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: 1.03 MB)
Instructing a Non-Jew to Prevent Major Financial Loss on Shabbat

Maran, in Siman 307, deals with utilizing a non-Jew to prevent a major financial loss, Heaven Forbid. For example, a fire or flood threatening valuable merchandise. Clearly, it is prohibited to instruct him to perform a Torah violation of Shabbat, such as moving merchandise out of harm's way from the public domain into the private domain or extinguishing a fire. That would constitute only one "Shvut"-Rabbinic prohibition.

However, the Hachamim permitted utilizing a non-Jew to perform a Melacha to avoid the great loss under certain conditions. They reasoned that since "Adam Bahul Al Mamono"-A person panics when his property is threatened, if he is not allowed to use a non-Jew, he is likely to panic and "take the law into his own hands" and violate the Shabbat by putting out the fire by himself. Therefore, they made a dispensation to allow either calling a non-Jew to the scene without giving him any instruction, assuming he will know by himself what to do; or to announce "Whoever puts out this fire will not lose"-without specifying any person. This is permissible even if he says, "will not lose out monetarily," in which it is clear that he intends give compensation. This dispensation thus enables the non-Jew to perform a Torah prohibition of putting out the fire.

If the Melacha to be performed by the non-Jew is only Rabbinic, the Mishna Berura (Rav Yisrael Meir Kagan of Radin, 1839-1933) permits directly instructing the non-Jew. He likens this case to the case of Shvut D'shvut (double Rabbinic prohibition) for a Misva. According to him, the Halachot of major financial loss are comparable to a Misva. However, Hacham David cites Poskim who disagree and rule that cases of financial loss are governed by different rules than Misva. It is never permitted to instruct a non-Jew directly-to perform a Rabbinic or Torah violation. The Hachamim were concerned that a person will panic and violate Shabbat himself, and therefore they created stricter rules. This is a rare case in which Hacham David is stricter than the Mishna Berura.

In a case of major financial loss, it is prohibited to directly instruct a non-Jew to perform any Melacha (Rabbinic or Torah) to avoid the loss. However, it is permitted to indirectly engage his help by either calling him to the scene without any word of instruction or by announcing "Whoever helps will not lose out."


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