Can my cleaning lady wash my dishes on Shabbos?


Article: Cleaning Help on Shabbos:

On a previous occasion we learned that it is forbidden to have a non-Jew do work for us on Shabbos. However, there are things that a non-Jewish helper is permitted to do.

Anything that a Jew is permitted to do on Shabbos, a gentile may do for us as well. Additionally, anything that the helper is doing to make it easier for themselves in the course of doing a permissible melocho (work), such as rinsing non-greasy dishes in hot water, because it is more comfortable than using cold water, is acceptable, provided there is no issue of preparation on Shabbos for a weekday.

Likewise, a psik reisha, something that happens as a direct unintentional result of the helper’s actions, such as getting something out of the refrigerator for us even though the light in the refrigerator will turn on, is permitted for the non-Jew to do.

Accordingly, a non-Jew may usually use hot water even for washing greasy dishes, even though they can only become clean when using hot water, since the melocho of boiling more water happens as an unintentional result from turning on the hot water. This does not apply when the non-Jew is expected to wash a large amount of greasy dishes, where the expectation is for him to use all the water in tank; in this case, the boiling of new water is not considered an unintentional result.

In certain cases, a gentile is permitted to do a melocho for us that is an issur derabonon, a Rabbinic prohibition, for example if it is done for the purpose of a mitzvah or a great need.



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