Sechar Shabbat

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The Rabbis forbad receiving wages for (permissible) work done on Shabbat. [1]

Upon whom is the prohibition?

  1. The primary prohibition applies to the one receiving the wages; however, it’s also forbidden to pay these wages (for permissible work) because one transgresses “Lifnei Iver”. [2]

What is included?

  1. It is permitted to receive money on Shabbos for a rental that includes a pre-/post-Shabbos period. The same applies to services performed, that a Jew may serve as a waiter on Shabbos provided he does some set-up before, or cleanup after Shabbos. [3]
  2. It’s forbidden to receive payment for any service or rental over Shabbat (such as renting one's house for a specific number of days). However, if one purchases something on Shabbat (in cases where it’s permissible) one must pay the amount owed after Shabbat. [4]
  3. One may not receive payment for renting out a room for Shabbat specifically, rather one should stipulate that the rental should begin a little before Shabbat or a little after Shabbat and certainly for a few days amongst them Shabbat. [5]
  4. One may rent out a car even if the rental is paid per day and includes Shabbat because the rental is paid for every 24 hour day from morning to morning and automatically in the payment for Shabbat is also a few hours after Shabbat. [6]

Permissible way to receive payment

  1. It is permissible to receive payment for work done over a period of time such as a month, week, or year even if Shabbat is included. [7] According to Ashkenazim, this is only true if each side sees it as an agreement which is intended to last, however, if it’s seen as a temporary agreement and the either side could retract and only pay wages for each day, it’s not permissible to receive wages for the Shabbat. [8]

Baby sitter

  1. Someone watching children every Shabbat can receive the wages as a gift. [9]

Doctor

  1. A doctor can receive wages for a call he did on Shabbat. [10]

Chazzan, Bal Koreh, Mashgiach

  1. A chazzan, bal koreh, or mashgiach who are only working on Shabbat can receive wages, but it’s better that it’s mixed with payment for some work done on a weekday. [11]

Renting to a non-Jew

  1. Sephardim may rent to a non-Jew an object on Friday which will be used for a Melacha Deoritta (biblically forbidden activity on Shabbat) as long as the non-Jew has time to remove it from the Jew’s house. Ashkenazim should not rent such an object except on Thursday or earlier in the week. [12]

Paying for services

  1. One can pay (after Shabbat) for going into a mikveh on shabbat, or staying at a hotel on Shabbat. [13]
  2. One can pay for a ticket to the zoo before Shabbat for a visit on Shabbat (this is only in terms of wages on Shabbat, but in terms of kedushat Shabbat it’s preferable to sanctify Shabbat with Torah and mitzvoth). [14]
  3. One can switch a rotation of a guard or cleaning duty to work on Shabbat instead of a weekday. [15]

Interest over Shabbat

  1. Interest in a bank accrued on Shabbat is permitted. [16]

Links

  1. Rav Herschel Schachter (Doing Business on Shabbos – Schar Shabbos
  2. Rabbi Shay Schachter Twenty Minute Halacha Paying a Chazzan and Baal Tokeah


