Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Followup - Electronic water meter: Can you turn on the faucet on Shabbos?

I posted a few days ago about electronic water meters and can they be used on Shabbos.

A number of people suggested that this should be permitted because it is a פסיק רישיה דלא ניחא ליה on an איסור דרבנן. I would like to raise 2 issues with that premise:

1. Is this really לא ניחא ליה? Everyone would agree that you cannot disconnect the meter before shabbos and use the water because you would be stealing from the water company. Therefore, the meter recording how much water you used is ניחא ליה.  If the meter didn't record your use the company would not be able to charge you and you wouldn't know how much to pay, in essence you would be stealing. Therefore, you want the meter to record your use to keep you from stealing.
2. It is not so clear that פסיק רישיה דלא ניחא ליה on an איסור דרבנן is permitted. R' Eider in his sefer on hilchos shabbos writes that a פסיק רישיה דלא ניחא ליה on an איסור דרבנן is assur. The Shemiras Shabbos in the new edition has an introduction to Hilchos Shabbos. In the text he doesn't discuss פסיק רישיה דלא ניחא ליה on an איסור דרבנן but in a footnote he quotes a number of Mishna Berura's that it is assur. R' Willig in his sefer Am Mordechai on Shabbos, wanted to make the following distinction by פסיק רישיה דלא ניחא ליה on an איסור דרבנן. He said that if the issur is עיקרו מן התורה and it is only דרבנן for a technicality (מלאכה שאין צריכה לגופה ,מקלקל, etc.) then פסיק רישיה דלא ניחא ליה on an איסור דרבנן would be assur. But if the issur is עיקרו מדרבנן like electricity then פסיק רישיה דלא ניחא ליה would be mutar.


NYfunnyman said...

i disagree with your assessment of ניחא ליה. you don't care how they figure out how much water you've used- electric or not. the fact that they are using the electric way is not ניחא ליה. you stretch ניחא ליה way too far in my opinion.

bluke said...

I don't think you can look at it that way. Your action of turning on the faucet causes 2 things to happen.
1. The water comes out
2. The electronic meter measures how much water you are using.

You want both to happen.

Adam Zur said...

lo niche is a argument. some hold it means ones is against it. others hold is means one does not care

bluke said...

Yes that is true, but this is not לא איכפת ליה either, you want it to record the usage otherwise you will be stealing.

SF2K01 said...

I don't think it's about whether or not you want to be stealing. It's about payment. That I'm liable for money is never ניחא ליה, and that's really what the issue here is. They insist on monitoring how much water I use, but I'd rather not have to pay at all.

Adam Zur said...

the problem with this is that the lo nicha lei things is not like the rambam who holds by rebbi yehuda that melacha that is not needed for it main purpose is obligated in a sacrifice. This makes a great deal of problems when it comes to depending on lo nicha lai which is going like r. shimon.

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