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Chapter 90:18
Non-Melacha Prohibitions

18. When it is very cold, it is permitted to ask a Gentile on Shabbos to light a furnace, because, in the face of cold, [the Sages] gave everyone the halachic status of a sick person. If, however, [having the heat] is not so essential, one should not [ask a Gentile to perform the act] (1). Also, one should not allow a Gentile to light a furnace on Shabbos afternoon so that the room will be warm by Saturday night.

FOOTNOTES:

(1) It is difficult to define when an increase of heat is considered essential. If someone might become ill due to the cold, it is permitted to ask a Gentile to turn on the heat or to increase the temperature setting. Similarly, if an air-conditioner is making the house too cold, and as a result someone might become ill, one may ask a Gentile to turn it down.

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