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One of my friends told me that when Kvish Shesh - "Tollway rte. 6" in Israel was completed, there was some concern about cars driving on the road on Shabbat. The CEO of Derech Eretz, the company that manages the road suggested that drivers should speed on Shabbat so that they spend less time desecrating Shabbat.

When I heard this, granted, I was surprised that apparently there was no concern about the safety concerns of speeding on the highway. But, I have also never heard that chilul Shabbat involves a "time duration". E.g. if I write a letter on Shabbat, I believe that I have violated a melacha once whether it takes me 3 minutes or hours.

Is there any validity to this notion of lessening the amount of time you are mechalel Shabbat?

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    "... there was some concern about cars driving on the road on Shabbat". More so than on other roads? – Tamir Evan Sep 9 at 17:14
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    Speeding is probably worse, as I'd suspect the RPM of the engine would increase on average in greater proportion than the speed of the vehicle would increase (i.e., the total number of "fires lit" during the drive could be hundreds if not thousands more if you are speeding or frequently accelerating rapidly). (Edit: I'm talking about a conventional gas powered combustion engine, not an electric car). – Fred Sep 9 at 17:27
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    Interesting, what can we compare it to? Is a Melakha discrete or continuous - Nafkah Minah for sacrifice? One who drives a car is he Hayav for every time he pushes the pedal? – Al Berko Sep 9 at 18:29
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    I have heard that it is better not to stop a non-observant Jew in order to cross the street, so that he doesn’t stop and then reaccelerate, burning more gas. – Lo ani Sep 9 at 19:48
  • I have read sources which suggest, for example, giving a non-observant Jewish driver directions so he can take the shortest route and thus minimize Sabbath desecration. I am not sure this concept extends to travelling speed. – Josh K Sep 9 at 19:49

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