641. Things That are Repulsive

88:16 If a fire breaks out and one is afraid that the deceased may be burned, it is permitted to carry the body out together with a permitted item. For example, one may put some food on it or next to it and carry the two together. If no food is available, one may put a utensil or garment that may be handled on the deceased. If these are likewise unavailable, one may carry the body by itself. (The Sages permitted certain leniencies in this situation because people are so concerned about protecting human remains that if they were not permitted to do so, they would come to extinguish the fire impermissibly – Mishnah Brurah 311:3.) Regardless of the scenario, one may only take the body to a place where one can carry; only a non-Jew may bring the body to a place where it’s forbidden to carry on Shabbos.

Things that are repulsive, like excrement or vomit, whether of humans or of chickens, may be removed from a house or a courtyard where people are sitting and taken to the trash. When taking out a bedpan or a chamber pot, the whole time the utensil is in one’s hand, he may return it. This applies to all muktzeh items: while one is holding them, he may carry them to where he wants to put them. However, once one puts a bedpan or chamber pot down, he may no longer handle it, because it is disgusting; it is considered worse than other things that are muktzeh because they are repulsive. (Even though it’s a utensil, it’s considered inherently muktzeh – like rocks and sticks – because it’s repulsive – MB 308:136.) However, one may return it if someone needs it. Similarly, if the pot were so clean that if one were to put water in it, it would be fit for an animal to drink, it may be returned like this.