52. There is a difference in Halachah between a partition that is put up on the Sabbath merely for privacy (see paragraph 56) and one that is put up to form a Halachic partition between a person and unclean objects such as excreta, urine, bedpans etc, thereby permitting activities such as prayer and Torah study, which would otherwise be forbidden under the circumstances.

53. A Halachic partition may not be put up in front of Torah books on the Sabbath in order that a child may defecate or urinate, or be undressed in the room, nor may it be put up around a patient's bed in a hospital room to partition him off from excreta etc. so as to enable him to pray, etc. Such a partition is defined as being at least 80cm high and 32cm wide[85] and firm enough to stand up to normal winds. Thus a curtain that is attached both above and below would fit this definition and may not be put up on the Sabbath or Festival[86].

54. A non-Jew may be asked to put up such a partition temporarily on the Sabbath so that the patient may pray etc[87].

55. Such a partition may not be dismantled on the Sabbath so long as it is still being used to allow prayer etc. However, once it is no longer needed for this purpose it ceases to have the definition of a Halachic partition and may therefore be dismantled[88].

56. If there is no intention of using a partition as a Halachic partition, it may be put up on the Sabbath, for example, to allow the patient to sleep. This is provided that it is not attached both at the top and bottom, with the intention of using it there over a period of some days[89].

57. A folding partition may not be put up to be used as a Halachic partition. However, if its purpose is to enable the patient to rest, or for privacy while receiving care or treatment, it may be opened and used. Once it has served this purpose it may remain standing to be used as a Halachic partition if needed. A folding partition that was partially opened [to a width of 8 cm (see ref. 85 above)] before the Sabbath may be completely opened on the Sabbath. A curtain that is attached to the wall may be drawn on the Sabbath even if it was completely open beforehand[90].

[85] According to R. A.Ch. Noe, one tefach is 8.0 cm; according to the Chazon Ish, it is 9.4 cm.

[86] Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 24:30.

[87] Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 24:36.

[88] Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 24:38.

[89] Written communication from R. Y.Y. Neuwirth.

[90] Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 40:42.