:25

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