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Generally, there are ways to have a non-Jew do Melacha for a Jew (You don't tell him explicitly, the non-Jew does it for himself, etc.)

Is there a way to get a non-Jew to cook for you on Shabbos (assuming there's no problem of Bishul Akum, such as if the food was already cooked KeMaachal Ben Derusai or isn't Oleh Al Shulchan Melachim)?

For some reason, I've never seen freshly cooked Shabbos food even in Shuls which rely on Shabbos Goyim.

  • "Shuls which rely on Shabbos Goyim"? What does that mean? – Double AA Apr 14 '15 at 16:49
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    Rama OC 253:5 may be relevant. – Double AA Apr 14 '15 at 16:51
  • I would suspect that this would be assur, however the local Chabad always has an urn of water which is refilled (i.e. cooked) by the shabbos goy. – Noach MiFrankfurt Apr 14 '15 at 16:51
  • @NoachmiFrankfurt my shul also has hot water and coffee made Shabbat morning by the non-Jewish maintenance crew who lives in the shul. I believe the way this becomes permissible is that - 1) This is built in to his overall job. I.e. - he is not specifically told to make this for Shabbat, but rather, "whenever an event is scheduled in this room, make coffee." and 2 - He is drinking a few cups of coffee himself. Even 1 cup of use for himself, I think, suffices as if he does it for himself, you can benefit. – DanF Apr 14 '15 at 18:10
  • A hot water urn which is refilled by a nonjew on shabbos, even for his own benefit is not allowed to be used as there is a shema yarba bishvilo gizeira. – user6591 Apr 14 '15 at 19:01
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The short answer is no.

Lchatchila you cannot have a nonJew do a melacha for you on Shabbat. And if you see a nonJew doing melacha for you, you should persuade/rebuke him not to do so in the future. (See Aruch HaShulchan Siman 253: 36)

Some possible exceptions:

  1. Bishul bchama, cooking strictly using the sun is permitted on Shabbat. There is however a Rabbinic prohibition to use a utensil heated by the sun to cook food. (Aruch HaShulchan Siman: 318, 17)

  2. See the Rema Siman 253 that may allow instructing a nonJew to perform a psik reisha, though this may be a psik reisha dlo ichpat lei, for tzorech Shabbat.

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