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Working on Shabbat


Rabbi Chaim Tabasky

23 Elul 5766
I know that we are not to work on the Shabbat. But I have a dilemma. My current employer has cut our hours so drastically that I will not be able to pay my bills! I have an opportunity to work a part-time job on Saturday and Sunday that will allow me to pay my bills. I am looking for a new full-time job as well. I will not be able to keep the Shabbat and I am devastated. But if I don’t work the extra job, I will not be able to pay my rent and other bills. Would working the Shabbat for this reason be ok? Thank you,
Shalom. It is forbidden to work on Shabbat, except under very special circumstances (for instance a doctor, whose presence will save lives). Although this halacha is sometimes very dificult and requires a high level of commitment and self sacrifice, Jews have shown this degree of commitment for thousands of years, and I urge you to do the same. You should certainly consult a Rabbi privately about your situation, but I am confident that if you decide truly to keep Shabbat, and forgo the opportunity to work on Shabbat, you will find a better and more fulfilling job on other days.
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