Shabbat 66 - Cripple

An amputee may have a wooden foot which is not used to support his weight, but only to hide his body defect. His weight is then supported by a crutch or a wooden stump. Nevertheless, Rabbi Meir considers this a shoe and permits wearing it on Shabbat. However, Rabbi Yose disagrees: according to him, it is not a shoe unless it is made out of leather, nor is it an ornament, since most people would not use it, and therefore our amputee cannot go out in such shoe on Shabbat.

One who has both feet severed cannot walk without crutches. He will often fashion leather pads for his shins and knees. These are made to support his weight, so he may wear then on Shabbat; however, since they are not worn on his feet, but on his legs, they do not have the legal status of shoes, and one can enter the Temple in them (where the shoes are normally prohibited).

One whose lower legs have atrophied uses a chair, leg supports, and crutches. The chair and crutches are essential for his moving about, but the leg supports are not, and he should not go out with them on Shabbat. And, since they are worn on his feet, he may not enter them Temple in them.

Masks used to playfully frighten small children are neither ornaments nor garments, and consequently one may not wear them on Shabbat outside.

Art: Adriaen Pietersz. Van De Venne - Crippled Beggar Dancing with a Peasant Woman