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Three enclosures next to each other

It is forbidden to carry (more than four amos ) in an enclosed area that is larger than a bais sassayim if it is surrounded by an inferior enclosure. If, however, the enclosure is designated for three or more people, it is permissible to carry there. Designation for three people is only sufficient if they are all sharing the same enclosed area. Three separate areas, each used by one person, cannot combine to create one enclosed area, even if they are joined by an eiruv chatzeiros . Even if each enclosure is larger than a bais sassayim , it would still be forbidden to carry in each one. If a section of wall that separates the individual enclosures breaks open more than ten amos , the poskim disagree about whether the enclosed area would then be considered one area servicing three people, which would allow carrying across the entire area.

[ שו"ע שס, ג, ומשנ"ב יא ו־כג, וביה"ל ד"ה הוה (בהרחבה ע"פ המקור); ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 16 ]

Three enclosures open to each other

As mentioned, three individual enclosures do not combine together in order to be considered one large enclosure. If the enclosures are open to each other, however, they can combine to create a large enclosure that is designated for three people. In some instances, an enclosure can be halachically open to its neighbor even when its neighbor is not considered halachically open to it. Such an opening would be sufficient to combine the enclosures into one enclosure. If an open courtyard is on one side of the three enclosures, the poskim disagree about whether it would also be permissible to carry in the enclosure that is situated on the opposite side.

[ שו"ע שס, ג, ומשנ"ב יב-כב; וראה נתיבות שבת טו, הע' נז ]

One enclosure entering into another enclosure

As mentioned, an enclosure can be open to its neighbor without its neighbor being open to it. There are a number of ways for two enclosures to be built this way: 1) If one enclosure is wider than the other (in which case the narrower one will be open to the wider one), and 2) If partitions running lengthwise from one enclosure enter into the width of the other enclosure. For further clarification, please see a diagram of these scenarios in the Dirshu edition of the Mishnah Breurah , Siman 360, notes #12 and #13.
[ שו"ע שס, ג, ומשנ"ב כה, כח ו־כט; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 12 ,13 ו־15 ]
  • One may not carry in a large enclosed area which is surrounded by an inferior enclosure.

  • A fence that is made up of slats that run in only one direction, whether horizontal or vertical, can be considered an inferior enclosure under certain circumstances.

  • If an enclosed area was designed for at least three people to live there over Shabbos, it is permissible to carry within it.

  • Breaks in the walls of a reshus hayachid

  • A break in the corner of the wall

  • Pi tikrah yored vesoseim 
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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