Invitation for a Shabbos Drive

Question: Would you invite people to your house for Shabbos knowing that they will drive home before Shabbos is over?


The phrasing of a question is very important. The way you phrased it, I am comfortable answering you without putting you in a terrible quandary.

You asked what I would do. I would only invite people for Shabbos if I felt there was a distinct possibility that they would not be mechallel Shabbos. This means that I have to do what I can to make it conceivable that they will stay. For example, I could offer a bedroom or hotel room and meals to a guest. Safek lifnei iver is permitted. If a Jew (try to verify the Jewishness of people presenting themselves as Jews) tells me up front that he will not stay, then I am enabling him to be mechallel Shabbos. How can I talk about kedushas Shabbos or show its beauty when I am an accomplice to the crime? But the real reason I wouldn't do it is that I think it is assur.

Just making it possible for a Jew not to violate Shabbos, in my opinion, is not sufficient. I would have to be unsure how the person will act. Even if I think he will drive but am unsure, it is a safek.

This is not a case where something ordinarily prohibited is permitted due to a safeksafek, there is no issur. The Torah and Chazal only prohibit a vadai michshol. If a person lives within walking distance, I can invite him unless I am sure that he will not walk.

The question that I would have is: Do I have to ask afterwards what he did or can I remain ignorant? (One might think it is necessary to ask in order to find out if it had really been a vadai michshol all along and I had violated lifnei iver.) Perhaps on that one can be lenient.

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