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On Shabbat, one may not carry in a Reshut Harabim. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 81:2 says that there is an opinion that a road not having at least 600,000 people passing by it daily would not be considered reshut harabbim (public domain). If it did have this, it would.

Let's say there is a public street that has 300K people walking through it. Under the street, is a large shopping mall or other public area that gets another 300K people walking through it. Can the underground foot traffic numbers be combined with the surface number such that the street level and / or the underground level would both be considered Reshut Harabim, or are these considered separate areas that cannot be combined?

  • See Shabbat 98a – Double AA Feb 24 '16 at 19:36
  • Note Reshut HaRabbim status only applies up to 10 Tefachim above the ground of a Reshut HaRabbim. – Double AA Feb 24 '16 at 19:36
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The Shulchan Aruch - Orach Chaim - סימן שמה - דין ארבע רשיות בשבת - teaches us that an area with a roof cannot be a Reshut Harabim .

...ז: אֵיזֶה רְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים, רְחוֹבוֹת וּשְׁוָקִים הָרְחָבִים ט''ז אַמָּה וְאֵינָם מְקֹרִים

So the people walking underground are not in the Reshut Harabim and cannot be counted towards the 600K.

  • How do you know they can't be counted towards the area above? (I know it sounds silly, but that's what he's asking.) In any event it's not 100% clear that everyone agrees with this. The Talmud just says "one who carries in a covered Reshut haRabbim is exempt" so it could be it's a Reshut haRabbim where there is no prohibition. This could help explain opinions that don't think overpasses break up the Mefullash nature of long roads, and could (possibly?) similarly be extended to the OP's case. – Double AA Feb 25 '16 at 14:43
  • @DoubleAA: The SA I quoted is defining a Reshut Harabim, as far as I can tell. So unless you can find an accepted halachic authority that defines it otherwise, I stand by my assertion. – Danny Schoemann Feb 25 '16 at 15:13
  • I don't know what your getting at in your comment. I agree that the you have accurately presented the ShA. The last line of your post is of course unsourced and appears to be your speculation. I also explained why this may not be universally held. What are you trying to tell me? – Double AA Feb 25 '16 at 15:29

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