are we allowed to invite someone to our Friday night shabbat meal if he is Jewish but doesn’t know a lot about shabbat or judaism and may perhaps come in a car? (we know that this person might gain from being present at a shabbat meal since they have enjoyed one before)
thank you very much. looking forward to your response.

Answer:

There is room for leniency in this matter, certainly if you are not sure about whether the guest will come by car or not.

Best wishes.

Sources:

Two sources that are stringent concerning the matter of inviting guests who will drive are Rav Moshe Feinstein (Iggros Moshe, Orach Chaim 1:99) and Rav Elyashiv zt”l (cited in Chashukei Chemmed Pesachim p. 189). These authorities rule that where an invitation for Shabbos will cause the invitee to violate Shabbos by driving over, it is not permitted to do so.

However, there are also more lenient opinions, as mentioned here (see in particular in the name of Rav Shlomo Zalman and Rav Zalman Nechemya). In particular, there is some room for leniency where the invitation is deemed important for purposes of kiruv. Thus, it is hard to give a blanket ruling for all circumstances, and in practice each case must be evaluated on its own merits.

In the case of the question,

According to this approach, there is no clear knowledge that he will be driving, and all agree that it is permitted to invite him even where the possibility of him driving exists.

 

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