. According to Rabbeinu Yona and Ritva, if the object was not physically altered, the prohibition of ma’aseh Shabbat
does not apply to it. This is also the opinion of Korban Netanel
. In contrast, Tosafot
, Ramban, and Rashba as well as Har Tzvi
maintain that this is not grounds for leniency. In practice, if the melakha
was done unknowingly, in times of need one may be lenient. (This is the implication of Ĥayei Adam
9:11; MB 318:7; and BHL 318:1 s.v. “aĥat.”) Under pressing circumstances, one may be lenient even if the melakha
was done knowingly, since the prohibition of ma’aseh Shabbat
is rabbinic. See Yabi’a Omer
, 10:25. This applies when soldiers have been brought food by a vehicle on Shabbat: under pressing circumstances, they may eat the food. However, if their consumption of the food will cause additional Shabbat desecration in future, they should not eat it (Ha-tzava Ka-halakha
35:10). All agree that if fruit was knowingly brought from outside the teĥum
(at a height of under ten tefaĥim
), one may not benefit from it, as explained in Eruvin
41b and SA 405:9. According to Rabbeinu Yona, the reason for this is that the Sages reinforced their own safeguards.Regarding melakha
performed by a non-Jew, all agree that Hotza’ah
is just as severe as other melakhot
. For example, if a non-Jew delivered something to a Jew via an action that is prohibited on Shabbat by Torah law, the Jew may not benefit from it until enough time has elapsed after Shabbat that the item could have been brought after Shabbat. This is to make sure that Jews do not ask non-Jews to do melakha
for them on Shabbat. If a non-Jew performed a rabbinically prohibited melakha
, then the Jew for whom the melakha
was performed may not benefit from it until enough time has elapsed after Shabbat that the melakha
could have been done. Other Jews may benefit from it even on Shabbat (SA 325:10), as explained in 25:1 above.
. According to Mor U-ketzi’a, Ma’amar Mordechai, and Nehar Shalom, if a fire was lit on Yom Tov (which is prohibited) and then used to cook food, one may benefit from the food since cooking is not prohibited on Yom Tov (in opposition to Taz 502:1, which forbids). This indicates that one may benefit from a consequence of ma’aseh Shabbat. A key that was transported via a public domain is subject, as we saw in the previous note, to a disagreement about whether one may benefit from a melakha that did not physically alter an object. Under pressing circumstances, one may be lenient. In any case, if the door has already been unlocked with that key, entering through the doorway does not constitute benefiting from the transgression itself, but rather from a consequence. As we said, in such a case one may benefit. This is the opinion of R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach and R. Yosef Shalom Elyashiv (however, Igrot Moshe, OĤ 2:77 prohibits; see 2:71 as well).
In contrast, if a door was unlocked in a prohibited fashion, such as with an electronic key card, then it would seem that one may not benefit by entering, since the very act of unlocking was done in a prohibited manner. (As we saw, according to Tosafot, Ramban, and Rashba, ma’aseh Shabbat applies to Hotza’ah even though the item is not changed.) This is certainly the position of Igrot Moshe, and it seems to be that of R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach as well. Nevertheless, according to R. Yosef Shalom Elyashiv (cited in Melakhim Omnayikh, p. 525), it is permissible because opening the door is simply removing an impediment, and this kind of benefit is not prohibited. Furthermore, even without this explanation, we saw above in n. 6 that under pressing circumstances one may rely upon the opinion of Rabbeinu Yona. If a refrigerator door was opened and the refrigerator light went on, even R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach allows removing food from the refrigerator, since the light was turned on only incidentally (SSK 10:16 and n. 47). For further discussion of all these cases, see Orĥot Shabbat 25:29-32 and §14 in the Birurim section.
If a non-observant Jew opened an electric door by approaching it, one should be stringent and avoid taking advantage of his transgression, as doing so is a desecration of God’s name. However, under pressing circumstances, where there is no choice, one may rely on Rabbeinu Yona (as mentioned above in 17:11 and n. 11).