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Author:  ms
E-mail:  not available
Date:  8/10/2003 6:45:00 PM
Subject:  Bishul Akum
Message:  I am having a hard time following the logic.
According to the Shulhan Arukh

1. It is forbidden for a Jew to simply light the flame

2. It is bishul akum if a paid employee does the cooking.

In both cases the Shulhan Arukh is mahmir, so how if you combine the two cases, do you find room to be mattir? I would understand if the Shulhan Arukh was lenient in no. 2 or didn't give a pesak in no. 2, but if he is mahmir in both cases, why do matters change if you add them together? The Rav never explains this in the sefer.
Reply:  This will take years of learning to understand the process. I'm not looking to convince anyone. You are still too set on the concept that whatever the Shulchan Aruch says is a Chok, and there is no value to the opinions of the others that he himself quotes, but does not side with. This is the way it works. We do not follow the Shulchan Aruch and ignore the other opinions like we do with Beit Hillel verses Beit Shamai, where we say Beit Shamai Bemakom Beit Hillel Aino Mishneh. Look at it this way, to try to comprehend this: Assume there is a points system. 10 points if it is 100% Assur. If there is a Safek, it's only 5 points. 5 points on a DeOraita is still not allowed, but is OK on a Derabanan. Then you have a situation where there is a Machloket. If it is 50-50, and we can't decide whom to follow, it would be treated just like a Safek and it would be 5 points. If we have a stronger push to one side because of certain Rishonim, the Shulchan Aruch might say it's more like 7.5 points, and even on a Derabanan he would say Assur. In the case of an employee cooking & a Jew still lighting the flame it gets a bit more complicated. Each law in its own right is reduced by 25%, due to the Rishonim that are Matir. That means 7.5 points for a Jew not to be sufficient to light the fire, & 7.5 points in a case where it is a non-Jewish employee who cooks & lights the fire. Each in their own right have a Tzad Heter, but not enough to make it Mutar (for Sephardim). In a case where you have both scenarios, where it is an employee and a Jew lights the fire, you have two Tzdadei Heter. They are not connected. Each has it's own reasoning. These two are combined to allow you to use the 25% from each Heter, giving you 50% Heter, bringing the points of this Issur down to 5, and thus it is Mutar. This is not an exact science, but rather it is hopefully a way that you can understand a bit. If this is still not clear to you, I recommend that you begin a serious study process to gain a more general knowledge in Halachah, Gemara, Rishonim, and Shulchan Aruch, before you analyze any more Halachot. The Gemara in Shabbat says "Ligmor VeHadar Lisvor," meaning learn up shas well and then analyze and work on understanding the logic and reasons. What I explained to you above is something used in Psak by every Posek in the History of mankind. Your problem understanding it comes from some serious misconceptions picked up along the way. I sympathize with you, but I highly recommend that you take your life in your own hands and begin studying in the correct and true format as written clearly in the Gemara and in many of the Seforim. I am not criticizing you, but rather trying to help you and all the others reading this. I hope I have been able to get through to you.

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