shabbos candles

The Shabbos Weekly
Halachos Series on Hilchos Shabbos

shabbos candles

Published by
Pirchei Shoshanim

A Project of
The Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Based on the Shiurim Given by

Rabbi Dovid
Ostroff, shlita

developed from the Chabura of the
Pirchei Shoshanim Shulchan Aruch Learning Project

These Halachos were shown by Rabbi Ostroff to
HaGaon HaRav Moshe Sternbuch, shlita


Questions for the Week of Parshas Pinchas

How does one pay for waiters that serve at a function on Shabbos?

The problem is that waiters usually serve the meal at a Shabbos lunch or set the table for kiddush and they either charge by the hour or charge a set fee. Whatever the case Ė the problem is síchar Shabbos. [1] What is the solution?

If the waiters are gentiles it is not a problem at all because the issur of síchar Shabbos is on the recipient [2] and a gentile may receive síchar Shabbos.

Last week we learned that a babysitter may receive global payment for babysitting performed during the week and thus the babysitter may be paid for Shabbos as well without mentioning Shabbos. Here too, the waiters would either clean up after Shabbos or work before Shabbos and be paid globally for the entire work.

Does the same apply to staying in a hotel or renting rooms for Shabbos?

A hotel is very different [3] in that the hotel generated expenses on your account, such as water, cleaning, electricity, food etc. which must be paid for. As for paying for the room itself, since one is paying for the other items we can say that the room is included in the entire fee. Even better than that, since the room is taken before Shabbos, one pays for the room 'b'habal'ah'.

May a chazzan or shofar blower receive money for his mitzvos?

The difference between a chazzan and a babysitter is that the chazzan is performing a mitzvah. The Beis Yosef brings a machlokes Rishonim as to whether one may receive síchar Shabbos for performing a mitzvah. The reason for approval is because receiving síchar Shabbos is only an issur dírabanan and when involving a mitzvah Chazal did not prohibit it. The reason for non-approval is because, after all, one is receiving síchar Shabbos.

What is the halacha?

The Mechaber writes [4] that one may not receive síchar Shabbos for performing a mitzvah and then adds that there is an opinion who permits it. The rule when learning the Mechaber is that 'stam v'yaish omrim halacha k'stam' , which means that when he writes the first opinion without mentioning who says it and then he writes another opinion saying that ďthere are thoseÖĒ the halacha is in accordance with the first opinion, which would mean it is forbidden.

The Rama adds that when the chazzan is hired for the entire year there is no problem because he is paid globally for chazzanus performed during the week as well. If he only officiates on Shabbos and Yom Tov it will not help that he is hired for the entire year.

The Mishna Berura however writes [5] that the custom was to hire the chazzan for the Shabbosos of the year.

As mentioned, since there is a viable solution to pay him for work done during the week, it is preferable to do so.

The same would apply to a shofar blower. Although he only blows on Rosh Hashana, nevertheless it is advisable to have him blow occasionally during Ellul and pay him globally.

It is noteworthy that even according to the lenient opinion one does not merit a sign of bíracha from money received from Shabbos work (unless paid globally). [6]

Is a doctor permitted to receive money for making a house call?

The Mishna Berura says [7] that a midwife may surely take síchar Shabbos for answering a call on Shabbos because it is payment for the sake of saving a life. [8] A doctor and a nurse are in the same category and they may also take síchar Shabbos for making a house call.

Does a doctor see a siman bíracha from money taken on Shabbos?

It would seem from the Mishna Berura [9]that payment received for healing a Jew is not part of the machlokes of síchar Shabbos and therefore one would see a bíracha in the payment. However, Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank says that receiving payment for healing and for performing a mitzvah is on par with each other and even if one is permitted to receive síchar Shabbos for healing, one will not see a siman bíracha. [10]

According to Rav Chaim Brisker (mentioned in the previous sheet) it is permitted, but as mentioned it is a machlokes haposkim.

[1] Receiving payment (after Shabbos) for work or a service performed on Shabbos.

[2] See the SSĒK 28 footnote 112.

[3] SSĒK 28:62.

[4] Simon 306:5

[5] Simon 306:24.

[6] MĒB 306:23.

[7] Simon 306:24.

[8] PMĒG MisĒZ 4.

[9] Who cites the Elya Raba who quotes the Kíneses HaGídolah.

[10] See the SSĒK 28 footnote 147.

Food For Thought

Am I permitted to donate money on Shabbos to the shul etc?

Is one permitted to measure on Shabbos?

Answers coming next week.

Vort on the Parsha

Moshe Rabeinu asked Hashem to appoint a leader for Am Yisroel - someone who will take them and bring them. HaRav Sternbuch shlita says that therein lies a message to the leaders of Yisroel. They are to lead the people and not be led by them. It is all too often that leaders turn to see what the people want to hear and act accordingly. A leader of Yisroel must say what needs to be said, act when action is demanded and must not be afraid of what the people might have to say.


For a printed version, click here.


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Note:  The purpose of this series is intended solely for the clarification of the topics discussed and not to render halachic decisions. It is intended to heighten everyone's awareness of important practical questions which do arise on this topic.  One must consult with a proper halachic authority in order to receive p'sak.