Cooking for a Slave on Yom Tov

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By Rabbi Berach Steinfeld

We learn that one is not allowed to cook food on Yom Tov for a non-Jew in Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim, siman taf kuf yud bais. The question arises; may one cook for his “eved knani” (non-Jewish slave) on Yom Tov?

The Ran in Beitzah, daf yud, amud bais says that one may cook for one’s slave since he is required to feed his slave. This ruling would apply if we pasken like Rabbi Akiva who rules that when the posuk says that one may cook on Yom Tov for “lachem,” it includes cooking for one’s animals. It would stand to reason that this would include one’s non-Jewish slaves.

The Rif argues with this and says that we pasken like Reb Yosi Haglili who rules that it is forbidden to cook on Yom Tov for one’s animals; therefore one should not be able to cook for one’s slaves.

The sefer Yaaros Dvash in siman yud zayin says that despite the fact that we pasken that one may not cook for a non-Jew on Yom Tov, one would be able to cook for non-Jewish slaves because they have a chiyuv to do mitzvos in the same way a woman has a chiyuv to do mitzvos. Even in a case where the slave is not doing mitzvos, he would be treated like a Jew who is porek ol. The rule regarding someone in that category is “Yisroel af al pi shechata Yisroeh hu,” therefore; one may cook for a Jew even if he is not keeping mitzvos. We therefore rule that a non-Jewish slave would also be able to have food cooked for him by a Jew on Yom Tov.

The Yaaros Dvash explains Esther Hamalka’s actions with this svara. Esther wanted to invite Achashverosh to eat a meal on Pesach with her. By inviting Haman, who was an eved knani to Mordechai, she was allowed to cook for the party.

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{Matzav}

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