Dear Rabbonim Shlita,

If the electricity goes out on leil shabbos and a mother is afraid that she won’t be able to care properly for her baby, is that enough reason to get a goy to turn it back on?
Her concerns would be that she can’t see to feed him properly or if the baby is sleeping in a safe position.
One could argue the extremity of such a concern.
Also, if one is allowed to, is that by hinting or asking straight out.
Furthermore if it is permitted, can one benefit from light turned on in rooms where there was never a need in terms of the baby?

Answer:

For taking care of babies, and where babies might become afraid of the dark, it is permitted to ask a non-Jew, even explicitly, to turn the electricity back on.

The non-Jew should be told that the purpose of turning on the electricity is for the sake of the child’s room. In this case, where the intention of the non-Jew is for the sake of the child, there is no problem in deriving benefit from the light in other rooms, too.

Sources:

See Rema, Orach Chaim 328:17; Shulchan Aruch 318:2 (concerning deriving benefit from the non-Jews turning on the electricity; this case is similar to deriving benefit from an animal that was slaughtered, where there is no concern of the non-Jew’s doing extra).

Tags: babies deriving benefit Electricity non-Jews

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