SECTION 251 Not to Perform Work on Friday from the Afternoon Onward (1-5)

סימן רנא שֶׁלֹּא לַעֲשׂוֹת מְלָאכָה בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת מִן הַמִּנְחָה וּלְמַעְלָה וּבוֹ ה' סְעִיפִים:

1 Our Sages forbade the performance of work on Fridays1 and on the day before festivals from the time of the Afternoon Service2 onward. Whoever performs work at this time will never see a sign of blessing from that work; whatever he earns will be forfeited elsewhere. Nevertheless, he is not punished [for performing such work], i.e., he is not placed under a ban of ostracism, nor is he given stripes for rebellious conduct,3 as is [generally] done to those who violate the words of the Sages,4 because they were not that stringent in [punishing those who violate] this prohibition. Nevertheless, [a transgressor] should be rebuked and forced, against his will, to cease [performing work on Friday afternoon].5

א אָסְרוּ חֲכָמִים לַעֲשׂוֹת מְלָאכָה בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת1 וְעֶרֶב יוֹם טוֹב מִן הַמִּנְחָה2 וּלְמַעְלָה וְכָל הָעוֹשֶׂה אֵינוֹ רוֹאֶה סִמַּן בְּרָכָה לְעוֹלָם א מֵאוֹתָהּ מְלָאכָה ב שֶׁמַּה שֶּׁמַּרְוִיחַ בָּהּ מַפְסִיד כְּנֶגֶד זֶה מִמָּקוֹם אַחֵר ג אֲבָל אֵין עוֹנְשִׁין אוֹתוֹ עָלֶיהָ ד לֹא נִדּוּי וְלֹא מַכּוֹת מַרְדּוּת ה,3 כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁעוֹשִׂין לְעוֹבֵר עַל דִּבְרֵי חֲכָמִים ו,4 לְפִי שֶׁלֹּא הֶחֱמִירוּ כָּל כָּךְ בְּאִסּוּר זֶה ז וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם גּוֹעֲרִין בּוֹ וּמְבַטְּלִין אוֹתוֹ מִלַּעֲשׂוֹתָהּ בְּעַל כָּרְחוֹ: ח,5

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2 There are some authorities who maintain that this prohibition applies from Minchah Gedolah6onward, i.e., from six and a half hours7 in the day onward. Others maintain that it begins from Minchah Ketanah,8i.e., from nine and a half hours onward. With regard to actual practice, one who is lenient [regarding this matter] does not forfeit [Divine] blessing, [since it is but] a Rabbinic decree.

ב יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים שֶׁאִסּוּר זֶה הוּא מִן מִנְחָה גְדוֹלָה6 וּלְמַעְלָה דְּהַיְנוּ מִשֵּׁשׁ שָׁעוֹת וּמֶחֱצָה7 וְאֵילַךְ ט וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים שֶׁהוּא מִמִּנְחָה קְטַנָּה8 דְּהַיְנוּ מִתִּשְׁעָה וּמֶחֱצָה י וְאֵילַךְ וּלְעִנְיַן הֲלָכָה הַמֵּקֵל בְּדִבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים לֹא הִפְסִיד הַבְּרָכָה: יא

3 Our Sages forbade only actual work. Commercial activity, by contrast, is permitted until the time to be mentioned in sec. 256[:1].9 [Moreover,] even actual work is forbidden only when one purposefully sets about to perform significant work. One may, however, perform a brief and casual task, e.g., one chances to write a letter to a friend10 or the like. Our Sages only forbade purposefully setting about to perform significant work so that one would be free to occupy himself with his Shabbos needs.11

(Even someone who does not have to occupy himself with his Shabbos needs at all is forbidden to perform work from the afternoon onward, because our Sages did not desire to make distinctions with regard to their decrees.)

Moreover, even to set about to purposefully perform actual work is forbidden only when it is not being performed for the sake of Shabbos — or even when it is being performed for the sake of Shabbos, but is being performed for payment. Throughout the entire day, one is permitted, however, to perform work for the sake of Shabbos gratuitously, e.g., to sew12 clothes for the sake of Shabbos, whether for oneself or for one’s friend without charge. Similarly, it is permitted to copy books so that one can study from them, whether one writes for his own sake or for a friend’s sake, without charge. Since this is a matter associated with a mitzvah, it is as if it was carried out for the sake of Shabbos.

ג לֹא אָסְרוּ אֶלָּא מְלָאכָה גְמוּרָה אֲבָל (א) פְּרַקְמַטְיָא מֻתֶּרֶת יב עַד שִׁעוּר שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִמָּן רנ"ו. יג,9

וַאֲפִלּוּ מְלָאכָה גְמוּרָה אֵינָהּ אֲסוּרָה אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁנִּקְבָּע עַצְמוֹ עָלֶיהָ אֲבָל מֻתָּר לַעֲשׂוֹת מְלָאכָה לְפִי שָׁעָה דֶּרֶךְ עֲרַאי יד כְּגוֹן אִם נִזְדַּמֵּן לוֹ לִכְתּוֹב אִגֶּרֶת שְׁלוֹמִים טו,10 וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָזֶה שֶׁלֹּא אָסְרוּ אֶלָּא לַעֲשׂוֹת מְלָאכָה דֶּרֶךְ קֶבַע כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה פָּנוּי לְהִתְעַסֵּק בְּצָרְכֵי שַׁבָּת. טז,11

(וַאֲפִלּוּ מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ כְּלָל לְהִתְעַסֵּק בְּצָרְכֵי שַׁבָּת אָסוּר לוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת מְלָאכָה מִן הַמִּנְחָה וּלְמַעְלָה לְפִי שֶׁלֹּא רָצוּ חֲכָמִים לְחַלֵּק בִּגְזֵרָתָם).

