web analytics
July 22, 2014 / 24 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Benefiting From A Non-Jew’s Work On Shabbat

If you yourself may not perform a melachah, you may not ask a non-Jew to perform it for you. This is true both for biblically prohibited acts, melachot de’oreita, and rabinically prohibited acts, melachot de’rabbanan. This applies even if the non-Jew was instructed before Shabbat to perform the melachah on Shabbat.

This prohibition, known as amira lenochri, was established by the rabbis for three reasons. First, they were concerned that by permitting the non-Jew to perform the melachah the Jew might come to perform the melachah himself. Second, appointing a non-Jew as an agent to perform the melachah renders the Jew liable as principal. Third, the prophet Isaiah warns Israel to refrain from discussing melachot on Shabbat. Amira lenochri involves such prohibited discussion.

If the Jew did not request it, but the non-Jew performed the melachah, of his or her own accord, may the Jew benefit from the outcome? The answer is that if the non-solicited melachah provides direct benefit to the Jew, one may not benefit from it unless the melachah was performed primarily for the benefit of the non-Jew. Accordingly, a Jew may not benefit from a light turned on by a non-Jew on Shabbat, thereby enabling the Jew to read, unless the non-Jew turned it on to read himself. The Jew, however, may benefit from a non-Jew turning the light off, thereby making it easier for the Jew to sleep. This is because it is possible, though not desirable, to sleep with the light on and the benefit is therefore considered indirect.

Further, a Jew may benefit from the unsolicited melachah of a non-Jew where such melachah merely provides additional benefit to an already existing benefit, such as turning on additional lights in an already lit room. Whenever benefit is forbidden, the prohibition lasts the entire Shabbat and continues after Shabbat ends for the duration of time it took the non-Jew to perform the melachah on Shabbat. Accordingly, a car delivered for repair to a non-Jewish mechanic just before Shabbat, with instructions to have it ready immediately after Shabbat, and on which the mechanic worked, all day Shabbat, may not be used until Sunday.

Hinting to a non-Jew to perform a melachah is permitted where such melachah causes indirect or additional benefit but not direct benefit. Hinting, in such circumstances, is permissible on condition that the language used includes no command and no mention of the melachah involved. Accordingly, one may not say to a non-Jew “Please help me, I cannot turn off the lights on Shabbat.” One may, however, say, “It is difficult for me to sleep with the lights on.”

Because the prohibition of amira lenochri is of rabbinical origin, there is considerable flexibility in its application. This is particularly the case when the act performed by means of amira lenochri is in itself only a melachah de’rabbanan. Accordingly, the prohibition of amira lenochri is relaxed in order to prevent substantial financial loss; to enable the performance of a mitzvah; in cases of sickness; or in the case of the inevitable unwanted melachah, psik reishe.

Thus one may ask a non-Jew to perform the following acts on one’s behalf on Shabbat: to reconnect a freezer stocked with expensive food that became disconnected on Shabbat, the case of financial loss; to reheat previously cooked food essential for a Shabbat meal by placing it directly on the flame and to turn the lights on in the synagogue to enable the congregants to pray – both cases of performance of a mitzvah, i.e. participating in the Shabbat meal and prayer; to cook previously uncooked food for a sick person; to turn up the heat for persons suffering from cold; to turn on a light for a child who is frightened of the dark, because, for the purpose of amira lenochri, persons suffering from cold and children who suffer are deemed to be “sick”; or to open the refrigerator door, even if this will be sure to activate a light that one forgot to deactivate before Shabbat, the case of psik reishe.

About the Author: Raphael Grunfeld’s book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Moed” (distributed by Mesorah) is available at OU.org and your local Jewish bookstore. His new book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Nashim & Nezikin,” will be available shortly.


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 “Benefiting From A Non-Jew’s Work On Shabbat”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Golani 13
1 MIA as IDF Names 6 Additional Members of the Golani 13
Latest Judaism Stories
PTI-071814

Perhaps, just perhaps, we can relate to this: whenever we feel distant from Hashem, that is the Churban.

Parshat Matot

Over the next 2 weeks covering portion Matot and Maasei, Rabbi Fohrman will bring order to confusion.

Lessons-Emunah-logo

Our home is in the center of the Holy Land, surrounded by (what else?) green hills and valleys.

Business-Halacha-logo

“Sound fine,” said Mrs. Schwartz. “In the middle, paint their names, Shoshana and Yehonasan. He spells his name Yehonasan with a hei and is very particular about it!”

Question: I recently returned from a trip abroad and wanted to say HaGomel. When I mentioned this to the officers of my synagogue, however, they told me – as per the instructions of the synagogue’s rabbi – that I would have to wait until Shabbos to do so. I was not given any reason for this and did not wish to display my ignorance, so I quietly acquiesced. Can you please explain why I had to wait?

Name Withheld
(Via E-Mail)

We may not recognize the adverse affect of eating forbidden foods, but they leave an indelible imprint.

There are several rules that one must adhere to when making a neder.

Important message for Jews in the Diaspora: In times of need run to Israel rather than from Israel.

The negotiation between Moses and the tribes of Reuven and Gad is a model of conflict resolution.

Once again we find ourselves alone – a little lamb among wolves.

When we return to our routines, things don’t have to go back to exactly the way they were.

The Three Weeks determines the “who we are and how we live” as Jews.

Sometimes when Chazal say that two different people are really one, they do not mean it literally, but rather figuratively.

The midrash says that Pinchas, (this parsha), and Eliyahu, prophet of Kings, are one and the same.

More Articles from Raphael Grunfeld
Grunfeld-Raphael-NEW

The kohen gadol may not enter the Temple unless his hair is cut every seven days.

Grunfeld-Raphael-NEW

A commonly employed and permissible device regarding the prohibition of wearing fresh clothes during the Nine Days is to don them for a moment or two before the Nine Days.

The prayer of Mashiv haruach u’morid hageshem mentions God’s rainmaking powers but it is not an immediate request for rain.

According to the Bach, Rosh Hashanah is referred to as moed, festival, the same term the Torah uses to describe Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot.

If the survival of Judaism is dependent on the next generation, there is no doubt that the most important person in the synagogue is the Candy Man.

From this decree on, the two days of Rosh Hashanah, unlike the two days of Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot, were no longer celebrated out of doubt but out of certainty.

Because the Torah requires one to count “seven complete weeks” one should count at the beginning of the day, which in Jewish law begins on the preceding night.

A few background principles regarding the prohibitions of chametz mixtures on Pesach may provide some shopping guidance.

    Latest Poll

    Israel's Iron Dome Anti-Missile System:





    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/benefiting-from-a-non-jews-work-on-shabbat/2013/02/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: