Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Chapter 73:1
Employing Gentiles on the Sabbath

1. It is forbidden to allow (or instruct) a Gentile (1) to perform an activity for a Jew on the Sabbath [which the Jew would be prohibited from performing himself] (2). This is alluded to by the verse, "All 'Melacha' (39 types of creative activity defined by the Oral Law) will not be performed" (Exodus 12:16). This implies that Melacha is forbidden even when it is carried out by a Gentile.

If the instructions for the task were given to the Gentile before the Sabbath, and certain other criteria are fulfilled, then it is permissible for him to perform the task on the Sabbath (we will cover one or two of the criteria per day over the next few days).

FOOTNOTES:

(1) Gentiles are not obligated to refrain from Melacha (the 39 categories of creative activity) on Shabbos.

(2) There are three different reasons given by the Rishonim (early Talmudic authorities) as to why the Sages created this prohibition:

a) So that Jews will not take the prohibitions of Shabbos lightly, and end up violating the Shabbos themselves (Rambam, Laws of Shabbos, 6:1) b) There is a Rabbinic restriction, based on a verse in Isaiah (58:13), which forbids the discussion, on Shabbos itself, of one's business affairs, weekday concerns, or any of the 39 categories of prohibited activity. Instructing a Gentile on Shabbos itself to perform a Melacha would be a violation of that Rabbinical prohibition. c) In Jewish law, one's agent is the equivalent of oneself (except when the agent is committing a crime). The Sages extended this concept to include a case of a Jew enlisting a Gentile to perform Melacha for him on Shabbos, making it tantamount to the Jew doing the Melacha himself.

All three reasons have been accepted by Halachic authorities and must be applied to each case. Therefore, one may not ask a Gentile on Shabbos, or even during the week to perform a Melacha for him on Shabbos. Applying reason (b), one may not even ask a Gentile on Shabbos to perform a Melacha for him after Shabbos.

      Employing Gentiles on Shabbos
Paragraph 2
Next
Table of Contents

Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 2000 ProjectGenesis, Inc.

 

ARTICLES ON PINCHAS AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

Carrying G-d's Parcels
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

Making A Difference
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5765

They Can Assure a Cure
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

> Mourning on the 9th of Av: The Reasons
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Natural Act or Master of Emotions?
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

Forever Sensitive
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Of Zealots and Eretz Yisroel
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

No Little Things
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

Much Louder Than Words
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

Looking for a Chavrusah?

No Little Things
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

The Right Thing
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

When Moshiach Comes
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

ArtScroll

Tying Generations Together
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5771

Anger Management
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

Peace Not Pieces
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

Moshe Demonstrates The Priorities Of A Leader Of Israel
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information