web analytics
March 5, 2015 / 14 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Open Parking Lots On Shabbat (Part II)

Cohen-Rabbi-J-Simcha

Question: Is it proper for Orthodox synagogues to have their parking lots open on Shabbat?

Answer: Many years ago I served as rabbi of a new, pioneer Orthodox shul in West Orange, N.J. The synagogue was adjacent to a large parking lot and I parked my car there one erev Yom Tov. On Yom Tov itself, after one of the tefillot, I was walking home in a torrential rainstorm. Noticing the pathetic figure I presented, one of my congregants who was driving home suddenly stopped and called out, “Rabbi, get in the car, you shouldn’t be out walking. Do you want to get sick?”

I looked at him with surprise and responded, “It’s Yom Tov. Jews aren’t allowed to drive on Yom Tov.” His response has stayed with me ever since: “Rabbi, what are you talking about? Your car is at the shul. If you can drive, so can I. The fact that you are walking must mean that your car wouldn’t start. So get in.”

From that moment on, no matter where I am for Shabbat or Yom Tov, I never park in an open area adjacent to a shul.

As to whether a shul should keep its parking lot open on Shabbat, I am against it for the following reason:

In the 20th century, the majority of members in many Orthodox synagogues were not shomrei Shabbat. Even so, the shul was run according to the standards of halacha. In other words, the shul served as a pristine example of the high ideals of the Torah even if its members couldn’t, or didn’t, currently meet those ideals. Thus, it is important to lock shul parking lots on Shabbat to send a clear message to the membership regarding the sanctity of the shul and Shabbat.

I am aware of all the heteirim (please note my chapter, “Invitations That May Violate Shabbat” in my sefer, Shabbat The Right Way). But I still believe that locking a shul parking lot is a perfect way of educating the public that the shul observes Shabbat and that Shabbat observance is still the goal of all Torah Jews.

About the Author: Rabbi Cohen, a Jerusalem Prize recipient, is the author of eight sefarim on Jewish law. His latest, “Jewish Prayer the Right Way” (Urim Publications), is available at Amazon.com and select Judaica stores.


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 “Open Parking Lots On Shabbat (Part II)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Gaza on the Water
Israel To Double Water Supply For Gaza Despite Hamas Threats
Latest Judaism Stories
Ki Tisa_lecture

Over and over, the text tells us about “keeping” Shabbat, about holiness, and a covenant – but why?

Aaron and  The Golden Calf by James Tissot

Aharon’s guilt with the golden calf is not clear-cut. What if Moshe were in his brother’s place?

Rabbi Sacks

The Sabbath is a full dress rehearsal for an ideal society that has not yet come to pass-but will

When Hashem told Moshe of the option to destroy the people and make him and his descendants into a great nation, Hashem was telling Moshe that it is up to him.

Just like Moses and Aaron, Mordechai decides to ruin the party…

An Auto Accident
‘All Agree That They Are Exempt’
(Kesubbos 35a)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Why would the exemption of women from donating the half shekel exempt them from davening Musaf?

This concept should be very relevant to us as we, too, should be happy beyond description.

The Holocaust was the latest attempt of Amalek to destroy the special bond that we enjoy with God.

One can drink up to the Talmud’s criterion to confuse Mordechai and Haman-but not beyond.

“The voice is the voice of Yaakov, but the hands are the hands of Esav” gives great insight to Purim

Purim is the battleground of extremes, Amalek and Yisrael, with Zoroastrian Persia in between.

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

More Articles from Rabbi J. Simcha Cohen
Cohen-Rabbi-J-Simcha-NEW

Once this took place, no Beit Din could annul its practice but for an entirely different reason. A minhag accepted by klal Yisrael becomes an obligation that must be practiced.

Cohen-080814-Sign

Is God apologizing for taking away my Father? Is God telling me that He is sorry?

Question: At Birkat Kohanim, who says the phrase, “Am k’doshecha ka’amur”?

Question: How can one determine whether someone is a true disciple of a rav, Rebbe, or rosh yeshiva?

Question: Does halacha agree with the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade permitting women to have abortions?

Question: When someone puts on a talit to lead services, should he recite a berachah?

Question: A number of synagogues feature bar mitzvah celebrations for elderly Jews. Is this proper?

Hashem understood their complaint and therefore selected the ritual mitzvah of sukkah to test them.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/open-parking-lots-on-shabbat-part-ii/2013/09/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: