Shabbat Bus (Illustration of Shabbat desecration)
Shabbat Bus (Illustration of Shabbat desecration) Miriam Alster/FLASH90

Rabbi Dov Lando, head of the Slabodka yeshiva in Bnei Brak, protested against people traveling late on Fridays and before holidays, causing secular drivers to desecrate Shabbat (the Sabbath).

According to Rabbi Lando, it is better for a Jew to stay at home without Shabbat meals than to cause a driver to desecrate Shabbat for his sake so that he may reach his destination.

"If people find that they are late for the trip - they should stay at home even though they will miss a Shabbat 'Sheva Brachot' (literally 'seven blessings, a festive ceremony for newlyweds) or other family events. Indeed, they have challah and wine at home and that is enough, so long as they do not leave late and cause, G-d Forbid, a Shabbat desecration for the driver," he said.

Rabbi Lando related: "One of the [bus] drivers recently told me that he wants to keep Shabbat and wanted to drop people off at an early stop so that he could get home on time. But the passengers insisted on driving to the end of the route.

“The driver begged in tears that he wants to keep Shabbat and that he would not be able to return home on time, but was sadly ignored. The driver told me in tears that 'the haredim did not allow me to keep Shabbat.'

"Some people know how to shout 'Shabbat' 'Shabbat' on Shabbat Street for those who desecrate Shabbat, but those who drive late on Friday and cause the desecration of Shabbat for a driver, ‘Shabbat’ needs to be shouted at them.

“Taking in Shabbat early is a big deal, and if people are early in bringing in Shabbat, then all this will be avoided. Just as it is forbidden to desecrate Shabbat so it is forbidden to cause someone else to desecrate Shabbat.

"Do not shout 'Shabbat' only when the mayor institutes public transportation on Shabbat, for when people travel late [on Friday] they are themselves instituting public transportation on Shabbat, and they are not being ‘haredim’ (fearful) towards the word of G-d," Rabbi Lando concluded.