Is It Permissible To Pray In The Car – According to halacha, operating a motor vehicle is a violation of some of the prohibited activities on Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath). Although Jewish law is based on texts written long before the existence of automobiles, when driving a person performs some actions that the text clearly prohibits.
For example, igniting a vehicle burns fuel, which is considered a violation of one of the 39 melachot, as well as creating a spark, which also violates a related rabbinic (or perhaps biblical) prohibition (“lighting a fire”).
Is It Permissible To Pray In The Car
Modern vehicles also have many other electrical components, such as lights, that turn on and off while the vehicle is being driven, often without the driver’s knowledge. Isaiah 58:13–14 calls on Jews to limit their travel during Shabbat, and the law of techum shabbat limits the distance one can travel beyond the city/town where one observes Shabbat, regardless of the mode of transportation.
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However, many non-Orthodox Jews have a different view on the matter, finding various reasons to allow and justify at least some driving on Shabbat, whether simply for synagogue attendance or other personal reasons. Ignoring orthodox Jewish law, some people believe that driving requires less effort than walking, while others believe that those who live too far from a synagogue will be completely cut off from religious life if they don’t drive to go to synagogue and the advantages outweigh Shabbat obedience.
Other sources reject any driving on Shabbat, arguing that rejecting the prohibition would reject a commandment from God.
According to Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews, driving on Shabbat is permitted (and required) when necessary to save human life (pikuach nefesh).
Orthodox Jews never challenge the ban on driving on Shabbat, but instead try to do whatever is necessary to avoid this activity, including staying close to synagogues and other places they wish to visit regularly on Shabbat, walking long distances. there is a requirement to stay at home throughout Shabbat, while this is not possible. Those traveling far from their hometowns will try to find hotels or other accommodations within practical distance of their Shabbat needs.
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While riding animals, the main ancient form of transportation, while Shabbat is rabbinically forbidden, operating a car is considered a direct violation of Torah law due to burning fuel, among other issues. Additionally, those who drive often travel longer distances than those who walk, thus leaving the boundaries of the local eruv and violating Shabbat laws regarding travel beyond “boundary distances” (techum shabbat) and transportation between the public and private sectors ( hotza’ ah).
Orthodox Jews do not consider it acceptable to use a car to fulfill the mitzvah of attending synagogue. In Orthodox Judaism, committing a sin to fulfill a mitzvah other than saving a human life (Pikuach Nefesh) is not considered halachically acceptable, and if one cannot reach the synagogue by walking, it is better to pray at home. In particular, Orthodox Judaism condemns those who buy homes too far to walk to the synagogue, stating that they can only go to the synagogue by car, or those who live within practical walking distance of the synagogue but prefer to attend the synagogue that they can only accessible by car from their home.
Some professionals who perform life-saving duties, such as doctors, may be permitted to drive on Shabbat to their workplace to perform that duty, and may be permitted to drive home after completing their work. Non-professionals who drive to the hospital during an emergency are not allowed to drive home after the emergency has stabilized. Parking and turning off the vehicle may also not be allowed under these conditions, although moving the car out of the emergency lane is met with more fuss.
In practice, although Orthodox Jews do not normally drive on the Sabbath, some Jews use their vehicles to go to Orthodox synagogues for services. Some Modern Orthodox synagogues have large numbers of non-Orthodox congregations who drive to their services. While some of these facilities allow co-workers to park in their own lots, others will close their parking lots and require those who drive to park elsewhere.
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The Conservative Movement considered the issue of driving on Shabbat in the 1950s and decided to allow strictly limited vehicle use for the purpose of attending synagogue services.
The need to revise the decision came in response to changing demographics, as many Jews moved to suburban communities and were no longer within walking distance of their synagogues. According to this rule, driving is not permitted for other reasons, including attending social events at synagogues that do not include prayer (such as a Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration), as doing so is considered a service to man rather than God. However, many Conservative Jews take this farce further to allow driving for almost any reason they want. Some Conservative Jews who follow stricter practices will avoid driving altogether on Shabbat, or reserve driving for those rare occasions that they consider unavoidable.
The Conservative movement made the decision to allow driving to synagogue based on changes in people’s lifestyles. Since most people in the modern world live too far from a synagogue to walk, some Jews may be able to enter a synagogue without driving, which they believe could lead to the collapse of Jewish observance.
However, there are some in the Conservative movement who condemn the Conservative practice of driving on Shabbat on the grounds that other Jewish laws are routinely violated while driving. This includes handling a purse or wallet (a type of muktzah) because it contains a driver’s license. purchase of gasoline, a business transaction. and travel distance, which usually extends beyond the borders of the erub.
Driving On Shabbat
During the 1990s, the Conservative-affiliated Masorti Movemt in Israel took the strictest view and banned all driving on Shabbat on the grounds that no one in Israel works on Shabbat and can pray at home only by choosing a siddur.
More importantly, in addition to all the above “minor” transgressions, according to many authorities, one actually violates the biblical commandment not to light a fire on Shabbat.
One rationale for allowing driving on Shabbat is that in a society where cars are common, it is more “relaxing” to drive to observe a positive mitzvah (attending Shabbat services).
Although operating a motor vehicle clearly violates Shabbat law, another question is whether it is permissible to drive as a passenger in a vehicle driven by a gtile during Shabbat.
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Some Orthodox rabbis have ruled that, aside from the appearance it provides, since a passenger’s continued presence in a vehicle may cause the vehicle to require additional fuel in the absence of the passenger, this practice is generally not permitted. However, it may be permitted if a Jew has a medical reason to be transported in a non-life-threatening vehicle.
Some Orthodox rabbis believe that driving in programmed self-driving cars may be halachically permissible, but may be against the spirit of the law.
In the event of a life-threatening emergency, all Shabbat laws, including those related to driving, are suspended.
When it is necessary to take someone to the hospital, the driver must park the car, let the genie run and leave the door open, because closing the door will cause the dome lights to go out.
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A non-Jew should be asked to park the car. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein is famous for allowing a person in this position to drive home (in some cases) even if there is no medical reason to drive home, so that a person in need of medical treatment does not leave him treatment because he will be stuck in the hospital until Shabbat.
Others require that the journey home from the hospital be made by a non-Jew, for example a taxi driver.
If a close relative is taken by ambulance to the hospital on Shabbat, the relative may be allowed to accompany them. If relatives are incoherent, others may be asked to give consent for life-saving treatment, and the presence of visitors alone may have a life-saving effect on suffering.
Childbirth is considered a life-threatening emergency, so driving on Shabbat is permitted. If a woman is taken to the hospital due to false labor, and at home, she must be brought home with a gtile.
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Where there is a threat to human life from a belligerent enemy, driving is permitted. Therefore, police, military and other security personnel are allowed to drive.
It is common in Israel for observant Jews who otherwise obey the driving ban, drive while in the army, or patrol their cities as militia volunteers.
When a medical problem occurs that is not considered life-threatening but inconveniences a person or may be dangerous
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