I understand that one may not benefit from a Gentile's melacha on Shabbat if such work only benefits you (a Jew).

Many shuls hire a Gentile person to take your coats, etc. They tear a ticket and give you the stub. Can one check in their coat? Isn't the ticket tearing meant just for your benefit?

  • 11
    "Many shuls" I've personally never seen such a thing.
    – Double AA
    Jan 21 '18 at 17:16
  • 1
    Maybe the argument is that the person could memorize whose owns which coat if they really wanted to, so the ticket system is for their benefit.
    – Heshy
    Jan 21 '18 at 18:31
  • In the Frankfurt IRG (the original Khal 'Adaß Jeschurun) they had two non-Jewish employees who were entrusted with duties analogous to the modern coat-check on Shabbat and yom tov. kayj.net/en/memoirs/… Jan 21 '18 at 23:19
  • @DoubleAA Of course "many" is a vague number. I'm not sure where you live, but, it tends to be common in "older" Conservative shuls from what I have seen. It's also common, at least in my area, when there is a marked increase in shul attendants on a Shabbat such as for a Bar Mitzvah or aufruf, etc. I'm assuming the reason for the check-in service is for aesthetics, but it may be b/c there's a higher likelihood that people may take the wrong coat and / or hat. That's sure a problem if the one that took it as an out-of-town shul visitor.
    – DanF
    Jan 22 '18 at 15:52
  • @Heshy Not really. It is almost impossible to memorize the location and owner of about 300 coats. Also, the ticket number has nothing to do with memorization. It's only a means to identify someone coat, and the owner has to present the stub to get his / her coat. In most places, the clerk won't give you your coat if you lost the stub, until everyone else has retrieved their coat, even if you describe your coat. Main reason is per ^^^, not because they're "mean".
    – DanF
    Jan 22 '18 at 15:57

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