Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Goy sues employer, loses

OK, perhaps I shouldn't be so flippant...

From The Yeshiva World News:

A lawsuit filed by goyim employed in Bnei Brak’s Maynei HaYeshua Hospital seeking additional compensation for being the institution’s shabbos goyim was not successful. The workers took their case to the Tel Aviv Labor Court, demanding payment according to the law which says a Jew who works on shabbos R”L must received additional pay.

The full story is here.

Now, as I understand it, it is forbidden for a Jew to cause another Jew to break the Sabbath - by employing another Jew on a Saturday, for instance.

One can - just about - understand the legislation referred to in the case, entitling Jews whom work on the Sabbath to extra pay, if one accepts that the day of rest has cultural/ethnic considerations over and above the religious duty to maintain the Sabbath; that the seventh day has a special significance to all Jews, not just observant ones.

On the other hand, one could argue that the Shabbos Goy is providing a unique service, one that relatively few people in the country can provide on behalf of the hospital (it's in Bnei Brak; I assume that it is a religious establishment). Perhaps if the petitioner had a slightly stronger negotiating position to start off with...but then, I assume that there isn't anyone at all in the hospital - Jew or Goy - entitled to the additional payment

I'll be speaking to Mrs Goy in due course; I wouldn't mind a premium added to my per diem for services rendered during the day of rest. (The fact that I do precisely nothing Chez Goy most days, Sabbath or not, is neither here nor there, obviously...)

Hat tip to Religion and State in Israel


2 comments:

Adam E. said...

Funny stuff...
But its a tad more complicated than that...one of the most essential points about the "shabbos goy" is that he cannot be officially employed as such. Put simply, a Jew cannot be involved in work on Shabbat - which means even his animals and "servants" cannot work then. The only exception is if the work in question is of too casual a nature to be considered work; which makes propositioning a shabbos goy a strange and awkward exercise (if done in respect to halacha). For instance, if you want a "goy" to switch on your light on shabbat, you have to lead him into the dark room and say "hmmm, its dark in here!" ("Please switch on the light" is a big no-no). Even when he asks "would you like me to switch on the light?" you cannot answer "yes", but must say "if you think it is necessary" instead.
Believe me, it is all true...

Goy said...

That's interesting. I had no idea...