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We aren't supposed to derive benefit from melachot performed by other Jews on Shabbos. But what if it didn't happen this Shabbos?

What if our guest brought a bottle of liquor as a gift last Shabbos, and we understand he carried it outside an eiruv. This Shabbos, can we drink it? If we did, is the transgression equivalent to having drunk it last Shabbos?

What if the melacha happened many weeks (/months/years) ago?

Note: I understand that the obvious assumption is that the answer is "No, we can't drink it," but I am curious to see if this is authoritatively treated in a source.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 13 down vote accepted

In terms of deriving benefit from the actions done by a Jew on Shabbat the Shulchan Aruch (OC 318:1 and Mishna Berurah and Biur Halacha there) distinguish between a number of cases:

  • If a biblical prohibition was violated purposefully (deoraita bemeizid) then no one can derive benefit from it for the rest of shabbat, and the violator himself cannot derive benefit forever.
  • If a biblical prohibition was violated accidentally (deoraita beshogeg) then no one including himself can derive benefit from it for the rest of shabbat and everyone is permitted to derive benefit after shabbat. (Some are lenient here in a case of need.)
  • If a rabbinic prohibition was violated purposefully (derabanan bemeizid) then no one including himself can derive benefit from it for the rest of shabbat and everyone is permitted to derive benefit after shabbat. (Some question this ruling and forbid him from deriving benefit from it forever.)
  • If a rabbinic prohibition was violated accidentally (derabanan beshogeg) then it is permitted to all to benefit immediately.

A caveat:

  • Some hold that the above is true if violating the prohibition changed the object physically, but if something was carried between domains illegally then it remains permitted. Others dispute this distinction.
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Very interesting. I had no idea that the answer was this complex. –  DanF Aug 20 at 18:39
    
Fantastic. Thanks! –  SAH Aug 26 at 22:20

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