SECTION 344 The Laws Governing How One Who [Has Lost Track of the Days While] Traveling in the Desert [Should Conduct Himself] on Shabbos (1-2)

סימן שדמ דִּין הַהוֹלֵךְ בַּמִּדְבָּר בְּשַׁבָּת וּבוֹ ב' סְעִיפִים:

1 A person who was traveling in the desert [and lost track of the days and] does not know which day is Shabbos should count seven days from the day when he became aware that he lost track [of the previous days].1 [That person] should sanctify that seventh day by reciting Kiddush [at its onset] and Havdalah [at its departure,2 doing so] merely as a remembrance, so that he will have one day that is distinct from the other days and thus not forget the concept of Shabbos. [The person] is, however, permitted to walk even several parsaos3on that day, so that he can hasten his departure from the desert.4

If [the person] possesses the means to sustain himself, he is forbidden to perform any task forbidden as labor on Shabbos by [Scriptural] Law, even during his six “weekdays”5 until he finishes [the provisions] that he possesses. [The rationale is that] the possibility exists that each day is Shabbos.6[The person] is, however, permitted to perform all activities that are forbidden on Shabbos by Rabbinic decree on his “weekdays,” because leniency may be taken whenever there is an unresolved doubt regarding a matter of Rabbinic Law. According to Rabbinic Law, [the person] must regard his “seventh day” as Shabbos. He is [therefore] forbidden to perform any activity forbidden as a shvus,7just as one is [forbidden to do so] on the second day of festivals [observed in the Diaspora.] They [were also instituted] because of doubt, and yet one is then forbidden to perform any activity forbidden as a shvus for the above reason.8

After finishing all his provisions, [the person] is permitted to perform [Scripturally] forbidden labor for the other members of his caravan in order to earn his sustenance for that day. [The person may do this] every day, even on his “seventh” day, because of the threat to life.9 [The person] may only do enough work to earn a limited sustenance, enough for his livelihood for that day alone, but [he may] not [work so much] on that day [that he will have enough] for the next [day] – not even on his “sixth” day for his “seventh.” [The rationale is that] he might be working on Shabbos for a weekday.10 There is no necessity [to work on that day for the next day] because of a threat to life, because he can also do [this same work] on the following day, [which for him is] a “weekday.” If [the person] possesses bread, he is not permitted to cook [other food], because there is no threat to life involved.11

א הַהוֹלֵךְ בַּמִּדְבָּר וְאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ מָתַי שַׁבָּת – מוֹנֶה ז' יָמִים מִיּוֹם שֶׁנָּתַן אֶל לִבּוֹ שִׁכְחָתוֹ,1 וּמְקַדֵּשׁ שְׁבִיעִי בְּקִדּוּשׁ וְהַבְדָּלָהא,2 לְזִכָּרוֹן בְּעָלְמָא, שֶׁיְּהֵא לוֹ שָׁם יוֹם חָלוּק מִשְּׁאָר יָמִים, וְלֹא תִשְׁתַּכַּח תּוֹרַת שַׁבָּת מִמֶּנּוּ.ב אֲבָל מֻתָּר לֵילֵךְ בּוֹג אֲפִלּוּ כַּמָּה פַּרְסָאוֹת,ד,3 כְּדֵי לְמַהֵר לָצֵאת מִן הַמִּדְבָּר.ה,4

וְאִם יֵשׁ לוֹ מִמַּה לְהִתְפַּרְנֵס – אָסוּר לוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת שׁוּם מְלָאכָה גְמוּרָה אֲפִלּוּ בְּשֵׁשֶׁת יְמֵי הַחֹל שֶׁלּוֹ5 עַד שֶׁיִּכְלֶה מַה שֶּׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ,ו מִפְּנֵי שֶׁכָּל יוֹם סְפֵק שַׁבָּת הוּא.ז,6 וּדְבָרִים הָאֲסוּרִים בְּשַׁבָּת מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים – מֻתָּר לַעֲשׂוֹתָם בְּכָל יְמֵי הַחֹל שֶׁלּוֹ,ח מִפְּנֵי שֶׁכָּל סְפֵק דִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים לְהָקֵל.ט אֲבָל בְּז' שֶׁלּוֹ, כֵּיוָן שֶׁחָל עָלָיו שַׁבָּת מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים – אָסוּר בְּכָל שְׁבוּת7, כְּמוֹ יוֹם טוֹב שֵׁנִי שֶׁהוּא גַם כֵּן סָפֵק, וְאָסוּר בְּכָל שְׁבוּתי מִטַּעַם זֶה.8

וּלְאַחַר שֶׁיִּכְלֶה כָּל מַה שֶּׁיֵּשׁ לוֹיא – מֻתָּר לוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת מְלָאכָה אֵצֶל בְּנֵי הַשַּׁיָּרָא לְהִשְׂתַּכֵּריב כְּדֵי פַרְנָסָתוֹ בְּכָל יוֹם וָיוֹם אֲפִלּוּ בַּשְּׁבִיעִי שֶׁלּוֹ,יג מִפְּנֵי פִּקּוּחַ נֶפֶשׁ.יד,9 וְלֹא יַעֲשֶׂה אֶלָּא כְּדֵי פַּרְנָסָה מְצֻמְצֶמֶת שֶׁיּוּכַל לִחְיוֹת בָּהּ אוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם בִּלְבָד,טו אֲבָל לֹא מִיּוֹם לַחֲבֵרוֹ, אֲפִלּוּ מִשִּׁשִּׁי לַשְּׁבִיעִי שֶׁלּוֹ, כִּי שֶׁמָּא הוּא עוֹשֶׂה מִשַּׁבָּת לְחֹל,טז,10 וְאֵין בְּזֶה צֹרֶךְ לְפִקּוּחַ נֶפֶשׁ,יז שֶׁהֲרֵי יוּכַל לַעֲשׂוֹת גַּם לְמָחָר בְּחֹל.

וְאִם יֵשׁ לוֹ לֶחֶם לֶאֱכוֹל – אֵינוֹ רַשַּׁאי לְבַשֵּׁל לוֹ, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵין בְּזֶה פִּקּוּחַ נֶפֶשׁ:יח,11

Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch (Sichos In English)

The new layout – with the original text and the facing translation – provides a unique user-friendly approach to studying the Alter Rebbe’s work. An inclusive commentary provides insightful explanations and guidelines for actual practice.

2 If [a person in the above situation] knows the number of days that passed since he set out [on his journey], i.e., he knows that this day is the fourth day or the fifth day since he set out, but he does not remember which day of the week he set out, he is permitted to perform as much forbidden labor as he desires on the eighth day after his departure. [The rationale is that] on that day of the week12 he would not have left his home, since he would certainly not set out on Shabbos.13The same applies to the 15th day, the 22nd day, and all further multiples in such a pattern.14

ב הָיָה יוֹדֵעַ מִנְיַן יוֹם שֶׁיָּצָא בוֹ, כְּגוֹן שֶׁיּוֹדֵעַ שֶׁהַיּוֹם יוֹם רְבִיעִי אוֹ יוֹם חֲמִישִׁי לִיצִיאָתוֹ, אֲבָל אֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ בְּאֵיזֶה יוֹם מִימֵי הַשַּׁבָּת יָצָא – מֻתָּר לוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת מְלָאכָה כָּל כַּמָּה שֶׁיִּרְצֶה בְּיוֹם שְׁמִינִי לִיצִיאָתוֹ, שֶׁבְּיוֹם כָּזֶה12 לֹא יָצָא מִבֵּיתוֹ, כִּי בְּוַדַּאי לֹא יָצָא בְּשַׁבָּת,13 וְכֵן בְּיוֹם ט"ו, וּכְמוֹ כֵן בְּיוֹם כ"ב, וְכֵן לְעוֹלָם:יט