It is forbidden to transfer a burden on an animal on the Sabbath, as [Exodus 23:12] states, "[On the seventh day, you shall cease activity,] and thus your ox and your donkey may rest."1 This includes [not only] an ox and a donkey, but all animals, beasts, and fowl.2

Although a person is commanded to have [his animals] rest, he is not liable [for causing them to work], for the prohibition is derived from a positive commandment.3 Therefore, a person who directs his animal [while] it is carrying a burden on the Sabbath is not liable.4


אָסוּר לְהוֹצִיא מַשָּׂא עַל הַבְּהֵמָה בְּשַׁבָּת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כג יב) "לְמַעַן יָנוּחַ שׁוֹרְךָ וַחֲמֹרֶךָ" וְכָל בְּהֶמְתֶּךָ. אֶחָד שׁוֹר וַחֲמוֹר וְאֶחָד כָּל בְּהֵמָה חַיָּה וָעוֹף. וְאִם הוֹצִיא עַל הַבְּהֵמָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא מְצֻוֶּה עַל שְׁבִיתָתָהּ אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה לְפִי שֶׁאִסּוּרוֹ בָּא מִכְּלַל עֲשֵׂה. לְפִיכָךְ הַמְחַמֵּר אַחַר בְּהֶמְתּוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת וְהָיָה עָלֶיהָ מַשּׂאוֹי פָּטוּר:


Behold, there is [also] an explicit prohibition in the Torah [against working with an animal] as [Exodus 20:10] states: "Do not do any work on the Sabbath. [This includes] you, your son, your daughter, your servant, your maidservant and your beast."5

[This means that one should not perform forbidden labors such as] plowing and the like [together with an animal]. Since this is a prohibition which is punishable by death, [its violation does not incur] lashes.6


וַהֲלֹא לָאו מְפֹרָשׁ בַּתּוֹרָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כ י) "לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה כָל מְלָאכָה אַתָּה וּבִנְךָ וּבִתֶּךָ וְעַבְדְּךָ וַאֲמָתֶךָ וּבְהֶמְתֶּךָ", שֶׁלֹּא יַחֲרשׁ בָּהּ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בַּחֲרִישָׁה. וְנִמְצָא לָאו שֶׁנִּתָּן לְאַזְהָרַת מִיתַת בֵּית דִּין וְאֵין לוֹקִין עָלָיו:


It is forbidden for a Jew to lend or hire a large animal to a gentile so that the latter may perform work with it on the Sabbath, since [the Jew] is commanded to have his animal rest.7

Our Sages forbade selling a large animal to a gentile,8 lest one come to lend or hire [an animal to work on the Sabbath].9 A person who makes such a sale is penalized and is required to repurchase the animal, even if this requires paying ten times its worth.10

Even an animal that is injured11 should not be sold [to a gentile]. It is, however, permitted to sell [an animal to a gentile] through a broker,12 since a broker neither lends nor hires [beasts].


אָסוּר לְיִשְׂרָאֵל לְהַשְׁאִיל אוֹ לְהַשְׂכִּיר בְּהֵמָה גַּסָּה לְנָכְרִי שֶׁלֹּא יַעֲשֶׂה בָּהּ מְלָאכָה בְּשַׁבָּת וַהֲרֵי הוּא מְצֻוֶּה עַל שְׁבִיתַת בְּהֶמְתּוֹ. אָסְרוּ חֲכָמִים לִמְכֹּר בְּהֵמָה גַּסָּה לְנָכְרִי שֶׁמָּא יַשְׁאִיל אוֹ יַשְׂכִּיר. וְאִם מָכַר קוֹנְסִין אוֹתוֹ עַד עֲשָׂרָה בְּדָמֶיהָ וּמַחֲזִירָהּ. וַאֲפִלּוּ שְׁבוּרָה אֵין מוֹכְרִין. וּמֻתָּר לוֹ לִמְכֹּר לָהֶם עַל יְדֵי סַרְסוּר שֶׁהַסַּרְסוּר אֵינוֹ מַשְׂכִּיר וְאֵינוֹ מַשְׁאִיל:


It is permitted to sell a gentile a horse, since a horse is used only for human transportation13 and not for transporting burdens.14 [Hence, there is no forbidden labor involved, because] "a living entity carries itself."15

Just as it is forbidden to sell [such an animal] to a gentile, so too is it forbidden to sell it to a Jew who, we suspect, might sell it to a gentile.16

One may, however, sell [a gentile] a cow for the purpose of slaughter, [provided] he slaughters it in the seller's presence. One should not, however, sell [any animal], even an ox fattened for slaughter, without an explicit condition, lest the purchaser delay and work with it [on the Sabbath in the interim].17


וּמֻתָּר לִמְכֹּר לָהֶם סוּס שֶׁאֵין הַסּוּס עוֹמֵד אֶלָּא לִרְכִיבַת אָדָם לֹא לְמַשּׂאוֹי וְהַחַי נוֹשֵׂא אֶת עַצְמוֹ. וּכְדֶרֶךְ שֶׁאָסְרוּ לִמְכֹּר לְנָכְרִי כָּךְ אָסְרוּ לִמְכֹּר לְיִשְׂרָאֵל הֶחָשׁוּד לִמְכֹּר לְנָכְרִי. וּמֻתָּר לִמְכֹּר לָהֶם פָּרָה לִשְׁחִיטָה וְשׁוֹחֵט אוֹתָהּ בְּפָנָיו. וְלֹא יִמְכֹּר סְתָם אֲפִלּוּ שׁוֹר שֶׁל פְּטָם שֶׁמָּא יַשְׁהֵא אוֹתוֹ וְיַעֲבֹד בּוֹ:


In a place where the accepted custom is to sell a small animal18 to gentiles, one may make such a sale. In a place where the accepted custom is not to make such sales, one should not.19

In all places, however, a large non-domesticated animal should not be sold [to a gentile], just as a large domesticated animal should not be sold unless one does so via a broker.


מָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ לִמְכֹּר לָהֶן בְּהֵמָה דַּקָּה מוֹכְרִין. מָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ שֶׁלֹּא לִמְכֹּר אֵין מוֹכְרִין. וּבְכָל מָקוֹם אֵין מוֹכְרִין לָהֶם חַיָּה גַּסָּה כְּמוֹ שֶׁאֵין מוֹכְרִין לָהֶם בְּהֵמָה גַּסָּה אֶלָּא עַל יְדֵי סַרְסוּר:

Mishneh Torah (Moznaim)

Featuring a modern English translation and a commentary that presents a digest of the centuries of Torah scholarship which have been devoted to the study of the Mishneh Torah by Maimonides.


[The following rules apply when] a person is on a journey and night falls on Friday, [but] he is not accompanied by a gentile to whom he could give his purse:20 If he has an animal with him,21 he should place his purse on [the animal] while it is walking, and when [the animal] desires to stand, he should remove [the purse] from it, so that it will not stand still while carrying [the purse]. [In this manner,] neither the removal of an article from its place, nor placing it down in a new position will have been performed [by the animal].22

It is forbidden for him to direct the animal, even with his voice alone, as long as the purse is on it, so that he will not be considered to be directing his animal on the Sabbath.23 Our Sages decreed24 that one should not place a purse on an animal on the Sabbath unless one is not accompanied by a gentile.25


מִי שֶׁהֶחְשִׁיךְ בַּדֶּרֶךְ וְלֹא הָיָה עִמּוֹ נָכְרִי שֶׁיִּתֵּן לוֹ כִּיסוֹ וְהָיְתָה עִמּוֹ בְּהֵמָה. מַנִּיחַ כִּיסוֹ עָלֶיהָ כְּשֶׁהִיא מְהַלֶּכֶת וּכְשֶׁתִּרְצֶה לַעֲמֹד נוֹטְלוֹ מֵעָלֶיהָ כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תַּעֲמֹד וְהוּא עָלֶיהָ וּכְדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תִּהְיֶה שָׁם לֹא עֲקִירָה וְלֹא הַנָּחָה. וְאָסוּר לוֹ לְהַנְהִיגָהּ וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּקוֹל כָּל זְמַן שֶׁהַכִּיס עָלֶיהָ כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה מְחַמֵּר בְּשַׁבָּת. וּגְזֵרַת חֲכָמִים הִיא שֶׁלֹּא יַנִּיחַ כִּיסוֹ עַל גַּבֵּי בְּהֵמָה אֶלָּא אִם אֵין עִמּוֹ נָכְרִי:


Although the person is also accompanied by a deaf mute, a mentally incompetent individual, and a minor26, he should place his purse on the donkey rather than give to one of these individuals, for they are humans and are members of the Jewish people.27

If he is accompanied by a deaf-mute and a mentally incompetent individual, and does not have an animal with him, he should give it to the mentally incompetent individual.28 If [he is accompanied by] a mentally incompetent individual and a minor, he should give it29 to the mentally incompetent individual.30 If [he is accompanied by] a deaf-mute and a minor, he may give it to whomever he desires.31

If he does not have an animal with him, nor is he accompanied by one of these individuals, he should walk [carrying his purse] less than four cubits [at a time].32 Even if he has acquired a lost article,33 he may [move it] by walking less than four cubits [at a time].

[Different rules, however, apply to a lost article that] he has not acquired: If he can linger and wait until nightfall, he should. If not,34 he may [carry it] by walking less than four cubits [at a time].35


הָיָה עִמּוֹ חֵרֵשׁ שׁוֹטֶה וְקָטָן מַנִּיחַ כִּיסוֹ עַל הַחֲמוֹר וְאֵינוֹ נוֹתְנוֹ לְאֶחָד מֵהֶן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן אָדָם מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל. הָיָה עִמּוֹ חֵרֵשׁ וְשׁוֹטֶה וְאֵין עִמּוֹ בְּהֵמָה נוֹתְנוֹ לְשׁוֹטֶה. שׁוֹטֶה וְקָטָן נוֹתְנוֹ לְשׁוֹטֶה. חֵרֵשׁ וְקָטָן נוֹתְנוֹ לְאֵי זֶה מֵהֶן שֶׁיִּרְצֶה. לֹא הָיְתָה עִמּוֹ בְּהֵמָה וְלֹא נָכְרִי וְלֹא אֶחָד מִכָּל אֵלּוּ מְהַלֵּךְ בּוֹ פָּחוֹת פָּחוֹת מֵאַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת. וַאֲפִלּוּ מְצִיאָה שֶׁבָּאָה לְיָדוֹ מְהַלֵּךְ בָּהּ פָּחוֹת פָּחוֹת מֵאַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת. אֲבָל קֹדֶם שֶׁתָּבוֹא לְיָדוֹ אִם יָכוֹל לְהַחְשִׁיךְ עָלֶיהָ מַחְשִׁיךְ וְאִם לָאו מוֹלִיכָהּ פָּחוֹת פָּחוֹת מֵאַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת:


It is permitted to lead an animal in the public domain with its reins and its bridle,36 provided the bridle and reins are appropriate for it37 - for example, a horse with a neck-ring, a camel with a rope tied to its mouth, a female camel with an iron bit,38 and a dog with a muzzle.

If, however, one took out an animal with a bridle that is insufficient - e.g., one tied a rope in the mouth of a horse - or with a bridle that is excessive, for it would be controlled with a lesser one, - for example one took out a donkey with a horse's neck-ring, or a cat with a muzzle, it is considered to be a burden.39 For any excessive or insufficient restraint is considered to be a burden.40


מֻתָּר לִמְשֹׁךְ אֶת הַבְּהֵמָה בְּמֶתֶג וָרֶסֶן שֶׁלָּהּ לִרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים וְהוּא שֶׁתִּהְיֶה רְאוּיָה לְאוֹתוֹ הָרֶסֶן. כְּגוֹן שִׁיר לְסוּס וְאַפְסָר לְגָמָל וַחֲטָם לְנָאקָה וְסוּגַר לְכֶלֶב. אֲבָל אִם הוֹצִיא בְּהֵמָה בְּמֶתֶג שֶׁאֵין מִשְׁתַּמֶּרֶת בּוֹ כְּגוֹן שֶׁקָּשַׁר חֶבֶל בְּפִי הַסּוּס אוֹ בְּמֶתֶג שֶׁאֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה לוֹ אֶלָּא מִשְׁתַּמֶּרֶת בְּפָחוֹת מִמֶּנּוּ. כְּגוֹן שֶׁהוֹצִיא חֲמוֹר בְּשִׁיר שֶׁל סוּס אוֹ חָתוּל בְּסוּגַר הֲרֵי זֶה מַשּׂאוֹי. שֶׁכָּל שְׁמִירָה מְעֻלָּה אוֹ שְׁמִירָה פְּחוּתָה מַשּׂאוֹי הוּא לָהּ:


A person should not tie camels together and lead them. [Moreover,] even when they were tied together on Friday, he should not lead them on the Sabbath. One may, however, gather the ropes [of many camels] in one's hand,41 provided none of the ropes extends more than a handbreadth outside one's hand42 and the rope leading from [each] camel's mouth to one's hand is at least a handbreadth above the earth.43

Why is one prohibited from leading camels that are tied to each other? Because it appears as if he is leading them to the marketplace where animals are sold or used for sport.44 For this reason, a person should not go out [leading] an animal wearing a bell around its neck, even if its clapper is plugged [so that] it does not produce a sound.45


לֹא יִקְשֹׁר גְּמַלִּים זֶה בָּזֶה וְיִמְשֹׁךְ אֲפִלּוּ הָיוּ קְשׁוּרִין מֵעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת אֵינָן נִמְשָׁכִין בְּשַׁבָּת. אֲבָל מַכְנִיס הוּא חֲבָלִים לְתוֹךְ יָדוֹ וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא יֵצֵא חֶבֶל מִתּוֹךְ יָדוֹ טֶפַח. וְצָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַחֶבֶל שֶׁמִּפִּי הַבְּהֵמָה עַד יָדוֹ גָּבוֹהַּ מִן הָאָרֶץ טֶפַח אוֹ יוֹתֵר. וּמִפְּנֵי מָה לֹא יִמְשֹׁךְ הַגְּמַלִּים הַקְּשׁוּרִים זֶה בָּזֶה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא נִרְאֶה כְּמִי שֶׁמּוֹלִיכָן לְשׁוּק שֶׁמּוֹכְרִין בּוֹ הַבְּהֵמוֹת אוֹ שֶׁמְּשַׂחֲקִין בָּהֶן שָׁם. וּמִפְּנֵי זֶה לֹא תֵּצֵא בְּהֵמָה בְּזוֹג שֶׁבְּצַוָּארָהּ וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה פָּקוּק שֶׁאֵין לוֹ קוֹל:


An animal should not go out with a bell [attached to] its coverings,46 a seal47 [attached to] its neck, a seal [attached to] its coverings,48 a strap on its foot,49 or a ladder on its neck.50

A donkey may not go out with a saddle-cloth unless it is tied to it on Friday.51 A camel should not go out with a patch attached to its hump or its tail52 unless it is tied to both its hump and its tail.53

A camel should not go out with its foreleg tied to its hind leg54or its foreleg bound.55 The same applies to all other animals.


לֹא תֵּצֵא בְּהֵמָה בְּזוּג שֶׁבִּכְסוּתָהּ וְלֹא בְּחוֹתָם שֶׁבְּצַוָּארָהּ וְלֹא בְּחוֹתָם שֶׁבִּכְסוּתָהּ וְלֹא בִּרְצוּעָה שֶׁבְּרַגְלָהּ וְלֹא בְּסֻלָּם שֶׁבְּצַוָּארָהּ. וְאֵין חֲמוֹר יוֹצֵא בְּמַרְדַּעַת אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הָיְתָה קְשׁוּרָה לוֹ מֵעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת. וְלֹא יֵצֵא גָּמָל בַּמְּטוּטֶלֶת הַתְּלוּיָה לוֹ בְּדַבַּשְׁתּוֹ אוֹ בִּזְנָבוֹ אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הָיְתָה קְשׁוּרָה בִּזְנָבוֹ וְחוֹטַרְתּוֹ. וְלֹא יֵצֵא הַגָּמָל עֲקוּד יָד וְלֹא עֲקוּד רֶגֶל וְכֵן שְׁאָר כָּל הַבְּהֵמוֹת:


Chickens56 may not go out with cords,57 nor with straps on their feet.58 Rams may not go out with a small wagon under their fat tail.59 Ewes may not go out with [chips of] wood that are placed in their nostrils so that they sneeze and dislodge the worms in their brains.60

A calf may not go out with a small yoke [that is placed] on its neck to break [its nature] and accustom it [to bearing a yoke so that later it will wear a larger yoke for] plowing. An animal may not go out with a muzzle placed in its mouth so that it will neither bite nor eat. A cow may not go out with a hedgehog skin on its teats so that crawling animals61 will not suck from it when it sleeps,62 nor may it go out with a strap between its horns, regardless of whether it is placed there as an ornament or as a restraint.63

When a goat's horns are pierced, it may go out with a rope tied to its horns on the Sabbath. If the rope is tied to [the goat's] beard, it is forbidden, lest it tear off and the person carry it in his hands in the public domain. The same applies in all similar situations.


אֵין הַתַּרְנְגוֹלִים יוֹצְאִין בְּחוּטִין וְלֹא בָּרְצוּעוֹת שֶׁבְּרַגְלֵיהֶם. וְאֵין הַכְּבָשִׂין יוֹצְאִין בָּעֲגָלָה שֶׁתַּחַת אַלְיָה שֶׁלָּהֶן. וְאֵין הַכְּבָשׂוֹת יוֹצְאוֹת בָּעֵצִים שֶׁמַּנִּיחִים לָהֶן בְּחָטְמָן כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּתְעַטְּשׁוּ וְיִפְּלוּ הַתּוֹלָעִין שֶׁבְּמֹחָן. וְאֵין הָעֵגֶל יוֹצֵא בְּעל קָטָן שֶׁמַּנִּיחִין לוֹ עַל צַוָּארוֹ כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּכָּנַע וְיִהְיֶה נוֹחַ לַחֲרִישָׁה. וְלֹא תֵּצֵא בְּהֵמָה בִּשְׂבָכָה שֶׁמַּנִּיחִין לָהּ בְּפִיהָ כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תִּשֹּׁךְ אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא תֹּאכַל. לֹא תֵּצֵא הַפָּרָה בְּעוֹר הַקּוּפָּר שֶׁמַּנִּיחִין לָהּ עַל דַּדֶּיהָ כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִינַק מִמֶּנָּה הַשֶּׁרֶץ כְּשֶׁהִיא יְשֵׁנָה. וְלֹא תֵּצֵא בָּרְצוּעָה שֶׁבֵּין קַרְנֶיהָ בֵּין לְנוֹי בֵּין לְשַׁמֵּר. עֵז שֶׁחָקַק לָהּ בְּקַרְנֶיהָ יוֹצְאָה בְּאַפְסָר הַקָּשׁוּר בְּחֶקֶק בְּשַׁבָּת. וְאִם תְּחָבוֹ בִּזְקֵנָה אָסוּר שֶׁמָּא תְּנַתְּחֶנּוּ וִיבִיאֶנּוּ בְּיָדוֹ בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:


Rams may go out with a wide strap tied against their genitals so that they will not copulate with females, with a hard piece of leather strapped over their hearts so that they will not be attacked by wolves,64 and with an embroidered cloth that is placed on them to make them more attractive.65

Ewes may go out with their fat tail tied to their backs, [exposing them] so that rams will copulate with them, or tied downward so that rams will not copulate with them. They may go out covered with a cloth so that their wool will remain clean.66

Goats may go out with their teats tied so that their milk will dry up.67 They should not go out, however, [with their teats tied] so that no milk will flow out until they are milked in the evening.68


הַזְּכָרִים יוֹצְאִים בָּעוֹר הַקָּשׁוּר לָהֶן עַל זַכְרוּתָן כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יַעֲלוּ עַל הַנְּקֵבוֹת. וּבָעוֹר הַקָּשׁוּר לָהֶם עַל לִבֵּיהֶם כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִפְּלוּ עֲלֵיהֶם זְאֵבִים. וּבְמַטְלָנִיּוֹת הַמְרֻקָּמוֹת שֶׁמְּיַפִּין אוֹתָן בָּהֶן. וְהָרְחֵלוֹת יוֹצְאוֹת וְאַלְיָה שֶׁלָּהֶן קְשׁוּרָה לְמַעְלָה עַל גַּבָּן כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּעֲלוּ עֲלֵיהֶן הַזְּכָרִים. אוֹ קְשׁוּרָה לְמַטָּה כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יַעֲלוּ עֲלֵיהֶם הַזְּכָרִים. וְיוֹצְאוֹת מְלֻפָּפוֹת בְּמַטְלָנִיּוֹת כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַצֶּמֶר שֶׁלָּהֶן נָקִי. הָעִזִּים יוֹצְאוֹת וְדַדֵּיהֶן קְשׁוּרוֹת כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּיבַשׁ מֵהֶן הֶחָלָב. אֲבָל אִם קְשָׁרָן כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יֵצֵא הֶחָלָב עַד שֶׁיַּחֲלֹב אוֹתוֹ לָעֶרֶב הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ לֹא יֵצְאוּ:


A donkey should not go out [wearing] a saddle even when it is tied upon it on Friday.69 A horse may not go out wearing a fox's tail70 or with a scarlet thread between its eyes.71

An animal should not go out with a feeding bag [attached] to its mouth, nor with metal shoes,72 nor with an amulet that has not proven its efficacy for an animal.73 An animal may, however, go out with a bandage placed on a wound,74 with plates placed on a broken bone,75 or with a placenta that is hanging from it.

We may plug up a bell hanging around its neck76 and allow [an animal] to stroll with it in a courtyard.77 Similarly, one may place78 a saddlecloth on a donkey79 and allow it to stroll in a courtyard. One may not, however, attach a feeding bag to [an animal] on the Sabbath [even when it will not go beyond a courtyard].80


אֵין חֲמוֹר יוֹצֵא בְּאֻכָּף אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁקָּשׁוּר מֵעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת. וְלֹא יֵצֵא הַסּוּס בִּזְנַב שׁוּעָל וְלֹא בִּזְהוֹרִית שֶׁבֵּין עֵינָיו. וְלֹא תֵּצֵא בְּהֵמָה בִּקְרַסְטָל שֶׁבְּפִיהָ וְלֹא בְּסַנְדָּל שֶׁבְּרַגְלָהּ וְלֹא בְּקָמֵעַ שֶׁאֵינוֹ מֻמְחֶה לִבְהֵמָה. אֲבָל יוֹצְאָה הִיא בְּאֶגֶד שֶׁעַל גַּב הַמַּכָּה וּבְקַשְׂקַשִּׂים שֶׁעַל גַּבֵּי הַשֶּׁבֶר. וּבְשִׁלְיָה הַמְדֻלְדֶּלֶת בָּהּ. וּפוֹקֵק לָהּ זוֹג שֶׁבְּצַוָּארָהּ וּמְטַיֶּלֶת בּוֹ בֶּחָצֵר. וְנוֹתֵן לוֹ מַרְדַּעַת עַל הַחֲמוֹר בְּשַׁבָּת וּמְטַיֵּל בֶּחָצֵר. אֲבָל אֵין תּוֹלִין לָהּ קְרַסְטָל בְּפִיהָ בְּשַׁבָּת:


Just as a person is commanded that his animals rest on the Sabbath, so too, he is commanded that his servants and maidservants rest. Although they have the power of thought, and act according to their own volition, [their master] is obligated to watch over them and prevent them from performing [forbidden] labor on the Sabbath, as [Exodus 23:12] states: "Thus your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your maidservant and the foreigner may find repose."81

The servants and maidservants whom we are commanded to have rest [on the Sabbath] are servants that have been circumcised and have immersed themselves [in the mikveh], so that they be granted the status of servants who have accepted the mitzvot that servants are obligated to observe.82 By contrast, servants who have not been circumcised and have not immersed themselves, but have merely accepted [the observance of] the seven [universal] laws commanded to the descendants of Noach,83 are considered equivalent to "resident aliens" and are permitted to perform [forbidden] labors for their own sake84 in public as the Jews may during the week. [The status of] a resident alien is granted only in the era when the Jubilee year is observed.85

[One might ask:] Since a resident alien may perform [forbidden] labors on his own behalf on the Sabbath, and a convert is considered equivalent to a native-born Jew in all matters, who is referred to with [the term הגר] in the phrase, "and the son of your maidservant and the foreigner [הגר] may find repose"?86

This refers to a resident alien who is an employee of a Jew, like "the son of [his] maidservant." Such a resident alien may not perform [forbidden] labors on behalf of his Jewish master on the Sabbath.87He may, however, perform [such labors] on his own behalf. Moreover, even if this foreigner is a servant [belonging to a Jewish master], [this foreigner] may perform [labors] for his own sake [on the Sabbath].88


כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאָדָם מְצֻוֶּה עַל שְׁבִיתַת בְּהֶמְתּוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת כָּךְ הוּא מְצֻוֶּה עַל שְׁבִיתַת עַבְדּוֹ וַאֲמָתוֹ וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן בְּנֵי דַּעַת וּלְדַעַת עַצְמָן עוֹשִׂין מִצְוָה עָלֵינוּ לְשָׁמְרָן וּלְמָנְעָן מֵעֲשִׂיַּת מְלָאכָה בְּשַׁבָּת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כג יב) "לְמַעַן יָנוּחַ שׁוֹרְךָ וַחֲמֹרֶךָ וְיִנָּפֵשׁ בֶּן אֲמָתְךָ וְהַגֵּר". עֶבֶד וְאָמָה שֶׁאָנוּ מְצֻוִּין עַל שְׁבִיתָתָן הֵם עֲבָדִים שֶׁמָּלוּ וְטָבְלוּ לְשֵׁם עַבְדוּת וְקִבְּלוּ מִצְוֹת שֶׁהָעֲבָדִים חַיָּבִין בָּהֶן. אֲבָל עֲבָדִים שֶׁלֹּא מָלוּ וְלֹא טָבְלוּ אֶלָּא קִבְּלוּ עֲלֵיהֶן שֶׁבַע מִצְוֹת שֶׁנִּצְטַוּוּ בְּנֵי נֹחַ בִּלְבַד הֲרֵי הֵן כְּגֵר תּוֹשָׁב וּמֻתָּרִין לַעֲשׂוֹת מְלָאכָה בְּשַׁבָּת לְעַצְמָן בְּפַרְהֶסְיָא כְּיִשְׂרָאֵל בְּחל. וְאֵין מְקַבְּלִין גֵּר תּוֹשָׁב אֶלָּא בִּזְמַן שֶׁהַיּוֹבֵל נוֹהֵג. הוֹאִיל וְגֵר תּוֹשָׁב עוֹשֶׂה מְלָאכָה לְעַצְמוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת וְגֵר צֶדֶק הֲרֵי הוּא כְּיִשְׂרָאֵל לְכָל דָּבָר. בְּמִי נֶאֱמַר וְיִנָּפֵשׁ בֶּן אֲמָתְךָ וְהַגֵּר. זֶה גֵּר תּוֹשָׁב שֶׁהוּא לְקִיטוֹ וּשְׂכִירוֹ שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל כְּמוֹ בֶּן אֲמָתוֹ. שֶׁלֹּא יַעֲשֶׂה מְלָאכָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל רַבּוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת אֲבָל לְעַצְמוֹ עוֹשֶׂה. וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה הַגֵּר זֶה עַבְדּוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה עוֹשֶׂה לְעַצְמוֹ: