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Chapter 90:19 & 20
Non-Melacha Prohibitions

19. It is forbidden to send a Gentile beyond the "techum" (1) to notify the relatives of a deceased person or to bring a eulogist (2).

20. If a Gentile delivers grain to a Jew on Shabbos as payment for a debt, it is permissible for the Jew to give him a key to his storehouse, so that the Gentile can measure out the correct amount, and leave it there. Since the grain is not considered to be the Jew's property until after the correct amount is measured out, the Gentile is viewed as taking care of his own affairs (3). The Jew is allowed to stand there and watch to make sure that he is not being cheated, provided he does not talk to the Gentile about the transaction at all.

In contrast, if a Gentile delivers grain belonging to a Jew on Shabbos, the Jew is forbidden to instruct him to unload the grain from the wagons and take it to the storehouse. Even if the Gentile does so on his own accord, the Jew should express his disapproval (4).

FOOTNOTES:

(1) The "techum" refers to the point beyond the city borders up to which one is allowed to walk on Shabbos.

(2) Even to tell him on Friday to go on Shabbos is forbidden. However, one may instruct him on Shabbos to leave after Shabbos ends, because a mitzvah is involved (See Mishna Berura 306:40).

(3) Rema 307:22

(4) This is considered a "Shvus DeShvus" - that is, instructing a Gentile to perform an act which would be rabbinically prohibited for the Jew (the grain is muktzeh). A "Shvus DeShvus" is only permitted for the sake of a mitzvah or to benefit someone who is slightly ill (See HY 90:17).

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

 
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