Shabbat 45 - The right approach to muktzeh

We saw that objects set aside and not intended for use on Shabbat are considered muktzeh (set aside), and are forbidden to be handled on Shabbat. We also saw that Rabbi Yehudah extends this prohibition to many more situations than does Rabbi Shimon. How did this disagreement progress throughout the generations?

For example, Rav said that if someone designated a bed for storing money on, and then actually placed money there, then it becomes a "money bed," and it should not be moved on Shabbat, even if he later removed that money. However, if he did not designate it for use with money, then if there is money on it on Shabbat, he should not move it, but if there is no money there, then he can move it - provided that there was no money there at twilight on Friday. That sounds very restrictive. The mere presence of money on the bed at twilight makes the bed muktzeh for the whole Shabbat!

On the other hand, we learned a rule about a wooden bed, in the laws of purity, and there it was allowed to drag a bed on wheels on Shabbat, as long as there was no money on it - even if money was there at twilight. So how could Rav say his rule, in view of this more lenient approach to the "money bed?" - The answer is that first rule of Rav follows the more stringent approach of Rabbi Yehudah, whereas the latter rule about a wooden bed follows the less restrictive view, belonging to Rabbi Shimon. We thus see that Rav inclined toward the stricter view of Rabbi Yehudah, with its broader muktzeh prohibitions.

Art: George Frederick Watts - Lady on a day-bed