Working on Friday Afternoon
One should not work on Friday afternoon past the time for Mincha. It is debated whether this means 6.5 halachic hours after sunrise (Mincha Gedola) or 9.5 halachic hours after sunrise (Mincha Ketana). The reason is debated as well; one opinion holds that it's because we want to prevent one from transgressing the laws of Shabbos if he runs too late, and the other opinion says the reason is to leave time to prepare for Shabbos. While there are various leniencies (mentioned below), a G-d fearing person should do his best to abide by this law and it will do him well. One who unrightfully does not abide by this law will not gain from the work that he does after the time for Mincha on Friday afternoon, either directly or by losing the profit in a different manner.
- 1 Leaving with Time to Prepare for Shabbat
- 2 Lenient Opinions
- 3 Links
- 4 Sources
Leaving with Time to Prepare for Shabbat
Others are Preparing for Shabbos
- Some hold that the law of not being able to work past the time for Mincha on Friday afternoon only applies to bosses, but employees (salaried workers who do not have flexibility with their hours) can continue working past the time for Mincha.
Occasional Unscheduled Work
- While one may not partake in scheduled meetings, conference calls, or the like after the time for Mincha on Friday afternoon, one may make an unscheduled business phone call, send an unscheduled business email, and the like.
- The laws of Friday afternoon are not more stringent than the laws of Chol HaMoed. Therefore, if missing work on Friday afternoon would cause one to undergo a great financial loss, it's permitted to work then, just as it would be on Chol HaMoed.
Finishing a Job Under Compelling Circumstances
- Some hold that the law of not being able to work past the time for Mincha on Friday afternoon only applies to working on new assignments, but finishing up existing assignments is permitted.
Conducting "Business" as Opposed to "Work"
- It is permitted to do business such as keeping a store open as opposed to regular melacha after Mincha Gedola until Mincha Ketana according to all opinions. Some forbid after Mincha Gedola but the minhag is to be lenient.
- If a Jewish store is open beyond when the halacha warrants you shouldn't buy from that store at that time support their store.
Needed for Shabbos
- Work done for Shabbos needs, such as fixing a button or pot, is even permitted past the time for Mincha on Friday afternoon. This is true even if the work is done for somebody else's Shabbos needs, but only if one is not being paid for the work done (which would be proper indication that the work is really being done for Shabbos needs).
Retail Selling and Keeping Stores Open
- Some say that since retail selling and keeping stores open are not very strenuous, they are not really considered work and are therefore permitted after the time for Mincha on Friday afternoon. However, some Poskim say that a Jew does not have permission to buy past the time for Mincha on Friday afternoon (unless it's for something required for Shabbos).
Making Extra Money for Shabbos
- Gemara Pesachim 50b
- Mishnah Berurah 251:1
- Aruch HaShulchan 251:1
- Ben Ish Hai, 2nd Year, Lech Lecha 20
- Aruch HaShulchan 251:4
- Mishnah Berurah 251:2 quotes the Pri Megadim that several Poskim hold that aside from this being a curse, it may also be a violation of Rabbinic law.
- Magen Avraham 251:1 quotes the Smag and states that the Rabbis should prevent one from working past Mincha of Friday afternoon, but the one who violates this is not punished (essentially, it is highly frowned upon to work past MIncha on Friday afternoon).
- Prisha 251:1
- The Aruch HaShulchan 251:4 quotes this reason but advises against relying on it.
- Machatzit HaShekel 251:4
- Aruch HaShulchan 251:2
- Rama 251:1
- Mishnah Berurah 251:2
- Magen Avraham 256:1 writes that it is proper for a storekeeper to close an hour before Shabbat since if he doesn't it could lead to a violation of Shabbat if a buyer lingers in the store longer. Pri Megadim 256:1 concludes that the Magen Avrahamm only permits business after Mincha Gedola until mincha ketana for those who hold it is forbidden to do melacha after mincha gedola. Shaar Hatziyun 256:3 clarifies that the Magen Avraham means an hour before shekiya which is mincha ketana time (according to the Rabbenu Tam). In 251:1 the Magen Avraham clarifies that keeping a store open isn't a melacha. As such it is permitted to keep it open past mincha ketana. Mishna Brurah 256:1 and 251:1 cites the Magen Avraham.
- Piskei Teshuvot 251 fnt. 32 cites the Mor Ukesiah, Shulch Aruch Harav, Pri Megadim, Yeshuot Yakov, Biur Halacha. Furthermore, Kaf Hachaim 251:2 quotes the Eliya Rabba 251:1, Machzik Bracha 251, and Nehar Shalom who argue with the Magen Avraham that it is forbidden. Yalkut Yosef 251:3 writes that the minhag is to be lenient like the Magen Avraham.
- Dirshu 251:1 citing Rav Nissim Karelitz (Chut Shani 1:6:1)
- Shulchan Aruch 251:2
- Rama 251:2
- Prisha 251:2
- Tur 251:2
- Magen Avraham 251:1
- Chut Shuni, Shabbos, v. 1 p. 63