Inviting Guests Who Drive on Yom Tov (Rosh Hashana)

Question

Is it right for observant Jews who do not drive on Rosh Hashana to invite Jewish relatives for Holiday Dinner when the relatives would have to drive?

, 3 weeks

Answers

  1. Great question! And the same question could be asked about inviting such guests for Shabbat or any Yom Tov, when driving is not allowed on that day according to Jewish Law.

    There are a number of rulings I have heard from various Rabbis over time, and ideally I would say to ask the local Orthodox Rabbi what would be the correct thing correct to do.

    However, if that is not an option, there is a ruling by a great authority that says the following: It is okay to invite them if you feel they would gain in their understanding and appreciation of Rosh Hashana (or Shabbat), but offer to find them a place to stay nearby you (or with you!) so they would not need to drive home on the holy day (or two days in the case of Rosh Hashana). Then, even if they do not accept your lodging offer – which in most cases they will probably not – it is not your concern if they drive to you before Rosh Hashana to join you for the Holiday Dinner, despite your knowing that they will not be staying afterwards, and will be driving home.

    Wishing you and your guests a good and sweet New Year!

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team