A Jew owns a number of supermarkets where he pays (a set monthly fee) to a service company that has non-Jewish workers to come by and make regular check-ups on the fridges used in the store. The workers will come of course if something is broken and are called for it however they come from time to time to check how things are working, if anything is broken, etc. If something is broken they are instructed to fix it on the spot. The fridges obviously run all the time, including on Shabbos when the store is closed. The non-Jewish workers as it is now will occasionally come by to check on Shabbos (they have the key to the store.) They do this because if the fridges would stop working it would be a big hefsed (loss) in terms of the food that is stored in the fridges. Is it okay to have the non-Jewish workers lichatchila come by on Shabbos even if they might have to fix something if they discover a broken fridge. Could a reason be since they are paid on a monthly basis a set amount? What about the reason of the fact that if they don’t come by and fix the fridge it would lead to a big loss?

Answer:

There doesn’t appear to be a problem of amirah le-akum, because the non-Jewish company comes in whenever it wants, and there is no instruction to come on Shabbos.

Benefiting from the job of fixing the fridge will also not be a problem, because this benefit is only “saving from loss,” and there is therefore no problem in using the items that were ‘saved.’

The only problem might be the fact that workers are going into a Jewish supermarket on Shabbos and doing work there, and this might raise a concern of maris ayin. However, because it is clear that the store is closed, and the workers don’t look like they are working for the Jewish store owner, this will apparently not fall under the prohibition.

Best wishes.

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