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Siman 276 - The Halachos [Regarding] a "Candle" Which A Non-Jew Lit On Shabbos

 

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch material for se'if 5: Halacha-Yomi - Torah.org

Rav Ostroff's presentation of the siman and related issues: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

More on practical applications of the siman: from Rav Neustadt

 

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[Note: This siman is built upon the fundamental Halacha that a Jew may not have a gentile act on his behalf if it would be assur for the Jew to do the same himself on Shabbos. The central location for this Halacha within the Halachos of Shabbos is below O.C. siman 307, and it is stated separately there in se'if 2. The fact that in the more stringent cases of this one must even stand opposed to the gentile's "service" can be seen from O.C. 325:13 (and see also 334:25).]

 

Siman 276, se'if 1

 

(a) Is there a general principle that if a gentile lit a "candle" on Shabbos (this constituting the melacha of kindling) it is assur to derive benefit from it, and does it depend on who the intended beneficiary was? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): Yes; if the gentile lit it "for Jewish use", it is assur for all [Jews] (i.e. even those who were not intended beneficiaries), whereas if he lit it for himself, it is muttar for all Jews to benefit from its light.

          [Classic sources: Shabbos 122a (points2a-b).]

 

(b) If a gentile lit a "candle" on Shabbos (this constituting the melacha of kindling), is it true that it is assur to derive benefit from it only if it was lit because of an existing arrangement (i.e for payment)? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Rema writes (put simply): No; whether it was arranged (and whether this was on a job-oriented contracting basis or whether it was on a time-based hiring basis) or not, using the candle's light is always assur, since the Jew thereby derives benefit from the actual melacha done on Shabbos.

          [Classic sources: Compare above source with Shabbos 121a (points2a,k-L).]

 

(c) If a gentile lit a "candle" on Shabbos (this constituting the melacha of kindling), is it assur to derive benefit from it if the intended beneficiary was a Jew who was sick or a child? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): If it was lit for a Jew who was sick (even if there was no danger [to his life]), it is muttar (i.e. just like where it was lit for himself).

          The Rema writes (put simply): Lighting for the sake of children is equivalent to doing so for the sake of someone sick.

          [Classic sources: See Chulin 15b (2j-k1) and Eiruvin 68a (point2a) (as analyzed by Tosafos to Gittin 8b).]

 

(d) If a gentile lit a large fire on Shabbos (this constituting the melacha of kindling), is it assur to derive benefit from it in the same way as with a "candle"? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): Yes. [However,] some hold that a large fire is assur even if it was lit for the gentile himself or for a sick Jew, because we [apply] the enactment [to be concerned that] perhaps [the gentile] will do extra [kindling] for the sake of [the Jew we wish to permit to derive the benefit].

          [Classic sources: See Shabbos 121a (points2h1,3b1).]

 

(e) Is it assur to remain in the place where a gentile lit a "candle" on Shabbos (this constituting the melacha of kindling) since one thereby derives benefit from it? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Rema writes (put simply): If the gentile did this in the Jew's home "on his own" [i.e. the Jew had not directed him to do it (Mishnah Berurah)], then the Jew need not leave.

          The Mishnah Berurah writes (put simply): Initially, however, the Jew must stand opposed to the gentile lighting a "candle" in his [i.e. the Jew's] home (or even elsewhere, if the body or fuel of the "candle" belong to the Jew).

 

 

Siman 276, se'if 2

 

(a) If a gentile lit a "candle" on Shabbos (this constituting the melacha of kindling) and both Jews and non-Jews were present (at a meal, for example), how do we identify the "intended beneficiary" in order to determine whether it is assur to derive benefit from it? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): If the majority [at the meal] are non-Jews, then it is muttar [to benefit from the "candle"]. [Conversely,] if the majority are Jews, or even if there are an equal number of Jews and non-Jews, then it is assur. [However,] if there is a [clear] indication that it is for "non-Jewish purposes" that it was lit, such as if we see that [the non-Jew who himself lit the "candle"] is [personally] making use of its light, then it is muttar [to benefit from the "candle"] even if the majority are Jews.

          [Classic sources: Shabbos 122a-b (points3m-p).]

 

(b) Is it muttar initially to ask a gentile to light a "candle" on Shabbos (this constituting the melacha of kindling) for the purpose of a Mitzvah? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Rema writes (put simply): Some hold that it is muttar (their example being a Shabbos meal [at which there is no other light at all to eat by - Mishnah Berurah]), taking the position that "instructing a non-Jew" [to do something he himself may not do] is muttar for Mitzvah purposes even [if it is] a Torah-mandated melacha, [and it is in fact] based on this [that] many have the minhag to be lenient regarding telling a non-Jew to light "candles" for the sake of the meal, especially [if it is also] the meal of a wedding or a circumcision, and no one protests. [Nevertheless,] one should be stringent where there is no great need, because [actually] most authorities disagree with the above position; and see also [below] in siman 306 [se'if 11 and siman 307 se'if 5 (where it is also ruled that one may not have a non-Jew perform a Torah-mandated melacha merely "for Mitzvah purposes"].

          [Classic sources: See Eiruvin 68a (points1a1,3a) and Gittin 8b (points2h-L1).]

 

 

Siman 276, se'if 3

 

Is it assur to derive benefit from a "candle" which one's gentile servant takes along while accompanying him where he wishes to go on Shabbos (similar to the above cases which involve the melacha of kindling)? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): If he told the servant to come along and the servant lit a candle, it is considered lit "for Jewish purposes" [and therefore assur] even though the servant himself needs it, since the "going" itself is for the Jew's purposes.

          The Rema writes (put simply): On the other hand, one may have a non-Jew accompany him carrying a "candle" if it had already been lit, since this only involves moving the "candle".

          [Classic sources: See Shabbos 122 (points3f,o) and 150b (point3d).]

 

 

Siman 276, se'if 4

 

(a) If a gentile merely provided an additional "candle" (or oil) on Shabbos (which in any case constitutes the melacha of kindling), is it assur to derive benefit from it? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): Only after the "original" candle goes out (or after it would have, in the case where the non-Jew added oil).

 

(b) Is it appropriate to protest at a gentile who wishes to light (or add oil to) a "candle" on Shabbos (this constituting the melacha of kindling) in his presence? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Rema writes (put simply): It is muttar to do so. [It is not assur to "speak of doing melacha" in such a way (Mishnah Berurah).]

          The Mishnah Berurah writes (put simply): If the "candle" belongs to the Jew, he is obligated to protest.

          [Classic sources: See Shabbos 121a (point2a).]

 

 

Siman 276, se'if 5

 

What is the Halacha regarding a gentile doing the melacha of kindling a large fire on Shabbos for Jews because of the cold? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): It is muttar where the weather is cold, but only either (a) when there are young children involved (as well), or (b) if the cold is extreme (for all are [viewed as] "ill" with respect to [such] cold), and not if the cold isn't extreme that day.

          [Classic sources: See Shabbos 129a (point1m4).]