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Graduation for Doctorate on Shabbat

Hi Rabbi. I just found out my graduation for my Doctorate degree is on Shabbat! I am shomer Shabbat and can stay in walking distance but I am not sure what to do about taking/being in pictures etc. My family is not religious and will not understand. This is a big deal to graduate with my class as I have had many nisyonot and have finally come to graduation. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

Although this is not something that one would do under ordinary circumstances, and it would be preferable to miss the ceremony and thus avoid the issues that arise, under the special circumstances you describe it would be permitted to attend the graduation ceremony. You do not have to be concerned about others taking photographs of you, but you would have to ensure that your own family does not take photographs. In addition, you would have to make provisions for walking together with your non-religious family members, so that they would not desecrate Shabbos on account of the graduation. Furthermore, you would have to make an arrangement concerning the certificate you receive, so as not to carry it home.

Good Luck!

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