Through His Mitzvot, G – d is letting us know what He wants from us. Thus, Judaism is a religion of doing something. A Jew has to take action and not just sit and believe, as Christians do. Jews are commanded to carry out Mitzvot because G – d is running the world according to His reward and punishment system. This may sound harsh it is not when we take a deeper look into this concept.
As mentioned many times before, every week I am participating in a halachic Shiur given by Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz. He always discusses daily halachic issues but who would have ever thought about the complexity of Halacha.
Last week, the Rabbi was discussing the question of
“Whether a religious Jew should invite a secular Jew for a Shabbat meal when the religious Jew is fully aware of the fact that the secular Jew may use his car ?”
A very common question. In particular when it comes to Ba’alei Teshuva (newly religious) and his secular parents. Should he invite his non – observant parents for a Shabbat meal when he knows that they are going to use their car in order to get to his place ?
The Torah commands us not to put a stumbling block in front of another Jew. Meaning, a Jew should never entice a Jew to sin. So, when a frum Jew is inviting someone secular to his Shabbat table, isn’t he causing the secular Jew to sin when he arrives by car ?
The halachic interpretation is, as usual, rather complicated and there is no definite answer. There are those Rabbis who are particularly “machmir”. Meaning that they are against inviting a secular Jew when he is going to use his car. Other Orthodox Rabbis, such as Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch (former executive Rabbi of the Edah HaCharedit) who states that a frum Jew should invite the secular even when the latter uses his car. There is a possibility that the secular Jew may be so impressed by the Shabbat meal that, in the future, he may do Teshuva (repent). As a matter of fact, I have seen such cases where secular Jews were pretty impressed when they were participating in a religious Shabbat meal.