DailyHalacha.com for Mobile Devices Now Available

Select Halacha by date:

Or by subject:

Or by keyword:
Search titles and keywords only
Search All    

Weekly Perasha Insights
Shabbat Morning Derasha on the Parasha
Register To Receive The Daily Halacha By Email / Unsubscribe
Daily Parasha Insights via Live Teleconference
Syrian Sephardic Wedding Guide
Download Special Tefilot
A Glossary Of Terms Frequently Referred To In The Daily Halachot
About The Sources Frequently Quoted In The Halachot
About Rabbi Eli Mansour
Purchase Passover Haggadah with In Depth Insights by Rabbi Eli Mansour and Rabbi David Sutton
About DailyHalacha.Com
Contact us
Useful Links
Refund/Privacy Policy
Back to Home Page

Click Here to Sponsor Daily Halacha
"Delivered to Over 6000 Registered Recipients Each Day"

      
(File size: 1.13 MB)
May One Ask a Non-Jew to Turn Off a Light on Shabbat?

If somebody forgot to turn off the light in his bedroom on Shabbat, and keeping the light on would cause him considerable discomfort, as he would be unable to sleep properly, is it permissible for him to ask a non-Jew to turn off the light?

Turning off a light is forbidden on Shabbat only Mi’de’rabbanan (by force of Rabbinic enactment). The Torah prohibition of extinguishing on Shabbat refers only to extinguishing a flame in order to produce a coal. If one extinguishes a fire because he does not want the fire burning, but not to produce a coal, then this constitutes a "Melacha She’enah Tzericha Le’gufah" – a Melacha performed for a different purpose. According to Rabbi Shimon – and Halacha follows his opinion – performing a "Melacha She’enah Tzericha Le’gufah" on Shabbat is forbidden only Mi’de’rabbanan, and not on the level of Torah law. Moreover, when the object that is kindled is incapable of becoming a coal, such as a metal object, then extinguishing the flame is forbidden only Mi’de’rabbanan according to all opinions. The filament inside a light bulb clearly cannot be made into a coal, and thus turning off electric lights is forbidden only Mi’de’rabbanan, and not on the level of Torah prohibition.

As such, when it comes to asking a non-Jew to turn off a light, we may employ the rule of "Shebut Di’shbut Bi’mkom Saar" – it is permissible to ask a non-Jew on Shabbat to perform an act that if forbidden Mi’derabbanan, if this is necessary to avoid discomfort. Accordingly, Hacham Ovadia Yosef rules (in Hazon Ovadia, vol. 1, p. 256; listen to audio recording for precise citation) that if a person will experience considerable discomfort if the light remains on, such as if he does not feel well – even if he is not actually sick, but experiences some pain – then one may ask a non-Jew, such as a housekeeper, to turn off the light. However, Hacham Ovadia’s son, Hacham David Yosef, writes (Amira Le’akum, vol. 1, p. 201) that it is preferable in such a case to ask the non-Jew indirectly, rather than explicitly ask that he or she turn off the light.

Summary: If a light was left on in a bedroom before Shabbat, and leaving it on would cause a person discomfort, then he may ask a non-Jew to turn it off, but he should preferably ask indirectly.

 


Recent Daily Halachot...
Is It Permissible to Reheat Congealed Foods?
Is It Permissible to Add Hot Water from an Urn into Cold Water on Shabbat?
Is It Permissible to Place Water Next to a Fire on Shabbat?
In the Event One Added Salt to Keli Rishon on the Blech
Is It Permissible To Insert Raw Beef into Keli Rishon?
Is It Permissible to Pour Salt into a Keli Rishon?
Does a Ladle Become a Keli Rishon When Dishing Out from a Pot?
Putting a Liquid or Solid Food into a Keli Sheni on Shabbat
Is It Permissible to Put Baked Bread on a Blech to Make Toast?
Is It Permissible to Place Raw Food in a Keli Sheni on Shabbat?
Pouring Water on to Hot Food on Shabbat
Heating a Partially Cooked Food on Shabbat
Pouring Water Heated by the Sun on Foods on Shabbat
If One Turned On Hot Water on Shabbat
May a Non-Jewish Stockbroker Execute Transactions for a Jew on Shabbat or Yom Tob?
Page of 237
3548 Halachot found