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Firstly I'd like to point out if you Google "Samoa" and "Shabbat" you would find many articles from 2011 that were referring to a time where Samoa changed the day of Saturday, it happened only once and my question is not about that, but about something else, let me explain briefly:

Let's say you want to take a flight from Pago Pago International Airport (in American Samoa) at 5pm on Friday to Fagali'i Airport which is 30 minutes away by flight, but the time in Fagali'i Airport (Upolu) is 5pm SATURDAY ...

Let's say Shabbat starts at 5pm and you exhaust those "18 minutes" after 5pm (not talking Lechatchila but Bediavad) ... so the plane takes off at 5:10pm (ish) and then you land around 5:45pm in Upolu on Saturday (and Shabbat is out at 6:00pm but there are already 3 stars 15 minutes before then)...

Is this possibly somehow allowed? Has anyone ever evaluated this case Halachically? I'm not talking about long flights from LA (Friday) to Australia (Saturday) - this is a 30-minute flight and the time difference between American Samoa and "New Zealand" Samoa is 24 hours!

What do you think about a case like this?

We assume the day of Shabbat follows the convention of the international date line, so can you skip on Shabbat in a very short time? Just half an hour takes you from Friday in one place to Saturday in another?!

What if you are a traveler doing the opposite, going on Motzahey Shabbat in "New Zealand" Samoa to American Samoa? Are you going back in time by 24 hours? