I heard recently the following:

Someone who desecrates the Shabbos in a non-Orthodox or non-Jewish neighborhood doesn't have the classification of a "m'chalel Shabbos b'farhesia" (someone who desecrates the Shabbos in an open, public fashion.)

Are there any achronim/poskim that said this or that speak about this (one way or the other.)

1 Answer 1


The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch in 72:2 writes that in order to be considered a m'chalel Shabbos b'farhesia the person will have desecrated Shabbat in the presence of 10 Jews - but they don't need to actually see him doing the sin - they just need to know about it.

ופרהסיא הוי בפני עשרה מישראל. ולאו דוקא שעושה בפניהם ממש, אלא שיודעין מהעברה - ש"ך סי' קנ"ז סעיף קטן ד', דהכי מוכח בש"ס ופוסקים, גבי והא אסתר פרהסיא הוה. וכן כתב הפרי- מגדים

So a person who desecrates Shabbat in a location where there aren't any Jews - and he doesn't publicize his actions (nor do his FaceBook friends) - would not be classified as a m'chalel Shabbos b'farhesia, and when he touches wine it would not become Yayin Nesech, etc.

Regarding being seen by non-frum Jews.

A non-frum Jew is still a Jew; he is obliged to keep all the Mitzvot (and will be held accountable for every minor detail he didn't keep) and desecrating Shabbat in his presence shows a disdain to Hashem, his Mitzvot and his Shabbat.

Unless the non-frum Jew himself purposely desecrates Shabbat publicly - in which case he get the classification of an idol worshiper, as the Rambam says at the end of Hilchot Shabbat:

השבת ועבודה זרה--כל אחת משתיהן, שקולה כנגד שאר כל מצוות התורה; והשבת היא האות שבין הקדוש ברוך הוא ובינינו, לעולם. לפיכך כל העובר על שאר המצוות, הרי הוא בכלל רשעי ישראל; אבל מחלל שבת בפרהסיה, הרי הוא כעובד עבודה זרה--ושניהם כגויים, לכל דבריהם.‏

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    Classifying him as a idol worshiper is a chumra (he takes on the dinim f a non-jew) yet in this case you are using it as a koola since someone who is "m'chalel Shabbos" in front of them will not get the status of "m'chalel Shabbos b'farhesia".
    – eramm
    Dec 31, 2013 at 14:08
  • Is the analysis of the status of not frum Jews in this regard your own?
    – Double AA
    Dec 31, 2013 at 15:18
  • @eramm the quoted Rambam says "לכל דבריהם". (I haven't checked nos'e kelim or other works.)
    – msh210
    Jan 1, 2014 at 6:44
  • @msh210 this is meant to be a chumra i.e. his wine is yayin nesach his food is bishul akum etc.... it does not remove his status of a Jew.
    – eramm
    Jan 1, 2014 at 15:12
  • @Danny are there non-frum Jews in this day and age who are not considered "tinok sh'nishba" thus perhaps they can't be ruled as a person who brazenly is mechalel shabbos ?
    – eramm
    Jan 1, 2014 at 15:14

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