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Arranging party on Shabbat

Question:

A friend arranged a party on Shabbat, deciding who will buy and cook which foods. Their justification was that it’s a mitzvah to be “marbeh shalom vereyus”.
I have some questions about this:
– Are they correct that a party with friends to increase camaraderie is cheftzey shamayim?
– Is it permitted to plan a seudat mitvah on Shabbat, deciding who will cook and buy which foods?
– If yes, could they discuss in detail how the food will be cooked?

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Answer:

Sounds pretty shady. From the way you are describing it, this sounds like someone who wants to have a good time and is calling it a mitzva (it would be hard to call it a seudas mitzva…). One of the ways to tell if something is a mitzva or not is that if it is a mitzva, the person’s yetzer hora will try to persuade him not to do it. If the people involved were so anxious to plan the party, even on Shabbos when it is quite skeptical, that even if it would be a dvar mitzva if it would be permitted, then it is hard to assume that the part is a dvar mitzva in the first place. Therefore, I agree with you that we cannot call this cheftzei shomayim. As a side point, another guide to tell if the “mitzva aspect is true or an excuse is to ask, “Which feeling came first, the want to make a party, or the will to bring achdus to the people”. If the original want was in order to have fun then we know that the mitzva aspect is merely an excuse. Besides, if the party is going to cause them to talk lashon hora, etc. then there surely is no mitzva to be marbeh reius, when it will cause lashon hora, and litzanus, etc.

Even if the party would be a real dvar mitzva, such as planning a bris seuda, it is controversial if it may be spoken about on Shabbos. The M:B 307-1, that it should preferably not be done on Shabbos, unless there is good reason to assume that the mitzva won’t get done.

When something is indeed a dvar mitzva, and it can’t be discussed at any other time, (which doesn’t seem to be the case here), I don’t see a difference between saying “I’ll bake a cake, or saying I’ll put the oven to 3500. But again, if it really should not be spoken about on Shabbos, then talking about it in detail will involve talking about more melachos and issurei d’rabonon, that should not be spoken about on Shabbos.

Best wishes

 

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