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This Halchipedia article states that a person is permitted to work on Chol Hamoed if there is a financial loss (Davar Ha'avud)

Let's say a person, who lives in U.S., has accumulated 10 paid vacation days. Let's assume that all the days of Chol Hamoed Succot and Hoshannah Rabbah are mid-week, so he would use up 5 vacation days. Thus, if he did not go to work, he would be paid for being out all of Succot including Chol Hamoed.

However, in a few months, his daughter who lives in Israel will be getting married. He wants to attend the wedding, and he would need to use 10 vacation days to make this trip. If he takes off during Chol Hamoed, he won't be able to take off to attend his daughter's wedding.

Does someone need to use his accumulated paid vacation days immediately, or can he go to work on Chol Hamoed because this scenario would be considered Davar Ha'aved? (a loss)?

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    Can he take non-paid vacation days? If so then I don't see what the loss is. Loss doesn't mean that you lose potential gain. It's that you lose something you have. – Double AA Mar 3 '15 at 23:02
  • @DoubleAA Losing out on potential gain isn't a loss? – user613 Oct 9 '15 at 8:37
  • @user613 Not in this context, at least. – Double AA Oct 9 '15 at 12:00
  • @DoubleAA No. The workplace does not allow non-paid vacation days. – DanF Oct 11 '15 at 21:00
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Rav David Sperling, in an article on the Nishmat website, writes as follows:

...the Eshel Avraham (Buchatch, 539) states that one need not employ any tactics, even simple ones, to avoid having to perform work that is a davar ha'aved on the festival. Accordingly one would not have to use their vacation option to avoid working on the festival. It seems to me that where one wants to save their vacation leave for a good reason to travel to Israel, or to take a vacation with the family together (shalom bayit) one could rely on this reasoning.

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In the Artscroll book "Chol Hamoed" by R' Dovid Zucker & R' Moshe Francis, this issue is discussed and a few opinions are cited.

The Debreciner Rav (page 76, footnote 61) says that if a person should refrain from taking a vacation during the summer if taking said vacation would force him to work during Chol Hamoed due to him having no more vacation days.

R' Moshe Feinstein (page 167, siman 18) appears to be a little more lenient:

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A salaried employee is allowed to take a vacation in the summer when he specifically has a reason to do so (like if he wants to go to the mountains in the summer) even though he knows that by doing so he will be forced to work during Chol Hamoed this is not considered to be mechavein melachto b’moed [intending to work on Chol Hamoed] (but from the vantage point of a pious person, there is a virtue to not take one’s vacation during the summer so that he would not have to work during the intermediate days). But if he has no reason to take the vacation during the summer, then he should specifically use these days to take off on Chol ha-Mo'ed.

As always, to be safe - CYLOR.

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