Question:

BH
Thank you so much for your help.
My question deals with a bal teshuva and what obligation (if any) they would have to discard/ give away items that may have been purchased on Shabbat many years prior. The items in question are not for sure purchased on Shabbat, it’s just that they don’t remember what was purchased on Shabbat let’s say 10 years ago, and what wasn’t…is there any obligation to sell/ donate these items (clothing, shoes, jewelry, home goods etc.) if the person sincerely cannot remember if any of them were purchased on Shabbat so as to not (many years if not decades later) benefit from a Shabbat desecration?
Thank you again.

Answer:

You are allowed to use the items without concern.  This is for a number of reasons, although it is a bit technical. The reason is because when you were not religious, you didn’t know that what you were doing is forbidden, therefore what was done is considered done b’shogeg (unintentional), and purchasing items on shabbos is rabbinic in nature. The rule is that when a rabbinic prohibition was transgressed unintentionally, we may benefit from it. Secondly, we are not going to say that it is prohibited once you aren’t even sure that the prohibition is applicable here, and out of the seven days of the week, it most probably wasn’t even bought on Shabbos.

Therefore, enjoy what you have and don’t be concerned.

Best wishes

Sources:

Pri Megadim M:Z 318- 1,2, Mishna Berura 318-3, Chayey Adom  9-11, Meohr Hashabbos 1 chap. 18 ftnt 107, Shulchan Shlomo 318- ftnt. 20, The Halachos of Shabbos (Eider) pg. 399, Oz NIdberu 1-52, Chut Shani (Shabbos) 2- pg. 41.

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