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May 21, 2012 / conservadox

tough “shabbos vs. playing well with others” call.

It was 5 pm Shabbos and I was at a niece’s (secular)  high school graduation.  My brother and sister-in-law (somewhat religious but cut a few more Shabbos corners than I) were having 15 other relatives over afterwards at a (nonkosher) restaurant (though they did pay in advance so not changing money on shabbos).   I had already flown 1000 miles or so to be at the four-hour graduation so I think I had already done plenty to honor the aforementioned niece.  But should I have done more by going?

Arguments against:

1.  Should I even be at a place where money was spent during shabbos? (Counterargument: maybe they’d be in separate room, so maybe it wasn’t quite the same as being in the middle of a restaurant)

2.  Though I am not entirely kosher, for some years I have generally been able to keep 100 percent kosher on shabbos.  (Counterargument: pretty arbitrary line, isn’t it? Counterargument 2: I could always just get a soda, though that would lead to pretty awkward questions).

3.  Given the lateness of the hour, there’s no way of having a Seudah Shlichit (third meal) or davening mincha if I went to the party. (You can assume there were no prayerbooks on hand, and if party lasted till 7 or 8, no time to get to shul).

4.  Given that no one would get to restaurant till almost 6, maybe party would be over by the end of shabbos (Counterargument: in fact they broke up an hour or so earlier).

What do you think I did/should have done?  I’ll give you the answer in the comments section.


One Comment

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  1. conservadox / May 21 2012 6:13 pm

    I didn’t go. I left and promised to call as soon as Shabbat was over, speaking as quickly as possible to avoid an extended discussion. The brother and wife were mystified at time I’m sure but OK with it after the fact. I told them after Shabbos I thought party would still be going on by the end of Shabbos (or more precisely, that I thought there was a pretty good chance).

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