There is an action. Let's call it "hoobling".

Some pos'kim say hoobling is permitted and others say it's forbidden. (Note: not "say one should ideally be strict". They say it's forbidden.) Suppose my rabbi and community and family and self follow those who forbid hoobling (even though we recognize the others as pos'kim). Some other Jew, R'uven, follows those who allow hoobling.

Am I allowed to help R'uven hooble? Or is that aiding and abetting (m'sayea lidvar avera) or enabling (lifne iver, if relevant) or some similar concern?

  • 1
    Do you think the others are poskim who goofed (as everyone does, on occasion) or as poskim who gave an equally correct psak.
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 20:49
  • @DoubleAA In the specific example that inspired this question, I suppose it's the former. But I'm asking about both cases, I guess.
    – msh210
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 21:54
  • 1
    It may be worth clarifying that. Those cases are very likely distinct (at least, in terms of finding an answer, not in terms of the answer itself).
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 21:57
  • Well, since I'm not restricting my question to the one case or the other, there's nothing really to clarify. If anyone is wondering (as you did, @DoubleAA) whether I meant to restrict my question to one case or the other, he'll see otherwise from these comments.
    – msh210
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 22:01

2 Answers 2


Just a thought - one of the components of the prohibition of lifnei iver is giving bad advice (Sefer Hachinuch). Some use this to explain how helping someone violate a Rabbinical prohibition could be catergorized as a Biblical violation of lifnei iver, because it is bad advice to do so.

So if someone would ask you whether or not they should hooble, and you would answer, as per the psak of your Rabbi, that they shoudn't, then it could be lifnei iver to then help them hooble. If you feel that they should not be hoobling (which they certainly shouldn't be!), perhaps this help could be considered to be giving them bad advice.


The simple general answer is that:

If you hold its forbidden but they hold its allowed, then you may help them to do it.

But, if you hold its allowed and they hold its forbidden, then you may not help them do it.

It all depends only on what they hold, not you.

Explanation and sources with more specifics:

The Torah in Vayikra 19:14 says "...you shall not place a stumbling block in front of the blind.." Rashi brings the Sifra which explains it to mean that one may not give bad advice to someone. The Rambam (based on Gemara) explains it to mean one may not help someone sin.

The K'sav Sofer in Yoreh Deah 77 says that if the other person holds something is permitted, then you may help them, but if the other person holds it is forbidden, then you may not help them. It is obvious that helping them do what they think is forbidden is bad advice for them, causing them to sin even if you don't think it is a sin for yourself. However, if they don't have an issur, you are not harming them at all with any bad advice. (even if you wouldn't do it yourself)

Reb Moshe Feinstein (O.C., I.186 by esrogim of shemittah, and Even HaEzer 4:61, by heter mechirah during shemittah in Israel) says that if the other people rely on a legitimate poseik for a heter, then you may supply them with whatever they view as heter, even if you yourself hold it is forbidden. Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach also agrees with this. (Minchas Shlomo A:42,44)

So clearly you may help them hooble and sell them a hoobler device. The fact that you yourself do not hooble is not important. This is because their reliance on the hooble permitting poseik makes what they are doing absolutely not a sin. Tempting them to do it is also not bad advice. Therefore, it cannot be lifnei iver. :)

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