Peninei Halakha

Close this search box.
Peninei Halakha > Shabbat > 26 – Ma’aseh Shabbat and Lifnei Iver > 07. Benefiting after Shabbat from a Melakha Performed on Shabbat

07. Benefiting after Shabbat from a Melakha Performed on Shabbat

As we have learned, one who performs a melakha on Shabbat be-shogeg may benefit from it immediately after Shabbat, as may other Jews. If he transgressed be-mezid, he may never benefit from it, though others may benefit from it after Shabbat. For example, if one knowingly cooked food on Shabbat, he may never eat it. Others, including those he cooked for, may eat the food after Shabbat (MB 318:5). Similarly, if one built a house on Shabbat, others may benefit from it after Shabbat, but he may never use it. However, he may sell the house to others (MB 318:4).

One who knowingly laundered his clothes on Shabbat may not wear them even after Shabbat, because one may never benefit from a melakha that he performed knowingly on Shabbat. A solution in such a case is to wash the clothes again during the week, after which he may wear them (Ben Ish Ĥai, Year 2, Vayeĥi 19).

If a non-observant Jew regularly performs melakha on Shabbat for other Jews, they may not benefit from this melakha even after Shabbat. Only when a melakha is done occasionally may those on whose behalf the melakha was done benefit from it after Shabbat, as there is no concern that they will ask him to desecrate Shabbat again so that they can benefit after Shabbat. However, if he does this melakha regularly, they may never benefit from it. For example, one may not buy bread from one who regularly bakes it on Shabbat in order to sell it after Shabbat, even if all the ingredients are kosher. Eating it encourages him to continue desecrating Shabbat, and they would take part in his transgression. Similarly, no Jew may eat at a restaurant where a Jewish chef cooks on Shabbat for customers who will come after Shabbat.

One may not watch sports games or other televised events after Shabbat if these events were filmed by Jews on Shabbat. Since the filming involved intentional Shabbat desecration on the part of the videographers for the sake of their viewers after Shabbat, the viewers may not benefit from this Shabbat desecration. The same applies to fruits and vegetables brought to market on Sunday. If it is known for certain that they were picked by Jews on Shabbat, no Jew may eat them.[8]

Technically, one may buy dairy products from a dairy farm that desecrates Shabbat when milking the cows (see above 20:4), because the milk produced on Shabbat is mixed with the milk produced on other days. Thus, for any bag of milk that one buys, it is uncertain whether it was milked on Shabbat. Since the prohibition of benefiting from melakha done on Shabbat is rabbinic, in cases of uncertainty we may be lenient. This also applies to a factory that produces paper all week long, including Shabbat. Technically, one may buy its paper. Nevertheless, it is always preferable to buy products from factories and companies that observe Shabbat. If all Shabbat observers were to unite in order to strengthen Shabbat observance, it would be possible as a temporary measure to forbid any benefit from the products of factories that desecrate Shabbat (see Yalkut Yosef 318:72, 74-5; Orĥot Shabbat 25:57-61).

[8]. If a Jew knowingly cooked on Shabbat for his friend, after Shabbat only the cook may not enjoy the food; the friend may do so immediately after Shabbat, as explained in Beit Yosef and MB 318:5. However, Responsa Ketav Sofer, OĤ 50 limits this law to a case in which the cook is an observant Jew; in contrast, if the cook is a mumar, a Jew who regularly commits this transgression, then the people for whom he undertook the melakha may never benefit, because that would encourage him to continue desecrating Shabbat. Responsa Har Tzvi, OĤ 180 is lenient and allows the people for whom the melakha was done to benefit after Shabbat, as long as the desecration was not done in accordance with their wishes. Nevertheless, many Aĥaronim maintain that one should be stringent (Or Le-Tziyon 2:30:1; Yalkut Yosef 318:6 and 318:71-76; Orĥot Shabbat 25:8).A pot in which a non-observant Jew knowingly cooked kosher food on Shabbat, according to MA (following Rashba), has the same status as the food he cooked and is therefore prohibited until he performs hagala. Pri Megadim and MB 318:4 state this as well. Others maintain that only the food is forbidden, not the pot. This is the lenient position of Ra’ah and Rosh, who are not discussing ma’aseh Shabbat but rather bishul akum, the general prohibition for Jews to eat food cooked by a non-Jew. The laws of ma’aseh Shabbat are not as strict as those of bishul akum. For example, in the case of bishul akum no Jew may ever eat the food, while with ma’aseh Shabbat the food is forever forbidden only to the person who cooked it (and according to R. Meir, even the cook may eat it if he cooked the food unknowingly). Accordingly, the lenient position of Ra’ah and Rosh in a case of bishul akum should certainly apply to ma’aseh Shabbat as well (Erekh Ha-shulĥan 318:1; Livyat Ĥen §42). In any case, according to all opinions, a pot that was used to cook food on Shabbat may be used by anyone besides the cook, the same way that they may eat the food itself after Shabbat.

Chapter Contents

Order Now
Order Now

For Purchasing

in Israel
Har Bracha Publications
Tel: 02-9709588
Fax: 02-9974603

Translated By:
Series Editor: Rabbi Elli Fischer

The Laws of Shabbat (1+2) - Yocheved Cohen
The Laws of Prayer - Atira Ote
The Laws of Women’s Prayer - Atira Ote
The Laws of Pesach - Joshua Wertheimer
The Laws of Zemanim - Moshe Lichtman

Editor: Nechama Unterman