Can one watch a video on Youtube that was recorded or uploaded by a Jew on Shabbat, or is this considered Maaseh Shabbat?

1 Answer 1


Since others are allowed to benefit from a melachah performed on Shabbos immediately subsequent to Shabbos even when the the transgressor did so in open defiance of Shabbos (O.C. 318:1) it would seem permitted to watch a video which is otherwise permitted to watch. If the uploader is a mumar there are poskim who are strict and require one to wait enough time after Shabbos for the melachah to have been performed permissibly.

Of course it is nevertheless distasteful to depend directly on chillul Shabbos so it would be inappropriate to rely someone transgressing Shabbos so you can watch it immediately afterwards.

With regard to something recorded specifically on Shabbos (i.e. it isn't something that happened to be on Shabbos but is specifically about Shabbos or so forth) it is possible that this is more severe because it is done for posterity and there is no immediate benefit to the melachah. As such it may be analogous to a situation such as a plant planted on Shabbos where the only rectification is for it to be uprooted (i.e. undone), see Biur Halachah 318 אחת משאר מלאכות.

  • 1
    +1 for most of this answer, but your second paragraph has a logical leap from "[o]f course... distasteful" (which I can't argue with) to "inappropriate" (which sounds like an halachic ruling).
    – msh210
    Dec 10, 2013 at 5:10
  • I disagree, "forbidden" would be a halachic ruling. Inappropriate is inappropriate.
    – Yirmeyahu
    Dec 10, 2013 at 5:12
  • What did you mean by "rely" in that paragraph? If you explicitly asked the person to be mechalel Shabbos, then it's actually assur legamrei. But if you just mean watching such a video in general, I can think of cases where it would serve a positive purpose and perhaps not be distasteful.
    – user3318
    Dec 10, 2013 at 5:21
  • @Malper 1. While one is certainly forbidden to ask a Jew to transgress Shabbos I am not certain that doing so changes the halachah bedieved, if you have seen to the contrary I would be very interested in seeing the source. 2. While there may be plenty of scenarios where it is perfectly appropriate to watch a video which happened to be uploaded on Shabbos, and perhaps even some case where one NEEDS to rely on it being done on Shabbos b'issur, I cannot conceive of any case where it isn't distasteful.
    – Yirmeyahu
    Dec 10, 2013 at 5:29
  • @Yirmeyahu 1. I meant that it's assur to ask. I agree it could be muttar b'dieved to watch, but the language "inappropriate to rely" sounds like it is referring both to the asking and the watching. 2. You ask a non-religious friend to upload a video they took of your graduation onto Youtube. They do so on Shabbos even though you didn't ask them to. You then want to watch the video a month later. I don't really feel like it's distasteful to watch rather then asking them to re-upload it, though I admit it's pretty subjective.
    – user3318
    Dec 10, 2013 at 5:40

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