Sources

  1. Rashi Ketubot 64a s.v. Kesechar explains that the reason chazal prohibited taking sechar shabbat, wages from work done on Shabbat, is based on a concern of coming to doing business on Shabbat. S”A 306:4, Mishna Brura 306:16 and Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 28:54 codify this as halacha. Rabbi Simcha Bunim Cohen explains (The Shabbos Home p. 27) that Chazal forbade engaging in any type of business transaction because it might lead to Kosev, writing down the transaction in a journal or the like.
  2. Mishna Brurah 306:21, Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 28:54
  3. S”A (306:4) writes that one is permitted to earn money on Shabbos if it is blended in with payments for the week, month, year, or shemittah cycle. This is known as Schar Shabbos B’Havla’ah, Shabbos payments which are blended in, or literally swallowed up, with week payments. Rav Herschel Schachter (Doing Business on Shabbos – Schar Shabbos min. 43-45) explains that Havla’ah is when the unit that is paid is larger than Shabbos. If one were to pay an hourly rate, any hours charged on Shabbos would be Schar Shabbos. But if one pays a flat rate which includes services not performed on Shabbos, this would be permitted because of Schar Shabbos B’Havla’ah.
  4. Mishna Brurah 306:19, Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 28:57
  5. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 28:71
  6. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 28:67
  7. Rambam Shabbat 6:25, Rosh Ketubot 5:37, S”A 306:4, Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 28:64. The Braisa (Bava Metzia 58a) writes that one who hires a worker to guard, cannot pay him Sachar Shabbos, therefore the guard is not responsible for Shabbos. If he was hired for the week, month, year or Shemitah cycle, he can be paid for the whole period, including Shabbos, therefore, he is responsible for Shabbos. Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchita 28:64 in the footnote explains that the gezerah is only because one may could to write down the transaction and the Rabbis didn’t extend it to a case where one receives wages over a period of time because one will not come to write about the transaction of Shabbat specifically).
  8. Rama 306:4, Mishna Brurah 306:20, Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 28:64
  9. Sh”t Bear Moshe 5:103
  10. Sh”t Teshuvot Vehanhagot 1:214, Sh”t Bear Moshe 5:102, Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 28:67 (based on Mishna Brurah 306:24), Menuchat Ahava 10:28, Kaf Hachaim 306:36, Rabbi Eli Mansour on dailyhalacha.com.
    • The Mordechai (Kesubos 189) quotes from Rabbeinu Baruch both the reasons to permit and to prohibit hiring chazanim or baalei keriah for Shabbos. He writes that it should be prohibited because of Schar Shabbos, but maybe it would be permitted because there is no decree of chazal by a mitzvah. The Shulchan Aruch (306:5) writes that it is prohibited to hire Chazanim to daven on Shabbos, and some say it’s permitted. As a general rule, when the Shulchan Aruch writes a halacha and then writes “some permit it,” we follow the first opinion. So it therefore it seems, in terms of Sachar Shabbos, that there should be no difference whether the work is a Mitzvah or not.The Aruch Hashulchan (306:12) notes a contradiction with the Mechaber here and the Mechaber by Hilchos Rosh Hashana. Over there (585:5) he writes that one may take money to blow shofar, however he will not see a siman bracha from that money. But over here he writes that it is prohibited (see also Sh"t Yabia Omer OC 5:25 who points out this contradiction as well) .The Aruch Hashulchan writes that because it seems that the minhag is to hire chazanim, it’s probably not prohibited. Yalkut Yosef (Shabbat vol 2, pg 121) writes that the minhag is to be lenient to hire Chazanim just for Shabbat as long as one doesn’t speak about the amount on Shabbat. Nonetheless one doesn’t see Bracha from that money and so one should use that money for buying sefarim or the like.
    • Rabbi Simcha Bunim Cohen (The Shabbos Home p. 35) concludes that as long the chazzan or baal korei prepare during the week, it would be permissible because of Schar Shabbos B’Havla’ah. Sh”t Tzitz Eliezer 7:28(7), Sh”T Shevet Hakehati 2:103 agree.
    • Sh”t Shaarei Ezra allows a Mohel to accept payment as it’s a dvar mitzvah but preferably he should visit the baby before or after Shabbat so the payment is mixed with permissible payment.
  11. Menuchat Ahava (vol 1, chap 19 #4) based on S”A and Rama 246:1
  12. Sh”t Nodeh Beyehuda O”C 26, Sh”T Mishnat Halachot 10:65 since the work to prepare the mikveh before Shabbat and cleaning it after Shabbat is enough so that the payment is considered mixed with permitted payment. Concerning the hotel, so rule Sh”t HaElef Lecha Shlomo 125 since it’s payment for the stay mixed with payment for cleaning the room before and after Shabbat. see also Rabbi Eli Mansour regarding hotel
  13. Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 28:65
  14. Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 28:55 the work he’s doing isn’t for a wage but just to exempt himself from working another day.
  15. Shabbat Kehilchata 20:8. [The Mishna Brurah 306:19 writes that one may not take interest from a non-Jew for money lent for Shabbat unless one doesn’t specify a number of days but only a number of weeks.] see Bayit Hayehudi 5:22(11) and BeYitzchak Yikareh on Mishna Brurah 306:19