Bat Yam Looking to Hire Shabbos Goy, Rav Avraham Yosef Criticizes Move


rabbi-shaul-yosef-weingartenA group of senior rabbonim in the city of Bat Yam, including the city’s chief Ashkenazi rabbi, Rav Shaul Yosef Weingerten (seen in photo), recently convened to discuss an increasing demand from the local religious public to hire a Shabbos goy who can help the Jewish community on Shabbos. Although it is far from being Bnei Brak or Meah Shearim, Bat Yam has a growing frum community, made up mostly of former seculars, who feel a need for a Shabbos goy.The rabbonim brought examples for such problematic incidents, where a non-Jew’s assistance is required: A hot plate being disconnected, a car alarm going off or even the need to turn on the air conditioned on a hot summer day.

In their meeting, the rabbonim focused on the question of funding such a person, and – no less important, in which cases should a Shabbos goy be asked to help.

However, the chief Sephardic rabbi of the neighboring city of Cholon, Rav Avraham Yosef, harshly criticized the new initiative. “Not everything should be copied from Bnei Brak,” he said. “More than 10 years ago several religious Jews came to see me and asked that we employ a Shabbos goy here.

“I strongly and completely forbade this, mainly because in order to use a Shabbos goy one must be a talmid chochom, and also because unfortunately there were sometimes incidents in which the Shabbos goy turned out to be Jewish,” he added.

“On the matter of receiving service from a non-Jew not everything is allowed, even not as a personal favor… in order to know what’s allowed and what’s not one must consult a rov,” Rav Yosef concluded.

{Yair Israel/Ynet}