May i use my 1 and a half year old to be my “shabbos Goy” to turn off lights etc.?


It is not permitted to instruct a child to perform a melachah that involves a Torah prohibition.

According to the majority of rishonim and poskim, telling the child to perform a melachah is considered a Torah prohibition of shevisas beno (see Mechilta on Yisro, 20:10; Rashi and Ramban; Yerei’im 101; Chinuch 32; Rashba, Shabbos 153; Maggid Mishnah, Shabbos 20:7; and see many acharonim, including Mishnah Berurah, Shaar Hatzion 334:54; but see also Biur Halachah 266:6 concerning a child that does something from his own volition, though the Mishnah Berurah clearly writes that when a parent instructs him there is a Torah prohibition).

However, if the child does something for his parents from his own volition, no prohibition will not apply to a young infant who does not understand that he’s doing it for his parents. Therefore, it is permitted to place a young infant next to the light switch, and wait for him to switch off the light.

Best wishes.

Share The Knowledge

Not what you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged Shabbat or ask your own question.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *