According to the majority of poskim, riding a bicycle on Shabbat is forbidden. Therefore, "a bicycle is muktza, as ... it is a kli shem'lachto l'issur." (from that answer)

However, there is a minority opinion (that of the Ben Ish Chai) that permits riding on Shabbat within an eiruv for leisure, and even outside an eiruv for a mitzvah. Obviously, a bike is not muktzah according to this opinion. A comment on the answer linked mentions:

My wife told me that in the Syrian community in Brooklyn they ride bicycles on Shabbat, and that they base it on the Ben Ish Chai's position. – Robert S. Barnes

What is the muktzah status of a bike if there are two people spending Shabbat together, one of whom holds it is forbidden (henceforth: the machmir), and one who holds it's permissible (hencforth: the meikel)? I'll present a few different cases.

  • If the bike belongs to the machmir, may the meikel ride it? Does it make a difference whether or not they were together, or planning as much, at the beginning of Shabbat? (might affect muktzah status) If it is permissible, is the machmir allowed to bring it out for the meikel to use?
  • If it belongs to the meikel, is it still muktzah for the machmir? As above, does it make a difference whether or not they were (planning to be) together at the beginning of Shabbat?
  • 2
    Your question implies that ownership is relevant in determining if something is muktzeh. I guess I can see how that might be the case (I never thought about it before), but if you can source that it'd be even better. Jun 7, 2015 at 23:13
  • @MonicaCellio Ownership seems less relevant as intention of use. If I intend to use a rock as a paperweight, that may affect it's muktza (lit: set aside) status. Similarly if those with permission to use the bike intended not to use it (ie. they set it aside) that could also be relevant.
    – Double AA
    Jun 8, 2015 at 2:20

1 Answer 1


This may not be the answer you want to hear but here goes.

The only time ownership plays a role in the laws of muktzah is when we are discussing something which is muktzah due to being unusable. And even that has specific details.

See the very end of hilchos muktzah in Orach Chaim 308 52 with Mishna Berurah. A useless item to a rich man is muktzah to him. It is therefore muktzah for poor people as well. M.B. points out this is specifically because this muktzah is dependant on the mindset of the owner. The opposite is true as well. If the poor man is the owner, it is not muktzah, and the rich man can move it as well.

He goes on to quote Magen Avraham who says this law has nothing to do with something which is unusable to the owner due to a vow he made, this would be muttar for everyone in the world to move, and even the owner can move it, being that it is allowed to be used by anyone else in the world( I assume he means that the owner was not mikatzeh the item in his mind due to this reality). Whereas if he made it assur to the whole world with his vow, it is now assur to be moved by anyone.

The Pri Migadim at the end of the siman discusses how this pertains to Nolad which can be effected by having Daas on something.

It is very telling that all types of muktzah under discussion are muktzah which have to do with a person's decisions about a given object.

A case of muktzah which is due to a gezeira of sorts have nothing to do with ownership or consciousness of the owner. This is a person's religious leader saying 'Don't touch that! You might use it!' This has nothing to do with ownership.

Think about it. If the premise of the question was true, any kli shemilachto l'issur of a nonjew would be allowed to be moved, this is something which should have been explicit, but it is an idea that we don't find.

Similarly, there are a number of items which were disputed between the Mechaber and the Ramma as to whether they are muktzah or not. A ball for instance. No one said that a Sfardi can play with a ball which belongs to an Ashkenazi.

  • So, bottom line is...?
    – Scimonster
    Jun 8, 2015 at 17:02
  • @Scimonster it is muktzah for whoever assumes he can't use it. There is one more angle I'm thinking about though. If we can assume the issur is a chumra, there may be room to be lenient in general on a bike. But that is a different hetter. Not based on ownership.
    – user6591
    Jun 8, 2015 at 17:06

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