My great grandmother lived at her uncle's inn near Lemberg, in Galicia. in the 1880s. I am writing a novel based in part on her experiences. Based on my research so far, it seems to me that her uncle would have had to "sell" the inn to a gentile before the sabbath and "buy" it back from the gentile afterward, every week, in order to profit from weekend traffic. It seems this was commonly done; whether everyone agreed that it was permissible I don't know, but apparently they did it. I am wondering if it would have been permissible for a gentile servant to perform this function. And also would a servant have been a shabbas goy too. In both cases, it seems like a stretch, since clearly the servant is obeying the instructions of her Jewish employer.

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    There's a concept that Amirah L'Nochri-- instructing a gentile to do work for you on the Sabbath-- is prohibited. Welcome, by the way. I'm sure the mods will give you the full hospitality treatment.
    – user9907
    Jun 24, 2016 at 13:09
  • Timely question, for me. My rav discussed this on the 2nd day of Shavu'ot. He cited from Eliyahu Ki Tov's "Book of Heritage" discussion of the 10 commandments which mentions that the servant must rest on Shabbat. I believe that he explains that this refers to non-Jewish servants. The thinking is that the Torah has already stated that "you shall do no work" ("YOU" meaning Jews). So why does the slave need to be enumerated? To teach us that it refers to non-Jewish servants. If I can locate the source, I will move this to an answer.
    – DanF
    Jun 24, 2016 at 14:43
  • Welcome to Mi Yodeya! By "to perform this function" do you mean being the buyer?
    – msh210
    Jun 24, 2016 at 15:53
  • to sell the inn to the servant an buy it back may be permitted. all this is made before and after Shabbat. no link with Amira leAkum. This is a kind of association. I remember somewhat similar in Shut Rav Moshe Feinstein, when a Jew and a non-Jew make an association.
    – kouty
    Jun 27, 2016 at 9:31

1 Answer 1


Yes and no. The Lubavitcher Rebbe writes exactly on this topic in Likutei Sichos, Volume 31, second parshas Mishpatim.

The non-Jew must keep the Sheva Mitzvot Bnei Noach. He is considered like a Ger Toshav eved/sachir. He must rest on Shabbat, but may do melachas for himself. He is not in the geder of shabbos goy.

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