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May I ride my bicycle on Shabbat?

  

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Rabbi Eliezer G: Welcome to the Rabbi's one on one chat room, how can I help you today?


Wheelie: why cant you ride a bike on Shabbat


Rabbi Eliezer G: beause if the chain breaks you wil be tempted to fix it1


Wheelie: What if before you start biking you make a commitment not to fix your chain if it brakes until after shabbat


Rabbi Eliezer G: When a prohibition is passed out of concern that one act will lead to another, no distinctions or stipulations are permitted


Wheelie: I don't understand your last response


Rabbi Eliezer G: ok - the answer to your question is that even if you commit not to fix the chain you are still not permitted by Halachah to ride a bike on shabbos [Ed.: 'Shabbat']


Wheelie: why


Rabbi Eliezer G: because once a law is in place - it applies to everyone


Rabbi Eliezer G: no distinctions are made


Rabbi Eliezer G: no exceptions are made


Wheelie: once what law is in place


Rabbi Eliezer G: the law against riding bycicles


Wheelie: why is that law in place though.


Rabbi Eliezer G: I told you, it is because people will end up fixing the chains if they break2


Wheelie: okay, so because some people will fix it, nobody can ride a bike in case it breaks.


Wheelie: Thank you

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.

Footnotes

  • 1. There are a number of reasons why Jewish law prohibits riding a bicycle on Shabbat: 1. One may repair the bike chain, as discussed in this chat. 2. To prevent the chance of going a distance further than permitted on Shabbat (read more about this on "How far am I allowed to walk on Shabbat?" http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/208,146/How-far-am-I-allowed-to-walk-on-Shabbat.html). 3. 'Uvdin d'chol' - that this activity is inappropriate for Shabbat. 4. Handling the bike violates the laws of muktzeh (read "What is Muktzeh": http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/208,18688/What-is-Muktzeh.html). 5. There is a problem carrying or transporting items outdoors on Shabbat, even if riding or pushing that item (read "What is an Eruv?" http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/208,2837/What-is-an-Eruv.html). These laws can be found in various books of Jewish law such as K'tzot HaShulchan Chap. 110; Menuchah Nechonah Chap. 38; Responsa Rav Pe'alim Vol. 1, chap. 25; Kaf HaChayim chap. 407, paragraph 8; Responsa Yaskil Avdi Vol. 3, O.Ch. Chap. 12, paragraph 5; Responsa Tzitz Eliezer Vol. 7, chap. 30, paragraph 1
  • 2. A small child may be permitted to ride a tricycle which has no chain, but only indoors or within a proper 'Eruv' (read "What is an Eruv?" http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/208,2837/What-is-an-Eruv.html).

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RELATED CATEGORIES

Shabbat
Shabbat » Forbidden Activities

Shabbat
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Halachah
Jewish Law. All halachah which is applicable today is found in the Code of Jewish Law.