web analytics
September 3, 2014 / 8 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Q & A: Shabbat Shuttle? (Part I)

QuestionsandAnswers-logo

Question: Is it permitted on the Sabbath or holidays to take a shuttle to synagogue? The neighborhood shuttle runs from 9-5 daily, is driven by a gentile, has a designated stop schedule, and is free of charge.

In my case, it would be very helpful as I have major difficulties walking the almost one-mile distance from my apartment to shul due to a medical condition known as peripheral artery disease. I am close to 80 years old.

I live in the Bal Harbor area of Miami Beach, FL and I know that many Orthodox Jews who live in high-rises use a Sabbath elevator or take regular elevators and allow someone else to press the button. Several people sit in wheelchairs (including a local Orthodox rabbi who is ill and cannot walk) and are wheeled to shul.

I fail to see why taking the shuttle bedi’eved is different than taking a Sabbath elevator or being pushed in a wheelchair. Although I know I should ask my shul rabbi, I would appreciate hearing your opinion.

Hershele L
(Via E-Mail)

Answer: My uncle, Rabbi Sholom Klass, zt”l, discussed this matter many years ago and cited the Responsa Chatam Sofer (by Rabbi Moshe Sofer, zt”l, 1763-1839, vol. III, Hashmatot, ch. 194). The Chatam Sofer discusses a query by a Jewish physician who was asked by a gentile from a distant town to hop into his coach on Shabbat to attend to his wife who was about to give birth.

We present here a condensed version of the Chatam Sofer’s responsum:

“The prohibition of riding on an animal, or in a coach, on Shabbat is due to the following reasons: We are told to rest our animals on Shabbat (Exodus 20:10) and not to lead them. Also, we are not supposed to ride an animal lest we tear off a branch (to use it as a whip) or travel out of town more than 2,000 amot [approximately 4,000 feet].

“The first problem of resting one’s animals would not apply here since the animals don’t belong to a Jew but to a gentile.

“The prohibition of tearing off a branch also wouldn’t apply here for two reasons. First, the doctor is riding inside the coach, and secondly, he is not driving the wagon.

“Then we have the prohibition of telling a non-Jew to violate Shabbat. We are not permitted to order a gentile on Shabbat to do any work we are not permitted to do ourselves. However, in this case the gentile is calling for the doctor; the doctor is not telling the gentile anything.

“The question of Techum Shabbat has a few facets to it. It does not apply to anything higher than ten tefachim [around three feet] since above that height is considered avir makom pitur – the air over that height is not considered a public domain [and the prohibition thus does not apply]. Also, if the coach is four amot by four amot [approximately eight feet by eight feet], it is considered a reshut bifnei atzmah, a separate entity or a private domain, and the laws of Techum Shabbat do not apply to it.

“Then you have the admonition of not violating Shabbat for one who doesn’t observe Shabbat, especially a non-Jew. This, however, does not apply in our times when we dwell among the gentiles as neighbors and because of darkei shalom (keeping the peace and friendship of our neighbors). We must do everything to help them as we would our own. These laws were promulgated at a time when the gentiles, the heathen idol worshippers, were bitter enemies of the Jews and they lived outside of the land of Israel. Today, to show our friendship to the gentiles, we are obligated to help them put out a fire in their house even on Shabbat.”

About the Author: Rabbi Yaakov Klass, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Q & A: Shabbat Shuttle? (Part I)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hamas's leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh (in blue shirt, center), benefitted politically - and in a dramatic fashion - from this summer's war.  Photo from Hamas victory rally, Aug. 27, 2014.
Gazan Deaths and Destruction Dramatically Drives Popularity for Hamas
Latest Judaism Stories
shofar+kotel

If you had an important court date scheduled – one that would determine your financial future, or even your very life – you’d be sure to prepare for weeks beforehand. On Rosh Hashanah, each individual is judged on the merit of his deeds. Whether he will live out the year or not. Whether he will […]

The_United_Nations_Building

It is in the nature of the Nations of the World to be hostile towards the Jewish People.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

First, how could a beis din of 23 judges present a guilty verdict in a capital punishment case? After all, only a majority of the 23 judges ruled in favor of his verdict.

Of paramount importance is that both the king and his people realize that while he is the leader, he is still a subject of God.

Untimely News
‘A Mourner Is Forbidden To Wear Shoes…’
(Mo’ed Katan 20b)

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

When a person feels he can control the destiny of other people, he runs the risk of feeling self-important, significant, and mighty.

Needless to say, it was done and they formed a great relationship as his friend and mentor. He started attending services and volunteered his time all along putting on tefillin.

He took me to a room filled with computer equipment and said, “You pray here for as long as you want.” I couldn’t believe my ears.

On Friday afternoon, Dov called Kalman. “Please make sure to return the keys for the car on Motzaei Shabbos,” he said. “We have a bris on Sunday morning and we’re all going. We also need the roof luggage bag.”

On Chol HaMoed some work is prohibited and some is permitted. According to some opinions, the work prohibition is biblical; according to others, it’s rabbinical.

If there is a mitzvas minuy dayanim in the Diaspora, then why is there a difference between Israel and the Diaspora in the number of judges and their distribution?

Judaism is a religion of love but also a religion of justice, for without justice, love corrupts.

The time immediately preceding Mashiach’s arrival is likened to the birth pangs of a woman in labor.

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass
Questions-Answers-logo

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

A CPE class at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn was tailor made for Orthodox participants.

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
(Via E-Mail)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ask-the-rabbi/q-a-shabbat-shuttle-part-i/2013/12/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: