The Sages prohibited accepting payment for work done on Shabbat.

Is it permissible to accept payment for NOT doing something on Shabbos?

Example: If someone wants to pay someone not to serve a particular food, which he usually serves, at the shabbos meal, Is that permitted? (He is not paying him to serve something else instead, just not to serve that particular food).

  • 2
    Is payment being arranged/made prior to Shabbas for the food not to be served on Shabbas, or is the arrangement/payment taking place on Shabbas itself? Jun 8, 2018 at 0:01
  • @JoshK The prohibition of accepting shabbos payment is regardless of whether the payment arrangement is made before, on, or after Shabbos. Jun 10, 2018 at 9:50

1 Answer 1


The Mishna in Kesubos 63a says:

A woman who rebels against her husband, [by withholding conjugal rights from his wife] is fined; her marriage contract is reduced by seven dinars each week... if a man rebels against his wife, he is fined and an extra three dinars a week are added to her marriage contract. Rabbi Yehuda says: Three terapa’ikin...

The Gemara (64a-b)asks: What is different when she is the one rebelling against him, that we give him compensation for Shabbat, as her marriage contract is reduced by seven dinars a week, which is one dinar per day including Shabbat, and what is different for her that we do not give her compensation for Shabbat but rather only for six days? The Gemara explains: When it is she who is fined and her marriage contract is reduced, it does not appear to be Shabbat wages, money paid for services rendered on Shabbat, [since she doesn't actually pay anything, she is fined by the reduction of her marriage contract], Whereas when it is he who is fined and compelled to add additional money every day to her marriage contract, (64b) מיחזי כשכר שבת it does appear to be Shabbat wages. Consequently, the Sages decreed that he should not give her money for Shabbat.

We see from this that although the payment he is giving her is for her NOT receiving her rights, it is still called schar Shabbos, wages of Shabbos.

From here we can learn that it is forbidden to receive payment for NOT doing something on Shabbos.

[heard from Rabbi Yehudah Konner, Rav, Dayan, and posek]

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