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 Eikev

Would the issur of preventing a fellow Jew from violating an issur on pastime bread ovens apply to regular ovens?

In the previous shiur we learned that there is a problem to remove bread with a baking spatula that was pasted on the side of an oven, and only the person that wrongfully pasted the bread may remove it. This is based on a rule that one Jew does not violate an issur in order to prevent another Jew from committing an issur.

If a Jew put food in an oven b’issur on Shabbos, another Jew may take it out the oven in order to prevent the other Jew from violating an issur, because there is no problem with the actual removing. The problem is that often the food item put in the oven is muktze, in which case the Elya Raba says [1] that in such a case one may not remove it from the oven, in order to prevent a fellow Jew from violating an issur.

What if someone placed food on the fire b’issur? May or must I remove it from the fire before it cooks?

The same halacha would apply to a pot that was placed on the fire contrary to the halacha - whether it was done with the intention of violating an issur or whether it was placed unintentionally. One must make a distinction between food that is muktze, such as raw potatoes or raw beans, which are inedible in their raw state, in which case one will not be permitted to remove them from the fire according to the Elya Raba and food that is edible such as water, fruit, certain vegetables etc.

What if a person is coerced to violate an issur? May or must a lesser issur be violated in order to prevent the greater issur?

The basis for this question is a very interesting but disastrous case mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch [2] - a case where one’s daughter was forced out of one’s home on Shabbos by gentiles with the purpose of converting her to Christianity. The Mechaber says that one must violate the Shabbos in order to retrieve her. The basis for this p’sak is that one must violate one’s Shabbos in order to prevent one’s daughter – or any Jew from that matter – who will be coerced into violating many many violations throughout her entire life.

Who however says that when a person is coerced to violate a single issur, that I must violate an issur in order to prevent another person from violating his issur?

The Mishna Berura [3] cites the Rama [4] who says that one may not violate an issur in order to prevent a fellow Jew from being coerced into violating even a greater issur. The Mishna Berura says that even if he was forced into avoda zara [5] one may not violate the Shabbos in order to help him, because violating the Shabbos is equivalent to avoda zara and who says that your issur is less severe than his.

The Mishna Berura adds [6] that if one is forced to violate one of the three cardinal sins and it is probable that that person’s life would be forfeited, it is possible to violate the Shabbos in order to save a life.

However, one should violate an issur d’rabanan in order to prevent a fellow from being forced into an issur d’oraisso. [7]

I see someone about to turn on a light, not realizing that it is already Shabbos. May I attract their attention by throwing a stone nearby?

Based on the case of the oven above, we see that one may not even violate a small issur in order to prevent another from an issur, even though the issur is unintentional. Accordingly one will not be permitted to violate even an issur d’rabanan in order to prevent a fellow Jew from violating an issur.

It is possible that if many people could be saved from violating the Shabbos it would be different.

[1] See M”B 254:40.

[2] Simon 306:14.

[3] Simon 306:58.

[4] Simon 328:10.

[5] Idol worshipping.

[6] Simon 328:31.

[7] We see that the PM”G  (see the Sha’ar Hatsiun 306:50) says that it is possible that one should even walk outside of 12 mil because it is only a ìàå, which is obviously more severe than a d’rabanan.

Food For Thought

May one violate the Shabbos for someone who is ill?

Does it make a difference whether one violates an issur d’oraisso or d’rabanan?

Should one preferably have a gentile violate for an ill person?

May Shabbos be violated in the normal manner for an ill person?

Answers coming next week.

Vort on the Parsha

The Parsha opens with the possuk, 'v'hayah eikev tishmi'un' , where the word 'eikev'  also means heel, and Rashi explains that if a person will heed the mitzvos that one usually tramples underfoot then one will merit receiving all the b’rachos written in the parsha.

Rav Sternbuch shlita cites the Sochochover Rebbe, the Avnei Nezer, who explains that it is harder for a person to do t’shuva for sins that are trampled underfoot because an integral part of t’shuva is to realize that one has sinned and sins that one violates without noticing are much harder to deal with.

Rabeinu Yonah in B’rachos points out that the price of a korban Chatas, which is offered to atone for a definite sin, costs less than an Asham, which is brought when it is not sure one has violated the sin. The reason being that when one is not sure if a sin was violated one does not see any necessity to atone for it, and through paying a steeper price for the korban one will be forced to come to terms with the fact that a sin might have been committed.

Here too, if one is willing to overcome one’s natural inclination to commit “small” sins, one will surely merit many b’rachos.

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.