Sunday, 10 January 2016

Monopoly on Shabbos

Question: Can children play Monopoly on Shabbos?
Answer: The Chayei Adam (Shabbos 38:11) writes that one mustn’t play games on Shabbos that include any type of transaction. Some use this halacha to explain that one mustn’t play Monopoly on Shabbos (See Halachos of Muktza, p28:n33).
Nonetheless, it is clear from the poskim that the Chayei Adam was not referring to playing with toy money. The Rema (OC 338:5) forbids one to play any game on Shabbos which entails winning or losing anything tangible such as nuts, though writes that one doesn’t need to stop one’s children from playing especially if they won’t listen anyway (See Aruch Hashulchan OC 338:13). One may play a regular game, however, where the winner gains nothing upon winning.
Thus, R’ Yehoshua Neuwirth (Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasa 16:32; n84) writes that while ideally adults shouldn’t play such games on Shabbos, he heard from R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach that one can play such games as the money isn’t real.
R’ Moshe Stern (Be’er Moshe 6:100) writes that while children shouldn’t play with toy coins on Shabbos, they may play with toy paper money. Similarly, R’ Benzion Abba Shaul (Ohr Letzion 2:42:n5) writes that children can play with monopoly on Shabbos.
In conclusion, while there is no prohibition in playing Monopoly on Shabbos, it is best for adults to refrain, though children may play.

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