The Mishna in Shabbat (1: 7) states that:

בֵּית שַׁמַּאי אוֹמְרִים, אֵין מוֹכְרִין לַנָּכְרִי וְאֵין טוֹעֲנִין עִמּוֹ וְאֵין מַגְבִּיהִין עָלָיו, אֶלָּא כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ לְמָקוֹם קָרוֹב. וּבֵית הִלֵּל מַתִּירִין

Beit Shammai says we may not sell to a gentile, nor help him load, nor lift a load upon him, unless there is sufficient time for him to reach a nearby place. But Beit Hillel permits these acts.

R. Ovadiah of Bertinoro explains:

וְלֹא טוֹעֲנִין עִמּוֹ. עַל הַחֲמוֹר. וְלֹא מַגְבִּיהִים עָלָיו מַשְּׂאוֹי עַל כְּתֵפוֹ, דְּמֵחֲזֵי כִּמְסַיְּעוֹ לְהוֹלִיךְ הַמַּשְּׂאוֹי בְּשַׁבָּת

That is, these activities look as though the gentile was commissioned to perform tasks for the Jew on Shabbat.

The question is that the Mishnah is obviously discussing a case in which the enlisted activities were performed on Friday. (For if they were performed on Shabbat we would be dealing with larger problems).

If so, this ought to constitute a double rabbinic prohibition: an initial prohibition of utilizing a gentile's services to perform labor on Shabbat, and a further rabbinic decree prohibiting activities that might be construed as such. The rabbis generally do not enact such legislation (Cf. Betzah 3a).

I am familiar with textbook solutions to problems of "double enactments" but am looking for solutions raised by the commentators to this particular question.

  • you mean beyond that it's gezera l'shvus and not gezera l'gezera?
    – Loewian
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 1:52
  • @Loewian is there generally a distinction?
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 2:32
  • my sense is yes. i think the ramban even describes shvus as a form of d'oraissa. i do vaguely recall though that the rule sometimes didnt seem so consistent...
    – Loewian
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 4:47
  • 2
    I think you're misunderstanding the Bartenura - Beis Shammai holds that these activities look like they were commissioned by a Jew, and are therefore assur. Beis Hillel disagrees and holds that aiding a non-Jew does not create the impression that the work being performed is "for-hire." Alternately, there is no technical melachca in the transport if the akira of the non-Jew occurred before shabbos, even IF they were being paid for transporting goods. Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 12:05
  • In rereading your question, I wonder if you're "double enactment" perspective is incorrect? These are parallel enactments, and they're not "stacking" here to make a double - the first problem being one of hiring a non-Jew to perform a melacha that will inevitably occur on Shabbos, but a separate problem of someone looking on and thinking that YOU are aiding the non-Jew with a load on shabbos, since an onlooker wouldn't necessarily know if the load is something that's light enough for one or if it requires two people to carry. Commented Mar 7, 2016 at 13:28

1 Answer 1


I understand that BS says that is an Issur Mar'it Ha'ayn of an Issur derabanan, that the Nochri is a Shaliach of the Israel. If the Nochri's house is not far, so in 100% people know, and will see the Nochri carries the loading of the Israel Shabbat Davka. Mar'it Haayn is not the same as Gzera. Mar'it Haayn from Issur Derabanan is not Gzera Ligzera. The question is not if the House of the Nochri is very far and he need 5 days of the trip. Obviously, if the Israel gives the loading in the middle of the week, should not be a problem[1]. But here that is not the case here. Because Erev Shabbat is nearly linked with Shabbat. So you understand that the narrowed Machloketh between BS and BH on the grade of the problem of Erev Shabbat.[2] is how many Erev Shabbat looks as Shabbat.

[1] ToyT:

ובין לב"ש ובין לב"ה איצטריך דב"ש אסרי משום דמאן דחזי סבר דשלוחו הוא ושליחותיה קעבדיד
According to the both opinions, the prohibition is because people will seeng ad go to think that the Nochri makes this for the Israel. I understand that the proximity in place and time make this. The impression that he makes the Shlihut of Israel is not to eternity for a simple loading.

[2] Thanks to the comment of Isaac Kotlicki, I have look and found an almost identical explanation to mine in the Hon Ashir, a book from Rabbi Emanuel Chay Ricchi:
here is the hebrewbooks pdf
here is the passage I typed
כדי שיגיע למקום קרוב פירש הרב ברטנורא כלומר שיהיה המקום שרוצה להוליכו קרוב שיוכל להגיע שם מבעודיום עד כאן. ומדלא קתני סתם כדי שיגיע למקומו אלא פירט "קרוב", נראה דקא משמע לן דלא אסר בית שמאי אלא סמוך לחשיכה; בענין שאפילו למקום קרוב, אף על גב דיודע ודאי דבית הגוי הוה רחוק ואין יכול להגיע שם קודם השבת, מותר למכור לו אף לבית שמאי. דלא מחזי כמסייעו להוליך המשאוי בשבת כיון שיוצא מביתו כל כך בהשכמה. אלא כדי שיגיע למקום קרוב מבעוד יום, ולא הזכירו כדי שלא נטעה לומר דבית הלל מתירין לעשות דברים אלו באותו זמן עצמו שאסר בית שמאי דאינו כן; אלא אף בית הלל מודה שצריך לעשותם קודם אותו זמן כי צריך שיהיה ההוצאה מפתח ביתו באותו זמן כמו שכתב הרב ברטנורא
In Substance he says what I say above. He learns from "Makom Karov". And say that if the house of the Nochri is far, because he may get a Makom Karov, it is permitted. He says that The time that Beit Hillel permit his permission "כדישיצא מפתח ביתו --- מבעוד יום ". Beth Hillel permits but what? He permits if the Nochri get away Mibeod yom. BS too permit if he can got in a Makom Karov Mibeod yom.

  • 1
    This is a nice explanation, but this isn't an answer - the OP is explicitly "looking for solutions raised by the commentators to this particular question." If you have specific sources that were used to construct your answer, it would be prudent to annotate and, if possible, to link them in your answer. Commented Mar 7, 2016 at 12:57

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