- Question: [Thursday, 9th Adar 1, 5782]
I work as a therapist, and I would like to know if I may schedule counseling sessions for Friday afternoon. I am asking because I understood that ideally you are not supposed to work on Friday afternoon. Is this type of work also included in the prohibition?
It is permitted for you to schedule counseling sessions for Friday afternoon even in exchange for payment, so long as you make sure that this will not compromise on any of the preparations that need to be done for Shabbos.
Explanation: It is true that the sages prohibited doing Melacha on Friday afternoon past the time of Mincha [Ketana, and some even say Gedola] in order so one be free for the Shabbos preparations. However, this prohibition only refers to laborious activity which takes up much of one’s time. However, activities which do not take any time, or are not laborious in nature and do not require any physical exertion, are permitted to be done even initially. Thus, we find that it is ruled that it is permitted to engage in business, buying and selling, until close to the start of Shabbos. Accordingly, being that counseling sessions simply involve speaking and does not entail any physical exertion [in contrast to mental and emotional exertion], therefore, you may do so.
Sources: See Admur 251:1-3; Magen Avraham 251:1; Michaber 251:1; Aruch Hashulchan 251:4; Ketzos Hashulchan 69:6; Sefer Chasidim 122; Kaf Hachaim 251:4