Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

8 Av 5760 - August 9, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Home and Family
Halachic Ruling Bans Tourist Visits To Chareidi Neighborhoods on Shabbos
by Betzalel Kahn

HaRav Shmuel Halevi Wosner, the av beis din of Zichron Meir of Bnei Brak, has issued a psak halocho stating that groups of nonobservant tourists should not be brought to Jerusalem on Shabbos kodesh to tour chareidi neighborhoods because this causes Shabbos desecration.

For many months, residents of Geula and Mea Shearim have been trying to prevent groups of tourists and Israelis wishing to visit the Shabbos chareidi world as well as chassidic tischen. Groups of visitors arrive every Shabbos night in the chareidi neighborhoods, disturbing residents.

In his psak halocho, HaRav Wosner writes, "With respect to the recent, widespread practice in which every Shabbos kodesh groups of young people are brought to Jerusalem while desecrating Shabbos in order to observe the tischen of the Admorim: The purpose of those bringing these groups to Jerusalem is to inspire them to do teshuva and to lead Torah lives. I hereby say: Your thoughts are commendable, but not your deeds, for it is inconceivable to cause Shabbos desecration and desecration of kodesh in order to draw others closer to Torah. According to the din, this practice should be stopped because we may not uproot the principles of Torah in order to draw others closer."

A psak halocho issued a number of years ago by HaRav Moshe Feinstein was also publicized. In his reply to the question: Does the prohibition against placing a stumbling block before the blind apply to inviting people to daven in a synagogue on Shabbos when it is known that they will drive there? He writes: "It is forbidden to invite those distant from Torah in a manner bringing Shabbos desecration. That is worse than placing a stumbling block before the blind, since it is an offshoot of the prohibition against inciting one to violate the mitzvos."

The BaDaTz of the Eida HaChareidis also issued a psak halocho prohibiting such behavior. "There is no heter to invite nor organize such groups and to bring them into chareidi neighborhoods even for the noblest of purposes. It is even worse to permit such groups to enter synagogues in these sacred neighborhoods."


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