Question: [Monday, 15th Tishreiy, 5783]
The electricity of my home suddenly shut off in middle of our meal in the sukkah on the night of Yom Tov. We tried looking for a gentile in our neighborhood to turn it back on but could not find one. Is there any Halachic solution for us to do to turn the electricity back on? All of our food for Yom Tov, as well as all of the food in the freezer will go to waste, not to mention that our entire house and Sukkah is pitch black.
You may have a child who is under the age of Chinuch turn the electricity back on.
Explanation: In a time of need, if there is no gentile available, one may ask a child [preferably one that has not reached the age of Chinuch, if available], to turn on the electricity for the sake of Simchas Yom Tov. The reason for this is as follows: The lighting of a fire on Yom Tov is only a rabbinical prohibition according to Admur and most Poskim, and hence it is permitted to ask a gentile to light a new fire on Yom Tov in a time of need, as is always the rule that we permit Shevus Deshevus. Furthermore, some Poskim in a time of need even permit for a Jew to directly light a new fire on Yom Tov for the sake of Simchas Yom Tov. Now, while we do not rule like this opinion, nevertheless one may rely on this opinion in a time of need to ask a child to turn on the electricity, as aside for this opinion, there is also a debate in Poskim as to whether turning on electricity is forbidden on Yom Tov or not
Sources: See regarding the prohibition of lighting a fire on Yom Tov: Admur 502:1; Michaber 502:1; Taz 502:1; See regarding its Rabbinical versus Biblical status of prohibition: Admur 502:1; 495:2; Kuntrus Achron 495:1-2; M”A 518:1; Maggid Mishneh on Rambam 1:4; Taz ibid; M”B 502:1 See regarding lighting a fire on Yom Tov in a time of need: Lenient: Birkey Yosef 502:1 in name of his grandfather the Chesed Leavraham based on Tosafus and Beis Moed, brought in Zechor Leavraham 10, Mikra Kodesh Likkutei Rima 2 and Kaf Hachaim 502:2; Pnei Yehoshua Beitza 33; See Nitei Gavriel 20:3; Stringent: Kerem Shlomo; Orchos Chaim 502:1; Minchas Yitzchak 4:99;; See regarding doing so through a gentile: P”M in Magidos 110; Maharsham 4:143; Shevet Halevi 8:121; Beir Moshe 6 Elektri 27; Az Nidbaru 12:37; Piskeiy Teshuvos 502:1; Nitei Gavriel 20: 24; Yabia Omer 2:26 See regarding doing so through a child: Beir Moshe 8:166; Piskeiy Teshuvos 502:1-2; Shearim Hametzuyanim Behalacha 98:16; Avnei Derech 388 See regarding the status of electricity on Yom Tov: Tzitz Eliezer 1:20-6; Achiezer 3:60; Keren Ledavid 144; Tzafbnas Paneiach 1:273; Chazon Nachum 30; Michzeh Avraham 1:42; Maharshag 1:64; Levushei Mordechai Tinyana 91; Chelkas Yaakov 1:51; Even Yikarah 3:168; Sarei Hameiah 5:114; Matzor Devash 10; Mishpitei Uziel 1:19; Piskeiy Teshuvos 502:2; Or Yitzchak 2:17