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Leaving Room for Chilul Shabbos

I was asked by a student of mine who has friends who although learn in a Jewish school unfortunately are not acting so properly in the ways of the Torah.

If a friend of his is mechalel Shabbos in front of him and his other friends does he have to leave the room? (this is as he assumes that the friend will not listen to him).
A source if possible, thank you.


There is no concrete obligation for a person to leave the room when somebody is mechalel Shabbos in front of him, and this will depend on the particular circumstances of the case.

In the case described in the question the correct course of action will be to leave the room, because staying in the room will involve a certain degree of “participating” in violation of the Shabbos.

If chilul Shabbos takes place among a group of friends, and no objection is made, the implication is a tacit acceptance of chilul Shabbos as a matter of fact.

This can have a negative effect on bystanders, who “get used” to the idea of chilul Shabbos and will lose an appreciation of its severity, and will also place them in a “sinful group” where even those who are innocent are considered part of the group.

Many sources, particularly in the mussar genre, emphasize the critical need to avoid “bad company” (this is stresses time and again by the Chafetz Chaim), and the concern for the negative influence of having a friend violate Shabbos nonchalantly speaks for itself.

Best wishes.

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