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Arranging Tours for Shabbos

I am a tour operator. Part of my job is to make travel itineraries for visitors to Israel. Some of my clients are not Jewish, some of them obviously are, and some I dont know.

Some clients want to travel or tour on Saturday. What are my obligations re: organising or booking events on this day? Is there a difference if I am sure they are Jewish or in doubt if they are Jewish. Can I act as a facilitator to for example hire a Jewish tour guide for them on Saturday? Or Shavuot etc? 2nd day yom tov?


1. It is problematic to arrange for Jewish tour guides to work on Shabbat or on Jewish holidays, and you should find a non-Jewish guide wherever this is required. Arranging with a Jewish guide would be a problem of lifnei iver lo titen michshol – placing a “stumbling block” in front of the blind, and this is potentially a Torah prohibition.

2. Where the client is Jewish, and wants to go on a tour on Shabbat, the problem is less severe, for two reasons: (1) The client can arrange the tour by alternative means (so that you are not considered to be placing a “stumbling block” in his way (see here) – though a rabbinic concern of mesaye’ah, abetting, might still apply); (2) the tour does not necessarily involve violation of the Shabbat on his part (this depends on the circumstances of the tour).

3. If you know the client is Jewish, it is certainly right to try to refrain from arranging the tour on Shabbos. However, there is room for leniency in the matter if your parnassah is on the line.

Please see here for source material pertinent to the question.

Best wishes.

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