shabbos goy

Beitza 24: Fishing on Yom Tov

Shabbat and Yom Tov are gifts to the Jewish people, and the Jewish people only. As such, we are permitted to benefit from work by a non-Jew on these days--provided the non-Jew is doing such work for his own benefit (Shabbat 122b). It is for this reason that a non-Jewish contractor can do work for a Jew on Shabbat; the hours he chooses to work are his own. However, Jewish law prohibits one from asking for, or even benefiting from, work that a non-Jew does of his own accord if done specifically for the benefit of the Jew.

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