Suppose an inconsiderate gentile neighbor were listening to music at a fairly high volume on Shabbat, to the point that you could hear it on your own property. Would one be permitted to:

A) directly ask the neighbor to turn the music down (or would this be a forbidden form of requesting melacha for one's own benefit?)

Or

B) enjoy a song which one happened to like when it came on (assuming the gentile is listening for his own pleasure and there is no input whatsoever from the Jewish neighbor regarding the whether music will be played at all, let alone the playlist)?

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    I think those are two different questions, the second might be a TV or a show. I remember answering one. But the first one is interesting. – Al Berko Oct 10 at 10:25
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    Agreeing with @Al's reasoning. My understanding is that one may benefit from something that a Gentile does for himself. Thus, if a Gentile turns on the A/C in the shul to cool himself, you can be in the room. Re the music or, likewise TV shows, etc. there may be a separate prohibition of uvdah dechol (i.e., it's like a weekday type activity.) – DanF Oct 10 at 21:26
  • Item A seems as if it would be prohibited if you're specifically requesting and stating that it disturbs you. However, I think if you just said "the music is very loud" and you make no mention that it bothers you, and the Gentile agrees to lower the volume, that may be OK. – DanF Oct 10 at 21:28
  • @DanF see my answer below – Orion Oct 11 at 13:54
up vote -2 down vote accepted
  1. The original prohibition of Amirah leNochri is an "extension" to preventing oneself from doing a Melachah. As in your case, there's no fear of one actively doing a Melacha in his neighbor's house, therefore it is permitted to ask a Nochri to do something in his house.

  2. If you still fear that it could be an extension of Amirah leNochri, you can knock on his door and talk to him quietly, saying "I can't hear you!" to force him to lower the volume to himself and further asking not to make it louder.

  3. Alternatively, an underage kid can be sent over to ask.

B. Enjoying a song that you hear anyway is surely permitted, as long as there're no secondary prohibitions, like מראית עין (if you get closer on purpose, or enter his house, or dance) or עובדין דחול (that can make you think it's a weekday and you'll come to change the track or the like).

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    #3 may be a halachically permissible option as a last needed choice. Generally, though, many rabbanim would discourage this as it is poor chinuch. – DanF Oct 11 at 16:42
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    Where are your sources? When Chazal enacted a prohibition, even if the reason doesn't exist, the prohibition still does. If that's your reason, then a Jew can have a gentile work for him in his store because he's not in his house. – chacham Nisan Oct 11 at 17:34
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    Also, hinting to a gentile is also forbidden... – chacham Nisan Oct 11 at 17:34
  • @Al I heard it was because it's like asking a shliach (though I never like that reason) and also because it would ruin shabbos if we're having all the melachos be done anyway. We could basically work, having the nonjew do all the melacha tasks. Also as above you need a source for number one. – Orion Oct 11 at 22:38

Amira Liakum (asking a non jew to do a melacha)is only prohibited in two types of cases.

1) Where you get a positive benefits and he did it for you. By positive I mean If it's causing a new source of pleasure (he turned on the TV) that would be assur. But taking a way a source of discomfort is not considered a benefit here.

2)You asked him to do the melacha even if you don't benefot at all. (source: 39 melachos book. I don't remember it's source.)

So since you asked him at first glance this is assur. However if one holds electricity is assur because of Molid (Like rabbi henkin and therefore is Drabbunun), when you ask a non jew (which is assur drabbunun) to do a Drabbunun it is whats called a shvus dshvus and is permitted for a sick person, a mitzvah, or a "great need" (Source 39 melachos book and Rambam. And yes "great need" is very vague). So in this case the person should especially ask their rabbi whether this is considered a "great need" or even a "sick person". If one holds electricity is assur Draaysa then no you can't ask. You could send a child over to ask I think or hint to him.

In regards to listening to music, you didn't ask him to turn it on and he did it for himself so it's not assur from Amira Lakum. Seemingly this would be no different than if you left music on from before shabbos and bring up questions of Uvdin dchol.

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    When you can, please refine the sources listed. – DanF Oct 11 at 16:44
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    Nice job! #2 is important. @alberko – chacham Nisan Oct 11 at 17:35

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