If I move something on Shabbos with the force of a magnet, is that considered Halachicly like I move it with my hands (גופו), with my force (כוחו), indirect (גרמא), or have I done nothing?

This is in regard to direct prohibitions, like הוצאה or moving a Muktzeh.

1 Answer 1


To my best knowledge, in Shabbos Melochos we do not differentiate between גופו or כוחו, but if it it performed כדרכו (like it is intended to be used) or not (sometimes called בשינוי - literally "differently from intended" see Shinuy. The Hebrew version is much more detailed).

For example, if turning up the light normally requires a human finger, but you do it with a magnet, that would be שלא כדרכו and therefore fall (only) under a Rabbinical prohibition, just like turning it with a broom. However it it is intended to be moved with a magnet, that would be כדרכו and prohibited deOrayso.

THe differentiations you mentioned (גופו, כוחו, גרמא) are relevant to damages, not Shabbos, in that case the magnetic force is called כוחו (by his extended force) just like throwing a stone, but it does not matter to paying damages.

גרמא is all different story, relating to indirect consequences, not indirect force.

  • No see if you move a magnet with another magnet and that magnet moves a light switch. Is that כח כחו? Is כח כחו a grama? If so that would have a lot of interesting applications. So כח wouldn't have any differences but כח כחו.....
    – Orion
    Feb 14, 2018 at 17:33
  • It has nothing to do with Shabbos. Whatever action is determined in the first place, i.g. can turn out only in one way, not many different options, that is an action regarding transgressing Shabbos. If the sequence is determined, no matter how long it is and how namy stages it requires, it's considered an action on Shabbos. Think about automatic doors, you step by, the light sensor senses changes in brightness, then sends signals to a processing unit, that send signals to a motor, that moves magnets, that move dthe door. But as I said, כוחו only applies in discussing damages.
    – Al Berko
    Feb 14, 2018 at 20:23
  • Magen Avraham 357:10 says quite clearly that כחו is muttar in a karmelis. Feb 14, 2018 at 21:26
  • The Mishna Brura says about blowing that it isn't even tiltul in the first place. How are you sure that this is any different? Feb 21, 2018 at 4:28
  • To the best of your knowledge - but the above comments have demonstrated several cases in which we do make a distinction between גופו and כחו. (I believe מוקצה could also be a distinction, in that directly moving it is forbidden, but pushing something into it is technically allowed.) Does that not invalidate a premise of this answer?
    – DonielF
    May 16, 2018 at 4:37

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