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Getting Paid For Work Done On Shabbat

The Daily Halacha Moment - Getting Paid For Work Done On Shabbat

״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)

“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


May one get paid for a service one does on Shabbat?

May a chazan get paid for his shabbat services?


One may not work on Shabbat if he is paid specifically for the work that he does on Shabbat. If one is paid for a separate service that he did for the week, one can then also include in that paid work that one does on

Shabbat. Therefore, when paying a babysitter or security guard for work that they have done on Shabbat, one must pay them based on work that was done also during the weekday throughout the week or on a monthly

basis, instead of paying only for the hours that the worker worked on Shabbat. This is known as “havla’ah.” When the worker is claiming his

pay for work that he did through havla’ah, he should not specifically request for the money that he is owed for working on Shabbat, rather he should speak in a more general manner and say that he would like his monthly or weekly pay. [1] One may not work for Shabbat for pay, without havla’ah, even if one is paid for the service before Shabbat.[2]

Not only is it permitted to pay a chazzan for his services, it is even preferable to do so, since it will drive him to be more punctual and perform

better.[3] This is also the case with those who are paid to teach Torah classes on Shabbat or for a person who works on Shabbat supervising

the kashrut of an institution, such as a hotel or catering hall.[4]

Excerpted From R' Yonatan Nacson's "Laws Of Shabbat, v.2, p. 182"


[1]. Shulchan Aruch 306:4. See also Piskei Teshuvot, siman 306, footnote 65 who discusses if one’s pay on Shabbat is greater than what one earns during the weekday.

[2]. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah 28:60; Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 120.

[3]. Shulchan Aruch 53:22. See also Yechaveh Daat 1:53; Chazon Ovadia, Yamim Nora’im, p. 39; ibid., Shabbat, vol. 6, p. 3; Yalkut Yosef, Yamim Nora’im, pp. 108—110; and Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 5:8. Orchot Maran, vol. 1 p. 196 writes that this was also the custom of Chacham Ovadia Yosef, who would specifically hire a chazzan and pay him his wages immediately after Yom Tov (for Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur). See also Igrot Moshe, O.C. vol. 5, siman 18, 306:5, who states that a chazzan or baal koreh should prepare the reading during the weekday as well, so that this way his pay will also be considered through havla’ah. Yalkut Yosef, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, 306:15 also points out that this is the preferable thing to do as well, even though havla’ah is not required since this is considered a mitzvah purpose.

[4]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 6, p. 8; Yabia Omer, vol. 5, 25:9. See also Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 124 who states that even a mashgiach who accepts payment through havla’ah is praiseworthy.

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