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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]

My husband just asked me if I wanted to buy the comic shop.

"What am I? Michael?"

(For those who don't know, Michael Novotsky on Queer as Folk, a long time comic book fan, purchased a comic shop for reasons I have forgotten.)

We decided that it would not be the right thing for me and I know that the business wasn't going well because, well, they told me. Comics aren't selling these days.

But the thought did cross my mind for five minutes yesterday. I mean, a female superhero fan running a comic shop? Be cool. But being closed on Shabbos would be *bad*, and Ashkenazi rabbis don't give permission to have a non-Jew run it for you. And I have no idea about how to run a business.


Maybe Forbidden Planet could buy it? They're a chain, but they're a pretty good chain.


But it still wouldn't be me.

(There's another shop a couple of blocks away, so I doubt Forbidden Planet would do that. I'd have to establish a pull-list in the other place, but I'd *miss* this place a lot.)

I didn't know that (Ashkenazi) rabbis wouldn't let any Jewishly-owned business open on Shabbat if run by non-Jews; I'd thought it tended to come into play for restaurants only (and other businesses catering exclusively to frum Jews wouldn't try to open then, anyway, being pointless).

Apparently so - I think they're afraid you might come to check on how it's doing or to make sure the non-Jew running things is honest or something, and then find yourself doing business yourself. And that will, of course, lead to writing, and thus to a Torah violation of Shabbat.

In this case, the comic book store is a good thirty minutes away from me by bus, but they just don't give heterim for this.

Ah, fencing fences.

If you really did want to have a comic book store, could you find a non-Jewish partner who knows the business-running end of things? I mean, I assume that if you're not the majority owner, then it's not the same issues.

I'd assume that even if I were 50% owner, that would work.

But not going to happen.

I don't think that's quite right. You can, in fact, sell the business for Shabbat, with the buyer either keeping all the profit actually made on Shabbat, or a fixed percentage which represents an estimate of how much profit is made then. The big problem is that this can only be done for a business that is not publicly known to be Jewish-owned, or is in a place where there are no Jews within walking distance. My uncle used to have a heter mechira for a factory in Geelong, on this basis.

I'm not aware of a difference between Ashkenazi and Sefardi rulings on this matter.

It's what Eli B. told us when he opened his shop on 7th Ave - and that he had to find a Sephardi rabbi to do it. Of course, he *is* Sephardi.

I would totally order comics from you if you ran your own shop.


Thank you, sweetie!

It's an interesting idea and it sounds like you'd be good at it if you had the passion for it. But it also sounds like you don't, at this time, in this particular case. (A gentile partner would address the Shabbat problem, wouldn't it?)

And I have no idea about how to run a business.

Which is why you shouldn't run a comic store. It *is* a business.

Although, if you wanted a crash course in how to run a business, I suggest getting a job at a convenience store.

ack. No, thank you.

Of course it is. I actually do have some idea, given that I work for a real estate agency, and I don't want the headache.

If you really wanted to ask someone about running a comic shop, you may want to ask dementordelta. She and her husband own three of them.

do you have a gentile friend who could co-own with you? surely that would be different from hiring a shabbos goy as a manager?

Ah, I coulda come work for you, MamaDeb! I've worked for small places before and I'm now in NYC, Brooklyn to exact. No long commute from LBI.