וַאֲפִלּוּ לִקְבּוֹעַ עַצְמוֹ לִמְלָאכָה גְמוּרָה יז אֵין אִסּוּר אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁאֵינָהּ לְצֹרֶךְ הַשַּׁבָּת אוֹ אֲפִלּוּ לְצֹרֶךְ הַשַּׁבָּת אֶלָּא שֶׁעוֹשֶׂה בְּשָׂכָר אֲבָל לַעֲשׂוֹת לְצֹרֶךְ הַשַּׁבָּת בְּחִנָּם כְּגוֹן לִתְפּוֹר12 בְּגָדִים לְצֹרֶךְ הַשַּׁבָּת יח בֵּין לוֹ בֵּין לַחֲבֵרוֹ יט בְּחִנָּם מֻתָּר כָּל הַיּוֹם וְכֵן מֻתָּר לְהַעְתִּיק סְפָרִים לִלְמוֹד בָּהֶם כ בֵּין שֶׁכּוֹתֵב לְעַצְמוֹ בֵּין שֶׁכּוֹתֵב לַחֲבֵרוֹ בְּחִנָּם דְּכֵיוָן שֶׁהוּא דְבַר מִצְוָה הֲרֵי זֶה כִּלְצֹרֶךְ שַׁבָּת: כא

4 It is forbidden to cut the hair of a non-Jew on Friday from the time of Minchah13 onwards, even giving him a nonprofessional haircut14 and even if one cuts his hair free of charge, since this task is not being carried out for the sake of Shabbos.

It is, by contrast, permitted to cut a Jew’s hair, even if one does so in a professional manner, and even for a fee. [Cutting hair] is not comparable to sewing clothes or performing other tasks, because in those instances, it is not apparent at that time that the task is being performed for the sake of Shabbos. Therefore, it is only permitted to perform such tasks without charge. (When a person charges a fee [for his work], it is as if he performed the task solely for the sake of his fee and not at all for the sake of Shabbos.) When one cuts [a fellow Jew’s] hair, by contrast, it is obvious that the task is now being carried out for the sake of Shabbos.15

ד אָסוּר לְסַפֵּר אֶת הַנָּכְרִי בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת מִן הַמִּנְחָה13 וּלְמַעְלָה אֲפִלּוּ תִּסְפֹּרֶת שֶׁהִיא מַעֲשֵׂה הֶדְיוֹט כב,14 וַאֲפִלּוּ מְסַפְּרוֹ בְּחִנָּם כֵּיוָן שֶׁאֵין בִּמְלָאכָה זוֹ צֹרֶךְ הַשַּׁבָּת.

אֲבָל מֻתָּר לְסַפֵּר אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל כָּל הַיּוֹם כג אֲפִלּוּ מַעֲשֵׂה אֻמָּן כד וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּשָׂכָר כה וְאֵינוֹ דוֹמֶה לִתְפִירַת בְּגָדִים וּשְׁאָר הַמְּלָאכוֹת שֶׁאֵין הַדָּבָר נִכָּר שֶׁהַמְּלָאכָה נַעֲשֵׂית עַכְשָׁו בִּשְׁבִיל הַשַּׁבָּת לְפִיכָךְ אֵין הֶתֵּר אֶלָּא בְּחִנָּם (שֶׁכְּשֶׁיִּטּוֹל שָׂכָר הֲרֵי זֶה כְּאִלּוּ נַעֲשֵׂית בִּשְׁבִיל שְׂכָרוֹ בִּלְבָד וְאֵינָהּ נַעֲשֵׂית כְּלָל עַכְשָׁו בִּשְׁבִיל הַשַּׁבָּת) אֲבָל הַתִּסְפֹּרֶת נִכֶּרֶת שֶׁנַּעֲשֵׂית עַכְשָׁו בִּשְׁבִיל הַשַּׁבָּת: כו,15

5 A poor person who desires to perform work in order to earn money that he would use for his Shabbos needs is permitted to perform work the entire day.16 For even on Chol HaMoed one is permitted to perform all types of tasks for a similar reason, as will be explained in sec. 542.17 How much more so does [this leniency] apply on Friday afternoon, before p’lag haminchah. For [the prohibition against performing work on] Friday afternoon is less severe than [that of performing work at that time on] Chol HaMoed.18Therefore, every [task] that is permitted on Chol HaMoed may certainly be performed the entire day on Friday, even [if it is performed] for a fee.

ה מִי שֶׁהוּא עָנִי וְרוֹצֶה לַעֲשׂוֹת מְלָאכָה לְהִשְׂתַּכֵּר לְהוֹצִיא הַשָּׂכָר לְצֹרֶךְ שַׁבָּת מֻתָּר לוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת כָּל הַיּוֹם16 שֶׁהֲרֵי אֲפִלּוּ בְּחֹל הַמּוֹעֵד מֻתָּר לוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת כָּל הַמְּלָאכוֹת עַל דֶּרֶךְ זֶה כז כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִמָּן תקמ"ב כח,17 וְכָל שֶׁכֵּן בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת מִן הַמִּנְחָה וּלְמַעְלָה שֶׁהוּא קַל מֵחֻלּוֹ שֶׁל מוֹעֵד18 לְפִיכָךְ כָּל מַה שֶּׁמֻּתָּר בְּחֻלּוֹ שֶׁל מוֹעֵד כָּל שֶׁכֵּן שֶׁמֻּתָּר בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת כט כָּל הַיּוֹם אֲפִלּוּ בְּשָׂכָר: