Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Chapter 90:14
Non-Melacha Prohibitions

14. A Jew is forbidden to tell a Gentile (1) on Shabbos, to do anything that he (the Jew) is forbidden to do himself (2); doing so falls under the category of rabbinic prohibitions called "Shvus" (3). It is forbidden even to hint to him to perform such a task. Furthermore, one may not instruct a Gentile before Shabbos, to perform a certain task on Shabbos (4).

Similarly, on Shabbos, one may not instruct a Gentile to perform a forbidden task after Shabbos. This, however, is not considered a "shvus" prohibition, since the melacha is being performed after Shabbos. Rather, the prohibition stems from the verse "and you will honor it by not...pursuing your affairs" (Isaiah 58:13). Accordingly, if the matter concerns a mitzvah, it is permitted.

FOOTNOTES:

(1) Gentiles are not obligated to observe the laws of Shabbos, but a Jew is forbidden to ask a Gentile to work on his behalf.

(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) Instructing a Gentile on Shabbos itself to perform a Melacha would be a violation of the Rabbinic restriction, based on a verse in Isaiah (58:13), which forbids the discussion, on Shabbos itself, of any prohibited activity (See HY 90:4).

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.

(3) This includes a whole range of activities which are not considred "melacha" (Biblically prohibited creative activity) but which nevertheless were prohibited by the Sages either because they are similar to a particular melacha or because they might lead to the inadvertent performance of a melacha.

(4) There are certain exceptions to this rule, as is evident from the widespread use of a "Shabbos Goy." Some of these exceptions will be dealt with in this chapter, so please wait until the end of the chapter before sending your questions.

Back  Paragraphs 12 & 13  Table of Contents  Paragraph 15 Next 

Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 2002 Project Genesis, Inc.

 
Sell Chometz Online







ARTICLES ON KEDOSHIM AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

Different Strokes for Different Folks
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

Holy Pursuits - Mundane Paths
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

Lag B'Omer & The Big Picture
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

ArtScroll

The Three Crowns
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762

Not Every Thing is Spelled Out in Shulchan Aruch
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771

Parshas Kedoshim
Shlomo Katz - 5771

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Third Rail
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

Love Your Neighbor
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5759

The Fundamental Rule
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5758

> Holy Reality Check
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

Will That Be A Medium, Or Well Done?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

The Joys of Animal Noise
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Appreciating the Value of the Jew
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5763

Orlah: Spiritual Barriers
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5767

"Peripheral Events" May be the Focus of Divine Providence
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

Leap of Love
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760



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