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Keeping a Store Opened on Shabbos

Question:

My brother and I are interested in buying a store that has been opened for the past 40 years and run by an orthodox Yid for the past ten years. The store runs from Monday-Saturday. The owner who is selling the business advised that if we do not keep the store opened for Shabbos, we will drastically lose customers. I understand that their is some kind of contract that can be made with a non-Jew to make him a partial owner. What is the process and is this a valid heter? thanks…

Answer:

In order for  a store to remain open on Shabbos, it must be owned on that day by a non Jew. So before you take over the store you will need to sign a legal contract with a non Jew, giving him ownership for that day. The details of this partnership are outlined in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 245, based on the gemara in  Avodah Zara 22a. The details of the contract are somewhat complicated and so when the time comes please be in touch and we will glady assist you in writing up the agreement, which will need to be signed by the 2 parties.

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