πŸ›Ž AT Daily! #184 – πŸ’‘ May We Benefit From the Light of a Gentile on Shabbos? – πŸ•―πŸ•― Shabbos 122

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Closing Ch. 16, opening Ch. 17. Basic principle is that we may only benefit from the labor of a gentile on Shabbos if he performed it for his own benefit and not for ours, otherwise he’s our agent and we would be violating Shabbos. And if we know him personally, the assumption is that he did it for us, a refreshing assumption when so many other rabbinic decrees derive from fear/suspicion of the stranger (alas, all too often justified in Jewish history). Shmuel had a lovely, nuanced moment in the home of his Persian friend Avin Toran. Chapter 17 is all about the rabbinic principle of “muktzeh,” things which are set aside from use on Shabbos because they could easily lead to Shabbos violations. The classic question concerns a hammer. It’s normally used for construction, a prohibited labor on Shabbos, so you might think it is muktzeh, but it can be used to crack nuts. A cell phone on the other hand has not Shabbos use. Vessels are not muktzeh, so they may be moved and even dismantled and reassembled so long as no craftsmanship is required to get them back together. We can take the doors off an armoire, but we can’t replace them because that would require craftsmanship. We may neither remove nor replace the doors of a chicken coop because it’s attached to the ground, and that would be construction.

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