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: 1.56 MB)
Can a Person Have a Non-Jew Push Him in a Wheelchair on Shabbat?

If a person is, Heaven forbid, confined to a wheelchair, may he be pushed through a public domain on Shabbat in a place without an Erub?

It is clear that the patient is allowed to push himself, and that it is forbidden for him to have a Jew push him. But is it permissible to have a non-Jew push a wheelchair through a public domain on Shabbat?

Hacham Ovadia Yosef addresses this question in his Yabia Omer (9:34), where he writes (listen to audio recording for precise citation) that one may ask a non-Jew to push him on a wheelchair on Shabbat to attend prayers in the synagogue. He notes that according to some authorities, most public domains today do not qualify as a Halachic "Reshut Ha’rabim" with respect to the laws of Shabbat, since there are not 600,000 people going through the area. As such, according to this view, carrying in a public domain today is forbidden only on the level of Rabbinic enactment (Mi’de’rabbanan). And there is a rule regarding the laws of Shabbat that one may ask a gentile to perform an action which is forbidden for Jews Mi’de’rabbanan, if this is necessary for the sake of a Misva ("Shebut De’shbut Be’makom Misva"). Hacham Ovadia adds that even according to the view that carrying in our public domains is forbidden on the level of Torah law, the Ba’al Ha’ittur was of the opinion that for the sake of the Misva one may ask a gentile to perform even acts forbidden by the Torah. Although we do not generally follow this view, we have here a "Sefek Sefeka" ("double doubt"), as there are two Halachic controversies at play, each of which with an opinion that would allow having a gentile push one in a wheelchair for the sake of a Misva, such as to pray with a Minyan.

It should be noted that cosmopolitan areas such as Brooklyn may, indeed, qualify as a "Reshut Ha’rabim" according to all opinions, given the high volume of traffic that passes through. As such, Hacham Ovadia’s rationale clearly does not apply. Nevertheless, in places where an Erub has been erected, even for those who do not accept the Erub’s validity and do not allow carrying within it, the Erub likely has the effect of lowering the level of carrying to that of a Rabbinic prohibition. As such, in these areas one would be able to have a gentile push a wheelchair through the public domain on Shabbat for the sake of a Misva.

Summary: In areas where carrying on Shabbat is forbidden only Mi’de’rabbanan (by force of Rabbinic enactment), one may ask a gentile to push a person on a wheelchair for the sake of a Misva, such as to pray with a Minyan. This applies in suburban areas and small towns. In cosmopolitan areas, if an Erub was erected, even those who do not rely on it for carrying may allow a gentile to push somebody in a wheelchair for the sake of a Misva.

 


Recent Daily Halachot...
Carrying on Shabbat: Wearing Additional Garments
Carrying on Shabbat: Defining a Garment
Carrying on Shabbat: Eyeglasses
Carrying on Shabbat: Watches
Carrying on Shabbat: Talit, Scarves, Towels and Jackets
Carrying on Shabbat- Bandages, Slings and Hearing Aids
Carrying on Shabbat- Sanitary Napkins, Crutches and Prosthetic Limbs
Carrying on Shabbat: Ornamental Keys, Reserve Buttons, Rain Gear
Carrying on Shabbat: Rings and Pins
Is it Permissible to Exercise or Have a Massage on Shabbat?
The Custom to Read Shir Hashirim On Friday Night
Using Voice Activation Systems on Shabbat
The Time For Ending Shabbat
May One Violate Shabbat to Protect His Property From Looters?
Customs When Announcing Rosh Hodesh in the Synagogue on Shabbat
Page of 236
3540 Halachot found