Monday, November 30, 2009

Am i causing my guest to desecrate Shabbos?

Rabbi Mordechai J. Gold from Indianapolis, Indiana wrote:

I am a Mashgiach in a mid-western city. I am involved with very secular Jews. I would like to have guests for Shabbat, but the problem is that there is the definite chance that there will be chillul Shabbos [desecration of Shabbat] like driving their car to my home! Am I allowed to have them over to my home for the Shabbat meal?

Dear Rabbi Gold,

As you know, it's forbidden to cause a fellow Jew to transgress the Torah. This is true regardless of that person's level of observance or affiliation. But what if your intention is to show the other person the beauty of Torah observance?

Your question was asked to a renowned halachic authority in Jerusalem. He said that if you have a proven talent for reaching out to non-observant people then you can invite them for Shabbat, but the invitation must include the option to stay within walking distance for the entire Shabbat. Even if you're sure they'll chose to drive, you've done your part by sincerely offering to accommodate them.

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