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Section: Questions   Category: Halacha
TAGS:shabbos
Halacha - Selling on Shabbat
Submitted by Benjamin  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question: I make handmade ceramics. I want to sell the plate, cups, mugs, bowls, and jars that I make, but I can't sell them at craft fairs in my neighborhood because they're always on Shabbat. I know a non-Jew who sells her ceramics at the craft fairs, and she offered to put some of my work in her display and sell it for me. If I agree to this, is it considered the same as working on Shabbat?
Answer:  

At first glance it might appear that this is permitted, provided you do not explicitly specify that your friend should sell them on Shabbos. The Shulchan Aruch OC 245:5 states "It is permitted for a Jew to give merchandise to a gentile to sell for him, as long as he does not instruct him to sell it on Shabbos."

However, the Mishna Berura there §21 elaborates that if the market day in that locale is on Shabbos, it is understood that the intent is to sell it specifically on Shabbos, and it is equivalent to an explicit instruction, which is forbidden. From your question, it would appear that this is precisely analogous to your situation.

One possible solution would be to sell the pottery to your friend prior to Shabbos. Then, all the items she would be selling are her own, which is permitted. The Poskim (Minchas Yitzchok 3:29) even permit this when the non-Jew is selling it on commission and can return the unsold objects after Shabbos. Since at the time the merchandise belonged to a gentile and they would bear responsibility for any loss or damage, it is not considered selling Jewish property on Shabbos.

posted:2012-05-20 16:58:33


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