Working & Chol HaMoed

The Daily Halacha Moment - Working & Chol HaMoed


‎״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)


Question:

May one work on Chol HaMoed?


Answer:

As we mentioned in a previous Halacha Moment, the days of Chol HaMoed are very special and important and should be dealt with holiness.


One may not work on Chol HaMoed unless it will cause a Davar Haaved which is a financial loss.


Work that is permitted to be done because of the principle of davar haaved should preferably not be done publicly. [1]


One who may lose his job if he does not work on Chol HaMoed may go to work. However, if one is allotted a certain number of vacation days, he should take his vacation days on the holidays and Chol HaMoed. [2]


If one owns a business and legally must pay his workers’ wages even if the business is closed, he may keep his business open over Chol HaMoed. However, he should try to conduct his business discreetly. [3]


One may not perform melachah on Chol HaMoed if one will sustain a loss of *new* profit. Therefore, even if one will incur a loss of wages for the days he does not go to work on Chol HaMoed, melachah is still forbidden, as it is considered a loss of new profit. [4]


If a loss could have been avoided by performing the necessary melachah before the moed, and one intentionally left the work to be done over the moed, it may not be performed. [5]


If one will lose customers by closing his store on Chol HaMoed, he may keep it open. [6]


Sources:

[1]. Shulchan Aruch, O.C. 538:2 . See also Kaf HaChaim 538:16 and Piskei Teshuvot 539:3.

[2]. See Chazon Ovadia, Yom Tov, p. 183; Maor Yisrael, vol. 1, p. 304; and Yalkut Yosef, Moadim, p. 512. See also Hilchot Chol HaMoed (Artscroll), p. 76, which states in the name of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein and Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky that one may take his vacation during the summer if the vacation will be more enjoyable or relaxing at that time of year; they do not consider this as deliberately scheduling work for the moed. Even according to this view, it is preferable that he forgo his summer vacation and miss work during Chol HaMoed instead.

[3]. Chazon Ovadia, Yom Tov, p. 182; Yalkut Yosef, Moadim, p. 510.

[4]. See above sources. See also Hilchot Chol HaMoed (ArtScroll), p. 166, 17, in the name of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein; Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah 67:12; and Moadim U’Zemanim 2:301. One should always consult a Halachic authority if one has a question regarding his job and specific circumstance, since the exact guidelines for individual instances vary and need to be considered.

[5]. Shulchan Aruch, O.C. 537:16; ibid. 538:6.

[6]. See Chazon Ovadia, Yom Tov, p. 183 and Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah 67:24. Biur Halachah §539, “Eino Mutar” adds that when one is keeping his store open over Chol HaMoed, he should close one of its doors to show that it is Chol HaMoed. One should also use some of his profits to honor Yom Tov.


See Laws Of The Holidays - Nacson


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