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In the (very) old days, when the only source of heat and cooking fire was the fireplace, how did they keep the fire going for a day on Shabbat without adding wood?

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    They put a lot of wood in before Shabbos? – DonielF Apr 28 at 17:58
  • ....אמירה לנכרי – sam Apr 28 at 19:22
  • They weren't cooking on Shabbat anyway – Double AA Apr 28 at 21:47
  • The cholent had to be kept warm. – Maurice Mizrahi Apr 28 at 22:12
  • The coals and ashes were used to keep the pot warm. – sabbahillel Apr 28 at 22:22
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The meztius was that a non-Jew would add wood to the fire. This idea is brought by the Shulchan Aruch in 276:1 and 5. Since it was very cold in many of the places Jews lived they had non Jews keep the fire going . The Mishna Brurah explains that one should not direct a non Jew explicitly on shabbos but rather work it based off a kablanos deal. The non Jew was hired for the whole winter(for weekdays as well) and would make the halacha more flexible to the point that if a non Jew lit a fire with their own doing then a Jew would not have to leave the house ,but can indeed benefit from the fire.

The Mishna brura writes:

(מה) שאין הקור גדול - ועכ"פ יזהרו שלא לומר לו בשבת להסיק או לעשות המדורה אלא יקצבו עמו בקבלנות שיסיק לו כל ימות החורף בעת שיהיה קר ואז אף אם הא"י יסיק כשאין הקור גדול אפשר דהו"ל כאלו עשה מדעתו וא"צ לצאת מביתו וכמ"ש בס"א וע"ש במ"ב סקי"ג:

  • I thought the practice of using a Shabbat goy was a fictitious leniency, one that is not really allowed by halacha. But, of course, under pikuach nefesh, it would be allowed. – Maurice Mizrahi Apr 29 at 2:27
  • It's not pikucah nefesh,it's Choleh shein bo sakana,the gezwira of amira lnachri was not intended for cholim,anyone that is cold is called a choleh – sam Apr 29 at 2:30
  • What did they do in The Land of Israel, where few, if any, non-Jews were around? (They were treated as The Enemy - as per the first few chapters in Joshua) – Danny Schoemann Apr 29 at 13:28

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