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Carrying in a temporary enclosure

Any enclosed area has a status of a reshus hayachid, even if the fencing is just a temporary structure. If, however, the fence is constructed in an inferior fashion (see below for a definition of inferior) and the enclosure is the size of a bais sassayim , it is forbidden to carry in the enclosure for a distance of more than four amos . It may be permissible to carry from the enclosure into another karmelis . According to some opinions, if three walls were constructed properly but the fourth one is inferior, it would be permissible to carry within the enclosure.

[ שו"ע שס, א, משנ"ב א, ד ו־ה, וביה"ל ד"ה כגון; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 8 ]

An inferior enclosure for three people

The restrictions of carrying within an inferior enclosure only apply if the enclosure was constructed for the benefit of two people or less. If it was designed for at least three people to live there over Shabbos , it is permissible to carry within the enclosure. The Rishonim disagree about whether if it would be forbidden to carry there if part of the enclosure remains unused. Some Rishonim hold that carrying would be forbidden only if the area is more than triple the size of a bais sassayim . Shulchon Aruch rules according to this opinion. Other Rishonim maintain that carrying is forbidden as long as the area is larger than necessary for the people living there. 

[ שו"ע שס, א-ב, ומשנ"ב ו-ח; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 5 ,וראה שם, 1 ]

Defining an inferior enclosure

As mentioned , one may not carry in a large area which is surrounded with an “inferior” enclosure. This classification can be applied to any fence that is made up of slats that run in only one direction, either horizontal or vertical, depending on the distance between the slats.  The slats must be within three tefachim of each other in order for the fence to be considered valid at all. Although a fence in this case would be satisfactory min haTorah , Chazal considered it inferior if the space between the slats is equal to the size of the actual slat. If the space in between each slat is smaller than the actual slat, the fence is acceptable even mid’rabonon . The poskim disagree about the status of an enclosure in which most of the walls are built properly but a small area is inferior.

[ משנ"ב שס, ב-ג; ביאורים ומוספים, 2 ,4 ו־9 ]
  • Any fully enclosed area is a reshus hayachid min haTorah, regardless of its size or designation. It is forbidden to carry mi’drabonon, however, if the area is larger than a bais sassayim and is not designated for a residence.

  • One may carry in an enclosure that is the size of a bais sassayim, but one may not carry from the area into a bordering house.

  • Three enclosures next to each other

  • Three enclosures open to each other

  • One enclosure entering into another enclosure
PLEASE NOTE: The information in this email is for learning purposes only. Please review the Mishna Berura and Biurim U'Musafim before making a halachic decision. Hebrew words are occasionally transliterated to enable a smoother reading of the text. Common Ashkenazi pronunciation is generally used in these cases.
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