Sunday, 8 April 2018

Second Day Yom Tov in Eretz Yisrael

Question: I am visiting Eretz Yisrael for Pesach. Can I ask Israelis to perform melacha on my behalf on my second day Yom Tov?
Answer: The Mishna Berura (496:13) writes that one visiting Eretz Yisrael who observes two days Yom Tov mustn’t perform any melacha and must daven the Yom Tov davening as if they were in chutz la’aretz. There is a machlokes among the poskim, however, as to whether they may ask local people to perform melacha on their behalf.
R’ Ovadia Yosef (Yabia Omer 9:OC:49) and R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Minchas Shlomo 1:19:3) write that especially as the second day is miderabanan and there is a machlokes about its status for one visiting, one may ask others to perform melacha if necessary. The Shulchan Aruch (OC 263:17) writes that one who has accepted Shabbos early may ask someone else who hasn’t yet accepted Shabbos to do a melacha on their behalf. The Magen Avraham (OC 263:30) explains that this hetter applies as they could have chosen to take Shabbos in later. According to R’ Ovadia Yosef and R’ Auerbach, these cases are similar as one visiting Eretz Yisrael can choose to stay there and keep only one day. As they potentially have a way out, they can ask someone else (See Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasa 31:n80).
R’ Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe OC 3:73; OC:4:107) and R’ Yitzchak Yaakov Weiss (Minchas Yitzchak 7:34), however, dismiss this comparison. R’ Moshe writes that making aliya isn’t so simple, and many who try it end up moving back. Thus, one cannot compare our scenario to one who brought Shabbos in early. Just as if one were in chutz la’aretz they wouldn’t be able to ask a non-Jewish person to do a melacha on their behalf on both days of Yom Tov, so too they can’t ask another to do so when they’re observing Yom Tov in Eretz Yisrael, whether they are Jewish or not (See Shaarei Teshuva 496:3).
Likewise, R’ Yehoshua Neuwirth (Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasa 31:33) writes that one must not ask an Israeli to perform melacha on their behalf.
R’ Ovadia Yosef (ibid.) notes that while R’ Moshe Stern (Be'er Moshe 7:p258) initially prohibited asking, he later (ibid. p291) retracted, allowing one to ask an Israeli to do a melacha on their behalf, noting that the minhag is to be lenient.
R’ Ephraim Greenblatt (Rivevos Ephraim 4:77:26) writes that one may rely on the lenient poskim under extenuating circumstances. He quotes R’ Binyamin Zilber (Az Nidberu 11:29) who writes that while one may benefit from such melacha, one should avoid asking them where possible.
In conclusion, it is certainly preferable not to ask Israelis to perform unnecessary melachos for one observing yom tov sheni in Eretz Yisrael, though one may benefit from melacha that they do.

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