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Designating the Work for Shabbos 1 – (Klal 3 Siman 5) Erev Shabbos- S0073

D'var Halacha
D'var Halacha
Designating the Work for Shabbos 1 - (Klal 3 Siman 5) Erev Shabbos- S0073

 We are beginning siman 5, where the Chayei Adam will discuss the fourth criterion for it to be permitted to make an arrangement with a non-Jew before Shabbos regarding melacha on Shabbos. This criterion is that the Jew cannot direct the non-Jew to specifically perform the work on Shabbos. Rather, he must give it to him and let the non-Jew perform the melacha on his own volition, and if he decides to perform it on Shabbos, it is his own choice. 

If one does direct the non-Jew to perform the work on Shabbos, they violate the issur derabanan of amira l’achum. We have learned that the issur of amira l’achum includes giving a directive on Shabbos to a non-Jew to do work (even if that work will be performed during the week), and giving a directive before Shabbos for a non-Jew to perform work on Shabbos. Even if the non-Jew is a kablan, receives payment, and fulfills the other criteria, the directive to perform the work on Shabbos was still followed as a result of the Jew, so it is connected back to the Jew and is assur.

The Chayei Adam writes that the appropriate arrangement is to ask the non-Jew without giving a specific time, so that the non-Jew has the option to choose when to perform the melacha. If the non-Jew ends up performing the melacha on Shabbos, it is not connected to the Jew at all, so it is muttar.


The Chayei Adam continues, and writes that it is assur to arrange with a non-Jew to purchase items for the Jew on the yom hashuk (sale day). It was very common in Europe that there would be a day known as yom hashuk, when everyone would bring their wares to buy and sell. The smaller stores and peddlers would sell throughout the week, but the major sales were on the yom hashuk, which was often on Shabbos. If a Jew arranges for a non-Jew to go to the yom hashuk for him, even though the non-Jew is being paid and is a kablan with a specific project, it is assur. The Chayei Adam explains that even if the Jew does not mention a word about the non-Jew working on Shabbos, since there is only one day of yom hashuk, it is obvious that the Jew asked the non-Jew to work for him on Shabbos. This has the halachic equivalent of being meyacheid melachto.

In a previous shiur, we mentioned a different example of meyacheid melachto, when the Jew gives a garment to a non-Jew right before Shabbos and states he needs it immediately after Shabbos. The heter is built on the non-Jew’s discretion to decide when to perform the melacha. In our case, the non-Jew does not have discretion, so it is assur.


The Chayei Adam writes (above) that if a Jew makes the purchasing arrangement earlier in the week, it is muttar, even though it is implied that it is for Shabbos. In siman 307, the Mishnah Berurah strongly disagrees, and holds that if one gives a non-Jew melacha on Sunday, but it is clear that the non-Jew will be unable to to perform the work until Shabbos, it is assur. Although the Magen Avraham is lenient, the Elya Rabba and Levush hold it is assur in accordance with the Mishnah Berurah. It is hard to understand why one would be more lenient just because the arrangement was made earlier in the week. One should follow the Elya Rabba and Levush.



  • If one instructs a non-Jew before Shabbos, there are times when it will be muttar, depending on eight conditions. 
  • The fourth condition is that the Jew cannot direct the non-Jew to specifically perform the melacha on Shabbos. Rather, one must give him work without a specific timeframe, so that if the non-Jew chooses to perform the work on Shabbos, it is out of his own volition.

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