Ask the Rabbi

  • Shabbat and Holidays
  • Gentile Help on Shabbat

Non-Jewish Caregiver


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Shevat 12, 5781
Shavua Tov....My wife’s mother recently hired a Hindu female helper from India/Nepal and they started coming to us for Shabbat. I need to know what we can and cannot do as she is not Jewish, we have never been in this situation. She eats Shabbat dinner with us for example, so is boiled wine or grape juice what we need to always use? I gave her challah after HaMotzi simply out of not wanting to make her feel embarrassed / insulted etc and she is a guest. She also starts taking our plates and doing the dishes, as she doesnt know she cant work on Shabbat, can she work even though we dont expect her to. We really dont know how to deal with these situations. Looking for some advice on scenarios to avoid, dos and donts etc.... Todah
It's easiest to simply buy wine which is "yayin m'vushal", or at least that has been pasteurized which many hold has the status of "yayin m'vushal" (although there are opinions that are more stringent and say it must be boiled even more, so if you wish to be more stringent, you can pour her wine and then remove it from the table.). She can do the dishes any way she wants, for there are ways of doing them which are totally halachically permissible, but you don't have to ask her to do it that way. There's no problem at all giving her challah. Also, in general, you are not allowed to ask her to do things that Jews are not allowed to do. But there are many details involved regarding this topic. For further details contact an orthodox rabbi in your area
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