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Oct 24, 2021

Interesting Psak: causing security guards to sin on Shabbos

Behadrei is reporting on an interesting psak issued by Rav Yitzchak Zilbershtein, rav of Ramat Elchonon neighborhood of Bnei Braq.

the question posed was by someone living in Ranaana. He asked that in order to get to shul on Shabbos he has to pass by a street that is considered a sterile environment with very heavy security due to a famous personality living there who has very tight security. (this would be Prime Minister Naftali Bennett)

When passing via that street, he has to produce his identification card, his teudat zehut. After the first guard lets him pass, the guard then report son his communication device to the other security guards in the area that this person was let through.

The question is, is he allowed to pass because the area requires security so it is ok or is this beyond what is allowed and necessary and his passing might be "lifnei iver" or causing others to sin as they use the walkie talkie to report his entry.

Personally I do not think reporting his entry is beyond what should be allowed, as the other guards need to know who has been checked and who has not. The question is still interesting because maybe there are other activities that might be less necessary. Another question I would have thought should be asked is if he is allowed to carry his teudat zehut on Shabbos in order to pass security to get to shul - as far as I remember learning, the teudat zehut is normally considered muktza. Perhaps in a situation like this it is not, but I think it might be a valid question. Regardless, the question asked was about causing the security guards to do thing sin the name of security that might not be 100% necessary.

Rav Zilbershtein responded that if the security guards are doing their job as there is truly a threat and danger posed, he would definitely be allowed to pass by and let them do whatever they need. Further, this would be the same even if they are really doing more than what is necessary, beyond what is necessary to neutralize the danger but because these are the accepted security protocols. He can go to shul in this situation and pass via that street.  

Rav Zilbershtein compared it to a different question regarding the holding of protests outside of stores that are mechalel shabbos. The protests might cause chilul shabbos by causing the police to come, causing people to drive a different route, other ways as well, yet it was decided it is allowed because the protestors clearly dont want the chilul shabbos and it is not considered causing someone else to sin - they are acting despite your desires, not because of them. In this case as well, you can surely pass as you are on your way to go to shul, a dvar mitzva and definitely dont want them to be mechalel shabbos.

The answer, I think, is not 100% clear in how this is different. Even if I am doing a dvar mitzva and even if I dont want the chilul shabbos, I dont see why my causing them to sin (if what they are doing is even a sin) is ok just because I dont want them to sin. I would think it is much simpler to say the security has been deemed necessary and the level of security you think is necessary and the level you think is extra is a meaningless opinion when the experts have determined the necessary level of security.

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  1. yet it was decided
    gotta love that passive language - reminds me of the quote "success has 1000 fathers, failure is an orphan"

  2. How are protestors remotely similar? The protesters are actively going to cause a situation; the Raanana resident is just walking down his usual street.


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