web analytics
March 3, 2015 / 12 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Q & A: Sabbath Shuttle? (Part VI)

QuestionsandAnswers-logo

To be brief, her father was a soldier in World War II. He was so moved by his exposure to survivors in the concentration camps that he decided to undergo an Orthodox conversion and moved his fledgling family to Jerusalem. Unfortunately he died at a young age and the children grew up experiencing much difficulty. One daughter went off the derech and moved back to the U.S., where she adopted a totally secular lifestyle. She had a few children who knew they were Jewish but knew little about Judaism.

One of those children was recently in New York to visit his aunt. Walking in Flatbush on Shabbos, he was approached by two frum women who asked him to help them by turning on a light. How should they have known that the black man with braids was a Jew? After they hinting to him several times what it was they wanted him to do, he understood and flipped on the light. A child witnessing the event sheepishly told the women, “I think he is Jewish.” The young man promptly responded, “Yes I am, and Shabbat Shalom.”

Let this story teach us not to make any assumptions. The first question to ask when approaching someone you need help from in such a situation is, “Are you Jewish?”

Dr. Joshua Canter
Brooklyn NY

If this were not enough, I, too, once had the uncomfortable experience of discovering that someone I thought was a gentile was in fact Jewish. A number of years ago, I was involved in a Passover hotel venture, and my brother and I took over a hotel for the entire holiday. We brought in our own chef and a group of mashgichim, but for the most part we utilized the hotel’s kitchen and wait staff. In the week before Pesach, in the midst of kashering the entire kitchen, we had a number of orientation sessions for the hotel staff to fully acquaint them with the laws of kashrut and the additional Passover restrictions.

As there are many restrictions on what can be done in a kitchen on Shabbat and Yom Tov, many of the functions were to be performed by non-Jews. They learned, and understood exactly, what had to be done. I must say their performance was excellent.

At one point, though, in the middle of a casual and friendly conversation between one of the mashgichim and the kitchen steward, a seasoned man of no small abilities, it was discovered that although he considered himself a gentile, his mother was in fact Jewish. We were left with little recourse but to ask the hotel management to dismiss him for the remainder of the week and find a gentile substitute.

This brings us to the problem at hand, and one we must take great care in ascertaining: Is the gentile performing a labor for a Jew on Shabbat (i.e., driving a shuttle, pushing elevator buttons, etc.), in fact, a gentile? As we noted previously, when a gentile performs a labor for a Jew from which he personally derives benefit, there is room for leniency. However, if the “gentile” turns out to be a Jew, it is obvious that we cannot ask him to do anything for us as we will essentially be asking him to sin.

(To be continued)

About the Author: Rabbi Yaakov Klass, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Q & A: Sabbath Shuttle? (Part VI)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressing Congress.
The “Esther Moment” and Why There is Nothing “Random” About This Day
Latest Judaism Stories
wine

One can drink up to the Talmud’s criterion to confuse Mordechai and Haman-but not beyond.

Hur and Aharon holding up Moshe's hands as Joshua battled Amalek.

“The voice is the voice of Yaakov, but the hands are the hands of Esav” gives great insight to Purim

Esther Denouncing Haman

Purim is the battleground of extremes, Amalek and Yisrael, with Zoroastrian Persia in between.

Niehaus-022715

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

Does Hashem ever go away and not pay attention to us?

In other words, the Torah is an expression of the Way that we must follow in order to live a divine-like life and to bond in the highest way possible with God or Being Itself.

The Chasam Sofer answers that one of only prohibited from wearing a garment that contains shatnez if he does so while wearing the garment for pleasure purposes.

The avodah (service) of the kohen gadol is vital and highly sensitive; the world’s very existence depends on it.

Moreover, even if the perpetrator of the capital offense is never actually executed, such as when the fatal act was unintentional, Kam Lei applies and the judge cannot award damages.

Forever After?
‘Obligated for Challahh and Not Terumah’
(Kesubos 25a)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

“We really appreciate your efforts in straightening the shul,” said Mr. Reiss. “How is it going?”

This was a spontaneous act of rest after the miracle of vanquishing their respective foes. The following year they celebrated on the same days as a minhag.

The way we must to relate to our young adult children is to communicate with genuine loving-kindness

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass
Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Vol. LXVI No. 6 5775   NYC Candle Lighting Time February 6, 2015 – 17 Shevat 5775 5:01 p.m. NYC E.S.T.   Sabbath Ends: 6:04 p.m. NYC E.S.T. Sabbath Ends: Rabbenu Tam 6:33 p.m. NYC E.S.T. Weekly Reading: Yisro Weekly Haftara: Bi’shenas Mos HaMelech (Isaiah 6:1-7:6, 9:5-6 Ashkenazim; Isaiah 6:1-13 Sephardim) Daf Yomi: Kesuvos 4 […]

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ask-the-rabbi/q-a-sabbath-shuttle-part-vi/2014/02/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: