looking for a loophole

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    I recently attended a shiur about Hilchos Shabbos. Ever since then something has been really bothering me and I was wondering if anyone can give me an answer.

    Hashem made so many rules and Melachos and things you can/can’t do on shabbos, right? And I am totally fine with that. I love Shabbos. But why is it that everyone seems to be looking for loopholes? For example- you can’t turn a light off but you can place a chair by the lightswitch and hope that your 2 year old will turn it on for you. Thats just one example but there are so many. I feel that we should keep Shabbos to the fullest and not do melachos.

    Also- with regard to doing a melacha when its a case of mesiras nefesh- I don’t understand that too. Is it wrong to say that I feel that it is very wishy washy??

    Does anyone have a answer for me???


    Can one have their child (under what age?) be mechallel Shabbos for them?


    the question is if you really need something to be done and looking for a way to get ac child to do it or if you would just rather the lights be turned on and off all shabbos and thats what you have in mind to do from the beginning. did the situation just come up and you cant run to a rav or before shabbos you said I will leave on the bedroom light and just have my 2 year old turn it off before she goes to bed?


    if the action is allowable then it falls under the same Halacha as those things that are not allowable. it is not a Melocho and it is not a “loophole”.


    M80: There are very clearly things that are not Melachos but shouldn’t be done. See I believe Igros Moshe OC 4:60 (the one about timers). Also, Rav Schachter quotes a Ramban that there is an Issur Asei of “Tishbos” on Shabbos that applies if someone does things that might be Muttar but take away from the inherent day of Shabbos.


    obviously there are things that are not Melochos that shouldnt be done

    i did not say otherwise

    i said if it is allowable then it is allowable under Halacha.

    the op stated that we should “not do Melachos”, in the context of “loopholes, thus equating allowable actions with forbidden actions

    A Heimishe Mom

    The 2yo and the light switch is not quite a loophole – it is much “iffier” than that. But if he doesn’t know better than it can be considered something of a “loophole” (and I plead guilty).

    By Mesiras Nefesh do you mean Sakanas Nifashos? A life-and-death situation? Shabbos is not one of the “yeihaig v’al ya’avor”s. Some people translate “sakana” rather loosely sometimes: a broken arm on shabbos afternon is NOT a sakana, but a possible heart attach IS.

    There are many mitzvos where people look for the loopholes and the shortcuts. (Do I even need to say the word tznius?) Doesn’t mean that we should.


    A broken bone is (almost) always considered Sakanas Nefashos.


    Can someone call Hatzalah or 911 if they c”v slip and break an arm — but there is NO sakanas nefoshos?


    Once again, a broken bone (a real break, not just a hairline fracture) is almost always Sakanas Nefashos.


    Sakanas eiver is considered sakana, and muttar to be mechalel Shabbos. Generally it is not permitted to set your own kids up to assist in m’leches Shabbos. A parent is metzuve on the shevisa of his kids.



    Without discussing your specific example (because I don’t think that it was your point), here’s what I think. Hashem gives us Shabbos for a reason, and He tells us the reason in the Torah. He wants us to acknowledge that he created the world and that he runs it. How does he get us to acknowledge that? By giving us a day of rest [on the seventh day of creation]. The restrictions have a reason, they are to insure that we become mindful of the fact that we are specifically resting and not just bored. When we figure out all the technical details and find the “loopholes” not only is it not against the spirit of the law, it’s exactly the spirit of the law! Because doing so keeps us mindful of the fact that there’s something going on that we should think about. If we were to say just be machmir on everything you would have a bunch of people sitting on the couch all day, but now that there is room for “loopholes” you have everyone discussing maybe this is okay because of this and this reason etc. and you end up with everyone being very cognizant of the fact that it is Shabbos, and people start thinking hey what’s Shabbos all about anyway, and they remember what Hashem wanted us to remember in the first place.




    a broken arm on shabbos afternon is NOT a sakana,”

    It most CERTAINLY IS! None of us is qualified unless we are doctors, to determine if that broken bone might lead to sepsis, or further injury (certainly extreme pain), or any of a myriad of things. Even a SAFEK (doubt) of sakanas nefashos is docheh shabbos.

    Why on earth would you or anyone else think that a broken bone is not a serious sakana, PARTICULARLY in a child or elderly person? We are not talking about a mildly-sprained ankle. But any part of the body that becomes swollen and black and blue due to severe injury, has the potential for gangrene and other types of infection. That’s not a loophole. The halacha IS to get to a doctor.


    Also, cinderella, the reason we can do a melacha when there is a danger to one’s life, is because the same Torah that tells us to keep Shabbos, also tells us (Vayikra 18:5) “You shall observe my statutes and my ordinances, which a man shall do and live by them; I am Hashem.” The Rabbis derived from the words “and live by them” that with the exception of 3, the laws of the Torah were not intended for one who is in a situation of sakana, because we are meant to live by them, not die by them.


    The definition of a loophole is taking advantage of an abiguity in the wording of a law to get around complying with the law.

    This is only applicable to man made laws which will always have some abiguity.

    Hashem’s Torah is perfect – there is no ambiguity. The Torah itself says (either Torah Shebiksav or Torah Shebaal Peh) that in certain cases one may do a melacha – for example in the case of pikuach nefesh one MUST do melacha to save a life. Its not a loohole, its what Hashem wants us to do. Another example that probably bothers you is that one may move certain types of muktza (a pen for example) if you need the place where its located. This again is not a loophole – its not that someone forgot to include that case in the law – instead its the will of the Torah that it be allowed.

    Similarly, the Torah includes rules of chinuch. At age 2 when a child doesn’t understand the concept of shabbos and melacha there is no obligation to stop him from doing a melacha. (You can’t tell him outright to do it). Putting a chair there for him to turn on the light? hmmm… I suggest asking a qualified posek on that one.

    The bottom line is that shabbos is not about blindly not doing melacha – its about doing the will of Hashem which includes all the rules of when a melacha can and cannot be done.

    golden mom

    first of all i dont believe i letting a little kid do melach on shabbos because i learned that all a childs averos fall on the parents (father) and thats y at bar mitzvah the fathe makes the bracha..

    there is an amazing sefer out that u can look up anything that comes up on shabbos medically it gives refuas for some which u never heard of but work and tells u many times dont wait call ambullance and go to hospital its a sakana for things i didnt think were either we cant judge were not G-d or a rav but to have that sefer is amazing i will have to look up what it is called

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