Can children AND adults throw those little Parachute Men toys on Shabbat?

What about the "tangle free" ones that use mesh instead of strings (and therefore could not get knotted-up)?

This is not the giant parachute that kids duck under. It's the little army-guy you throw... but they have "improved models" that do not have any strings that get tangled. For example:


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    Alan, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks very much for bringing your question here! Could you please edit in a more detailed description, a product link, and/or a picture of the toys you're asking about? Also, could you please add some more information about why you suspect that throwing these toys may or may not be a problem? Please consider registering your account, to enable more site features, including voting.
    – Isaac Moses
    Feb 10 '17 at 17:34
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    Somewhat related judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/75269/…
    – user6591
    Feb 10 '17 at 18:33
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    IIRC, Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchato has a general rule that adults should not play with children's toys other than to the xtent that they may need to help their children or play it directly with a very youbg child. I.e. they should not use the children's toy among adults, only. Is this toy within this category?
    – DanF
    Feb 12 '17 at 3:02
  • From the pic, this looks like a great toy. One curiosity - does this toy require any assembly? From the pic, it looks like there is a spring attaching the man to the bottom of the parachute. I wonder if there may be aconcern with the spring breaking or, perhaps, some othe rproblem of attaching it to the chute strings.
    – DanF
    Feb 13 '17 at 2:42
  • No, no springs or anything to assemble. Just a plastic army man dangling from a cord of sorts that's attached to the mesh parachute. Works really well -- better than the dollar-store varieties.
    – Alan
    Feb 14 '17 at 16:20

Toys that kids can play with in general are not Mukza but should not be used by adults unless they need to move the toys for the sake of the kids (Sh"t Iggerot Moshe 5:22:10, Sh"t Beer Moshe 6:24, Sh"t Yabia Omer 7:39 thanks chacham Nissan from Halachapedia)

There are 3 potential malachos to be aware of: building by making an ohel tefach - a roof with a 3.54 inches width and length, knotting and untying. 1. בונה - Building an oheil (canopy) or rebuilding if it breaks
The Shulchan oruch orach chaim 301,40 says:

כובע שהוא מתפשט להלן מראשו טפח אסור להניחו בראשו אפילו בבית משום אהל a hat with a rim that has a tefach one must not wear because he is making a Ohel (i.e a canopy which is a form of building under the Melacha of Binian). But the Mishna Berura explains:
ודוקא כשהיה השפה שהוציאה קשה ביותר ואינו נכפף אז חשוב כמו אהל ואי לא"ה הרי הוא כגלימא בעלמא - as long as the 1 tefach (handbreath) rim is not firm and it bends in and out of shape it can be worn on shabbos.

So too here the parachute is not firm even though it is larger surface than a square handbreath there is no issue of ohel. But one shouldn't fix the parachute man if it breaks as we Pasken one should not build with Keilim in a permanent manner see Shulchan Aruch 314,1 and Mishna Brura.

  1. קושר-knotting.
    This is also not applicable even if the parachute would get tangled so tight that it couldn't be untied as this is a Dovor she-eino miskavein (a melacha that is not intentional result which won't necessarily happen). The gemora in Eiruvin 100b deals with a similar issue and concludes that one may walk on grass with or without shoes; on wet short grass and dry; tall grass and short. The reason it is permitted is because the halacha is in accordance with R’ Shimon who holds that a דבר שאין מתכוין on Shabbos is permitted . The poskim add that this is on condition that:
    1.It was not intended, over here you don't intend for to make the knot
    2.It won't necessarily knot itself(לאו פסיק רישא)

So parachutes are permissible to be thrown by kids for pleasure as there is no intention to knot and it might not knot itself.

  1. מתיר- untying
    The Shulchan Aruch and Rema@s explanation Orach Chaim 317,1 say:

    דכל קשר של קיימא אפילו של הדיוט חייבין עליו וכן לענין התרתו דינו כמו לענין קשירתו - Any permanent knot one makes would be liable even a novices knot, and so too with regard to untying.
    But if it is loose enough that one would normally untie it and carry on playing with the parachute, you can untie it.
    וקשר שאינו של קיימא ואינו מעשה אומן מותר לקשרו לכתחלה: הגה: וכן לענין התרתו דינו כמו לענין קשירתו (טור - A nonpermanent knot and it is not an expert knot one can tie (e.g a tie) and so too with regards to untying.

So if it gets entangled in a way that one wouldn't untangle it because it is too tight and therefore a permanent knot then one should not untangle it rather leave it.


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