We are continuing in siman 21, discussing a shutfus (partnership) relationship between a Jew and non-Jew regarding work on Shabbos. We learned that they should stipulate before beginning the partnership that the non-Jew retains the profits from Shabbos, and the Jew retains the profits from a corresponding day during the week.
If they did not set up the partnership in such a manner, and there is potential for a significant financial loss, they can create the equivalent of the same division we have discussed until now, where the non-Jew receives the profits from Shabbos and the Jew receives the profits from a corresponding day during the week. They will do this by sharing all profits equally. However, they should not verbalize this arrangement, and if they do, it is assur. If they create this division without verbalizing it, it is muttar in a situation of significant financial loss.
The above scenarios regard a Jew and non-Jew who alternate days of work. If the Jew and non-Jew work together during the week, and the non-Jew works by himself on Shabbos but still splits the profits from Shabbos with the Jew, it is also muttar. The Chayei Adam explains that the non-Jew is working on Shabbos for his own benefit, not for the Jew’s, so the fact he wishes to later split the profits from the Jew in no way indicates that he is working for the Jew. This case is even better than a case of a kablan, because even though we have learned that a kablan is considered as working for himself, there can still be issues of maris ayin, as we have discussed. In our case, since the non-Jew is a partner and not an employee, it is clear he is working for himself and there is no issue of maris ayin.
Thus, we see that there is no issue with the work the non-Jew is performing by working on Shabbos. However, there may be an issue of sechar Shabbos, in that the Jew is receiving benefit from his items working on Shabbos. If their arrangement is that they divide up the profits every week or every month, the Jew is receiving sechar shabbos through havla’ah (swallowed up in a larger payment), which is muttar (see more in shiur S0089).
The scenarios we have discussed until now regard a Jew and non-Jew as equal partners in a business. If a Jew is a proprietary owner of a business, and cannot shut it down over Shabbos, we need to discuss an arrangement for him. One can create an arrangement, similar to how we sell our chametz to a non-Jew, in which the non-Jew is the owner over Shabbos. This arrangement is complicated, and cannot just be a paper arrangement but must make the non-Jew into a true partner. The Jew still has an issue of meyacheid melachto leShabbos, the fact that the Jew is asking the non-Jew to work on Shabbos. One should discuss such an issue with a competent rav.
- When a Jew and non-Jew are business partners, the Jew cannot benefit from the profits on the non-Jew made on Shabbos. This can be avoided by each partner only retaining the profits from the days they work.
- If they wish to split the profits close to equally, they should stipulate before beginning the partnership that the non-Jew retains the profits from Shabbos, and the Jew retains the profits from a corresponding day during the week.
- If they did not make such a stipulation before beginning the partnership, in a case of significant financial loss, they can split the profits equally. This will be equivalent to making such a stipulation, but cannot verbalize it. If they verbalize it, the profits are assur.
- If the Jew and non-Jew work together during the week, and the non-Jew works alone on Shabbos, he may split the profits with the Jew if he wishes to, provided the Jew receives the profits through havla’ah.
- If a Jew is a proprietary owner of a business which cannot shut down over Shabbos, he can create an arrangement with a non-Jew in which the non-Jew becomes an owner over Shabbos. One should discuss such a situation with their rav.