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According to the laws of carrying on shabbos one may not carry from one domain to another aside from a makom petur ("exempt area"). A makom petur is less that 4X4 handbreadths and more than three handbreadths off the ground (source).

Say you have 2-3 steps attached to your house, which domain category is each step in? Does the higher step's height begin from the step below it or does it go to the very bottom? Also does each step going upwards inherit the width of the steps below?

If either or all steps are makom petur then does that mean that you can carry inside from the step?

Let's assume that we're talking about standard steps. About half a foot long, half a foot high and 4-5 feet wide. Let's also assume that a tefach is between 3 and 4 inches.

  • Half a foot high is 1.5-2 tefachim according to your measurements. I thought a makom patur was 10 tefachim high (your link doesn't work) but even if it's 3 your step still doesn't make it. If a series of steps stops becoming the "ground" any set of steps will soon become a makum patur assuming they're not very long. – CashCow Mar 17 '15 at 14:59
  • this is a גמרא בהדיא in .שבת ט and .עירובין ט – moses Mar 17 '15 at 23:28
  • @CashCow, over 10 tefachim makes it a reshus hayachid (granted that it has 4x4 width/length). Try ou.org/torah/halacha/hashoneh-halachos/mon_05_13_13 – Ani Yodea Mar 18 '15 at 15:19
  • @moses the gemarah speaks about steps? – Ani Yodea Mar 18 '15 at 15:20
  • not specifically, but i fail to see the diff between the steps case and the איסקופא that the גמרא speaks about – moses Mar 18 '15 at 16:31

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