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Responsibility and lifnei iver


Where does my responsibility for Jewish law end? If I give a few slices of bread from my loaf or something dairy to a nonobservant Jew, and he/she chooses to toast the bread on Shabbat or eat the the dairy right after eating meat, is that my “fault”? If I still have some of the bread left in the loaf, is it still okay to use or is the loaf somehow ruined because someone else toasted some pieces on a holiday?

Thank you very much


Thank you for your question.

You are correct, we Jews are responsible for each other and we may not put a stumbling block in front of another Jew (called lifnei iver based the verse “lifnei iver lo sitain michshol”- Do not put a stumbling block in front of a blind person). Included in this, is not do give someone something that he will use prohibitively.  Regarding your question it isn’t a problem, because you are not giving the person something that is prohibited. The food is kosher, it is just that the non- observant person chose on his own to toast it on Shabbos, or to eat it at the wrong time. Since it was his choice, that is not your issue.

What is more of an issue is to give a non-religious person food to eat, when you know that he surely will not say a bracha on it. The poskim however say that if not giving he person will make the person feel bad or cause animosity, that it is permitted. This is because causing them to hate religious Jews is a worse sin, therefore this is the better of the two choices.

Best wishes

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