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Benefitting from melacha on Shabbos


Hi! An interesting question happened at my shul a few months ago which could likely happen again and would like to know the Halacha.
In the morning when everyone walked to shul it was beautiful and sunny and hours later it began to rain hard. While people were waiting for the rain to let up, the goyim realized what was going on. They took a role of garbage bags and began ripping them and making a whole in the bottom of each one so people could wear them and not get totally drenched by the rain.
Would this be considered benefitting from meleches akum and assur?
Would there perhaps be a heter because of Tzina as per Shulchan Aruch 276:5 or maybe since everyone could just hang around the shul and not go home until it lets up that wouldn’t be a heter. What about the fact that my family would get worried if I don’t go home?
Thank you!



Thank you for your question.

I agree with you, that since the goyim did melacha (mechatech, korayah, fashioning a kli) specifically for the Jews, they may not benefit from the work. The rationales that you are suggesting, do not seems to be quite satisfactory. As you wrote so nicely, no one tells the people to go into the rain and get wet. Also, the fact that one’s family will get nervous, seems rather shallow, because they also see that it is rainging outsode, and realize exactly why he isn’t coming home.

Best wishes


שולחן ערוך אורח חיים הלכות שבת סימן רעו סעיף א וז”ל “א”י שהדליק את הנר בשביל ישראל, אסור לכל, אפי’ למי שלא הודלק בשבילו. הגה: ואין חילוק בזה בין קצב לו שכר או לא קצב, או שעשאו בקבלנות או בשכירות, דהואיל והישראל נהנה ממלאכה עצמה בשבת, אסור בכל ענין (הג”א פ”ק דשבת וב”י בשם סמ”ג וסה”ת). וע’ במשנה ברורה שם ס”ק א “וה”ה לכל מלאכה שיעשה הא”י בשבת בשביל ישראל דאסור לכל ליהנות מזה”.


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