If I perform an action on Shabbos which will cause a secondary (forbidden) action, the secondary action is assessed as to whether it is desirable, detrimental or neutral (as per Difference between Pesik Reshe Delo Niha Le, Pesik Reshe Delo Ichpat Le, & Melacha She'en Sarich LeGufa) .

But when determining if the resultant melacha is detrimental or irrelevant, does one look at the individual performing the action at that moment and his sensibility or is the standard a Jewish equivalent of a Reasonable Person standard? There might be something that I find detrimental that someone else might find desirable and vice versa. Does the halachic status of the behavior hinge on which one of us performs the action or is there an external and objective standard?

  • In sevara, if the reason pesik reisha is chayyiv is because it's as if he did actually, explicitly intend the result with his action, that would seem to imply that it should be subjective definition since it's his intention we'd then be evaluating.
    – Loewian
    Mar 8, 2015 at 22:21
  • (which isn't to say there wouldn't still be an issue of maris ayin if a reasonable person would desire the result.)
    – Loewian
    Mar 8, 2015 at 22:23
  • @loewian because many opinions say that a PR"D'lo... is at least rabbinically prohibitd, the practical difference might be slight. But in terms of the potential for a different consequence, what if the behavior would be desirable to one and detrimental according to the other? Who decides the category the action falls under?
    – rosends
    Mar 8, 2015 at 22:51
  • Similar: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/29073
    – msh210
    Mar 9, 2015 at 3:45
  • Rosends- it's not THAT sleight. If one holds psik reisha d'lo Nicha Lei midrabbunun is mutter (I'm not sure if youre able to hold of this opinion CYLOR) then there is be a fair difference. The biggest would be if one holds electricity is assur drabbanun. Can you walk in front of Cvs, activating the sliding doors but not going in? A surveillance camera? Open the fridge if you forgot there's a light and there's already plenty of light for you to see everything with? (only LEDs. Fluorescent and incandescent are drayysah according to everyone as far as I'm aware).
    – Orion
    Mar 22, 2018 at 1:01

1 Answer 1


The words דלא ניחא ליה mean "that is not pleasing to him." If it were an objective standard it would not say "to him."

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