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: 2.43 MB)
Amira L’Akum-Is it Permitted to Instruct a Non-Jew to Turn On the Lights in Shul?

The Gemara in Masechet Shabbat states that it is permissible to instruct a non-Jew to perform a Melacha D’Oraita (an act prohibited by Torah law) on Shabbat for the purpose of performing a Brit Milah or purchasing land in Eres Yisrael. The Halacha allows asking the non-Jew, which is a Rabbinic prohibition, for the sake of accomplishing these two Misvot of the Torah.

Most Rishonim (early authorities) understand that the Misvot of Brit and Eres Yisrael are the only two exceptions, because of their unique status in Halacha. Accomplishing other Torah Misvot would not override the Rabbinic prohibition of Amira L’Akum, instructing a non-Jew to violate Shabbat. However, there is the lone opinion of the Itur (Rabbi Yishak ben Abba Mari, 1122-1193, France) that holds that the two Misvot brought in the Gemara are only examples, and in fact, performance of any Torah Misva justifies instructing a non-Jew to violate any Torah prohibition on Shabbat.

Maran clearly does not rule in accordance with the Itur. He only brings the Misvot of Milah and Eres Yisrael. Even the Rama (276), who does cite the Itur, only does so to justify common practice and restricts relying on him to "Sha’at HaDachak" (extenuating circumstances), such as a wedding.

Therefore, there is clearly no basis to ask a non-Jew to turn on lights in the Bet Knesset, even for the purpose of enabling prayer and Torah study. Unfortunately, this is rampant in many synagogues. People think that whatever a Jew cannot do on Shabbat, the non-Jew can. This is not a way to run a Bet Knesset.

In a "Sha’at HaDachak" (extenuating circumstances) after the fact there are precedents for relying on the Itur. For example, there was a case in Egypt, in which the lights in the Bet Knesset were extinguished on the night of Yom Kippur. As there was absolutely no alternative, and there was no way for the people to pray on that holy night, the Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Refal Ankova, instructed a non-Jew to turn on the lights.

On the other hand, the Hatam Sofer did not permit using a non-Jew in a similar case, in which the lights were extinguished at the end of Yom Kippur. He instructed the Hazan to recite the Tefila of Neilah aloud and let the people fulfil their obligation by listening.

SUMMARY
It is generally prohibited to instruct a non-Jew to turn on the lights on Shabbat, even for the purpose of accomplishing the Misva of Tefila and Torah study.

 


Recent Daily Halachot...
Instructing a Non-Jew to Perform a Melacha for the Sake of a Fulfilling a Misva After Shabbat
Instructing a Non-Jew to Prevent Major Financial Loss on Shabbat
Mukse-May a Jew Instruct a Non-Jew To Move A Lit Candle on Shabbat
Asking a Non-Jew to Open an Electronic Lock in a Hotel on Shabbat
Asking a Non-Jew on Shabbat: Buying and Selling
Amira L’Akum: Instructing a Non-Jew to Perform a Rabbinic Transgression
Amira L'Akum: Instructing a Non-Jew to Draw Hot Water
Amira L’Akum: Is It Permissible to Instruct a Non-Jew to Open a Refrigerator on Shabbat?
Amira L’Akum: Benefitting from a Prohibited Action of a Non-Jew
Amira L’Akum-Is it Permitted to Instruct a Non-Jew to Turn On the Lights in Shul?
Amiral L’Akum-May a Jew Benefit from a Melacha Done by a Non-Jew to Correct His Mistake?
Amira L’Akum: May a Jew Benefit When a Non-Jew Activates a Light in a Room with Jews and Non-Jews?
Amira L’Akum-If a Non-Jew Turned On a Light for his Own Benefit
Amira L’Akum: If a Non-Jew Turns on a Light for a Jew
Carrying on Shabbat: Wearing Additional Garments
Page of 237
3548 Halachot found