Sechar Shabbat

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Hiring a worker

  1. It is forbidden hire a Jew to work (without doing any Melacha, such as a guard) for Shabbat. Nonetheless one may hire a Jew for a week, month, or year, and included in that is wages for Shabbat. [1] Some say that when one hires for a week one may not specify the number of days being paid for because it is like paying for the Shabbat specifically. [2]
  2. The same applies to a rental that one shouldn’t rent one’s house for a specific number of days and included in that is Shabbat. [3]
  3. 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.
  4. It’s a rabbinic prohibition to receive wages for work done on Shabbat even if the work isn’t a forbidden Melacha. However if the wages for Shabbat are mixed with other wages, such as a weekly or monthly payment it’s permitted to receive wages for Shabbat. [4]
  5. Someone watching children every Shabbat can receive the wages as a gift. [5]
  6. 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. [6]
  7. A doctor can receive wages for a call he did on Shabbat. [7]
  8. One can pay (after Shabbat) for going into a mikveh on shabbat, or staying at a hotel on Shabbat. [8]
  9. 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). [9]
  10. One can switch a rotation of a guard or cleaning duty to work on Shabbat instead of a weekday. [10]
  11. Interest in a bank accrued on Shabbat is permitted. [11]


  1. S”A 306:4, Yalkut Yosef (Shabbat vol 2 pg 119)
  2. Rama 306:4
  3. Mishna Brurah 306:19
  4. S”A 306:4, Mishna Brurah 306:16
  5. Sh”t Bear Moshe 5:103
  6. Sh”t Yabe Omer O”C 5:25 says that since S”A 585:5 says one won’t see any bracha in the money it implies that it’s not forbidden, however S”A 306:5 is strict about this so perhaps S"A retracted from his stringent position. 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. Sh”t Tzitz Eliezer 7:28(7), Sh”T Shevet Hakehati 2:103 say if the chazzan or Rabbi spends time prepares for that Shabbat on the weekday it’s certainly permitted. 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.
  7. Sh”t Teshuvot Vehanhagot 1:214, Sh”t Bear Moshe 5:102, Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 28:67, Menuchat Ahava 10:28, Kaf Hachaim 306:36.
  8. 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.
  9. Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 28:65
  10. Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 28:55 the work he’s doing isn’t for a wage but just to exempt himself from working another day.
  11. Shabbat Kehilchata 20:8, see Bayit Hayehudi 5:22(11)