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I am going to be volunteering at a Jewish hospice and they have asked for a schedule/times when I can volunteer. The hospice sits within an eruv (if that is of significance). The volunteer is expected to assist the nurses with physical care, as necessary, sit/talk with patients recite the Viduy and Tehillim - and just generally, make their ends as peaceful, spiritual and comforting as possible. There is a kosher kitchen available, as well, for providing Shabbat meals to the residents. Would these activities be considered "work" on the Shabbat? It would seem to me that the activity of caring for someone without pay at their end-of-life passage would not be seen as a desecration - but rather a mitzvah? Thanks in advance!

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  • This one sounds complex enough that a rabbi should be consulted. But in very general terms -- a rabbi gets paid to talk and pray with people too! If the job doesn't involve melacha, then we generally allow a Jew to get paid to do it on shabbos if its terms include some non-Shabbos as well. E.g. rabbi is paid a lump sum "to write a sermon during the week and deliver it on Shabbos"; Jewish waiter for a bar mitzvah is paid one lump sum to "set the table before shabbos and then bus tables on shabbos." Jewish babysitters ideally will include some time Friday afternoon or Saturday night as well. – Shalom May 3 at 15:25

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