Rav Elyashiv: Patronizing Sites Where Shabbos is Desecrated Must Be Strictly Avoided

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rav-elyashiv2A delegation of rabbonim and educators gathered at the home of Rav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv ┬áto seek his guidance and instructions – as bein hazmanim and the organizing period for schools’ summer activities get under way – on guidelines about patronizing vacation spots and leisure sites that do not keep Shabbos.

The delegation included Rav Hillel Weinberg, the rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Eish HaTorah representing Vaadas HaRabbonim Lemaan Kedushas haShabbos, HaRav Yisroel Goelman, rov of Kehillas Shaarei Tvunoh in Ramot and one of the rabbonim at the Merkaz Beis Yaakov Seminary, and Rav Yeshayohu Lieberman, director of the Merkaz Beis Yaakov network and the Esnachto organization, representing the directors of the seminaries.

These rabbonim discussed with Maran the fact that until now the public, as well as seminaries and other educational institutions, had been instructed not to visit places that desecrate Shabbos, but now that the chareidi public has grown and unfortunately the major sites in the country desecrate Shabbos while those that do keep Shabbos cannot accommodate the larger groups. Thus if they stand firm in not going to places that desecrate Shabbos, trips and weekends of the major schools may have to be canceled, despite their vital importance in maintaining a proper framework for students during the summer.

When presented with the dilemma, HaRav Eliashiv said, “Since a directive not to visit places that desecrate Shabbos has been established and it is widely known that this is to keep a distance from ugly and unseemly things, this wall should not be breached by contravening the takonoh in any way.”

The rabbonim then pointed out that having schools and seminaries arrange summer programs to safeguard girls is also an important takonoh and if they are not in these programs they could spend their time at other, unsuitable places. “Since we are in a state of war against those who breach the walls of Shabbos,” replied Maran, “we must continue with the battle, which is more important than this concern, and not allow breaches in a time of war to uphold the sanctity of Shabbos.”

“Even in the case of a place that is not publicly known to be a Shabbos desecrater,” he continued, “if we know that Shabbos desecration takes place there, `ein tevunoh ve’ein chochmoh’ – and it should not be patronized.”

The rabbonim then inquired about a site that will remain open on Shabbos regardless, since the relatively small number of chareidi visitors will not encourage the management to close their doors on Shabbos, HaRav Eliashiv said no such distinction should be made. “We cannot consent to allowing them to visit a place that desecrates Shabbos. The very fact that this place desecrates Shabbos constitutes a breach in the walls of Shabbos, and therefore it should not be patronized.”

The members of Vaadas HaRabbonim Lemaan Kedushas haShabbos issued a call to the public to check in advance whether places they plan to visit keep Shabbos, in order to buttress kovod Shabbos and kovod Shomayim, and not to cause the chilul Hashem caused by patronizing these businesses. Information on places that keep Shabbos can be obtained by calling 02-540-1990 or 052-761- 1834.

{Deiah veDibur/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Over $100 million dollars will be spent by families going AWAY for Pesach this year. In this economy where I personally enjoy potatoes — over $100 million dollars? I do not know if these places all keep Shabbos but it’s a disgrace and they way it is advertised in many heimishe newspapers as if it’s a mitzvah. I am appalled.


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