From the Rav’s Desk: Calling someone in America after Shabbos is over in Israel

  1. Question: [Thursday, 14th Kisleiv 5783]

I am currently in Israel and have a gentile employee in the United States and wanted to know if it is permitted for me to converse with him after Shabbos is over for me in Israel, but while it is still Shabbos in the US?


You may do so without restriction. This applies only to calling a gentile in that time zone and not a Jew. [Thus, one is to be aware not to send any messages on whatsapp groups that contain nonreligious Jews in order to not cause them to stumble in writing Shabbos. However, one may send a WhatsApp message to a gentile irrelevant of what time zone he is in.]

Explanation: While it is forbidden to call a Jew in the United States while it is still Shabbos for him, even though Shabbos is already over for you in Israel, this is because it is forbidden for one to cause another Jew to transgress Shabbos and not because it is consider that you are doing work in a Shabbos prohibited time zone and location. Hence majority of Poskim rule that a person in Israel may call a gentile in the United States without restriction once Shabbos is over in Israel. A ruling similar to this [but note exactly alike] can be gleaned from the ruling in the Poskim which allows a person who has accepted Tosefes Shabbos prior to the start of Shabbos, or still continuing his Shabbos after the leave of Shabbos, to ask another Jew for him it is no longer or not yet Shabbos to do a Melacha on his behalf. Now, just like we permit the Jew for whom it is not Shabbos to do work on behalf of the Jew for whom it is Shabbos, so too, we should allow a Jew for whom it is not Shabbos in his time zone to do work in a Shabbos time zone.

Sources: See Chelkas Yaakov 3:106; Shevet Halevi 3:172; Beir Moshe 6 Kuntrus Electricity 49; 7 Dinei Eretz Yisrael 78; Betzeil Hachachma 3:125; Devar Yehuda 8:77; Or Letziyon 1:14; Vayan Dovid 1:48; Vayeshev Moshe 1:119; Rivivos Efarim 6:215; 8:152 in name of Rav Elyashiv that is permitted; Beir Sarim 4:71; Migdanos Eliyahu 1:103; Cheshev Haeifod 3:86; Kaneh Bosem 3:14; Piskeiy Teshuvos 344:2 [old] 263:46 [new]; Stringent opinion: Shraga Hameir 7:112; Kinyan torah 6:17 See regarding asking even another Jew to do Melacha for him during Tosefes Shabbos:  Admur 263:25; 299:21; Kuntrus Achron 263:8

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