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Baby Sitting


Rabbi Elchanan Lewis

19 Kislev 5765
A husband and wife want to go out on Shabbat. They employ a Jewish teenager to baby-sit for their children. This is the usual employment for this teenager and she is paid her regular hourly wage but receives the money after Shabbat. The teenager doesn’t knowingly violate any prohibitions while in the house - she simply carries out the same function of the parent’s until they return. However, it should be noted that if she didn’t work as a baby sitter on Shabbat she would have observed Shabbat with her own family and if she wouldn’t get paid, she would not do the baby-sitting. What is your position on this?
There are two issues to the question. One will be the Halachic issue of Shabbat payment – that can be solved by her doing some other thing after or before Shabbat and she will be paid for all her work including Shabbat and that is permissible (Schar Shabbat BeHavla'a, Shulchan Aruch OC 306) The second will be, her, not sharing Shabbat meals with her family – and that is her own (and parents?) decision to make, helping other people to enjoy Shabbat is a Mitzvah too.
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