Lately I have stopped being fully Shomer Shabbos, spending Shabbos afternoons in the bedroom surfing the internet on my phone and texting non-Jewish friends. My wife and children think I'm sleeping this whole time, and they knock on the door to "wake me up" and have me come down to make Havdala. Is there any point in my making Havdala? Would it better to have one of the older (above bar mitzva) boys make havdala if I haven't kept Shabbos? It would not be totally odd since we let them make havdala sometimes.

What about Kiddush if I am not really sure whether I'm going to break Shabbos?

I know what I do on Shabbos is my own issue and not for this forum, but I'm worried about messing up my family's observance too, so I don't want them to know, hence I'd prefer to make Havdala for them as usual, if it makes sense.

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    On issues like these, I'm pretty sure it works on a DADT (don't ask, don't tell basis). Kind of like calling up people for an aliyah without knowing their shomer shabbos or counting them in a minyon. Don't quote me on this though.
    – rosenjcb
    Jul 28, 2013 at 19:34
  • See Igros Moshe OC 1:23 and 33 or 34.
    – sam
    Jul 29, 2013 at 2:37
  • I think you have to listen to this Shiur on Shabbat and then you'll reconsider everything: divineinformation.com/videos-english/shabbat-2 Aug 4, 2013 at 6:46
  • This is an interesting question, and I see the great answers. However, I think that in general one should separate the requirement of doing a mitzvah from whether an individual follows that requirement or not. I think you assumed that if one doesn't observe Shabbat, there was no Shabbat for him, so why make havdallah if he didn't have a Shabbat? (Correct assumption?) Point is, that Shabbat exists with or without what you, personally do. Thus, Shabbat itself, requires Kiddush and havdalla regardless of whether you personally had your "own" Shabbat.
    – DanF
    Jan 12, 2018 at 14:57

2 Answers 2


Tzitz Eliezer 12:38:2 concludes that there is no connection of Shemiras Shabbos with Havdala. Therefore even a Mechalel Shabbos can and should make Havdala.

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    Terrific find in the Tzitz Eliezer. I'd intuit as much because Havdalah, like Kiddush, is a fulfillment of "remember the shabbos day to keep it holy", whereas not texting is a fulfillment of "guard the Shabbos day to keep it holy."
    – Shalom
    Jul 30, 2013 at 16:00
  • +1. But note that, had this been a case of a public Shabbos violator, it is possible that he would not be able exempt anyone with his blessings. Igros Moshe OC II 50, for example, points out that a heretic cannot exempt someone with his blessing. Although R' Moshe himself does not compare a public Shabbos violator to a heretic in this regard (Igros Moshe OC I 33), the Mishna B'rura (128:134) does compare them.
    – Fred
    Jan 3, 2016 at 7:08

Torah is not all or nothing. Meaning: a person who does not make kiddush can give tzedakah. A person who eats pig can visit the sick put on teffilin and avoid wearing shatnez.

It is important to nurture the impulse to do mitzvahs and jump on any moment that you are moved to do so.

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    Got a source for the specific questions being asked?
    – Seth J
    Jul 30, 2013 at 15:18
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    A mechallel Shabbas bfaryesiya is not so simple.
    – sam
    Jul 30, 2013 at 17:08
  • No are you saying that if someone does a single aveira they should never do another mitzvah? Aug 2, 2013 at 21:21
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    He is not mechalel shabbat bfarhessia he is doing it btzina and see above Aug 2, 2013 at 21:22
  • @sam See my comment here.
    – Fred
    Jan 3, 2016 at 7:09

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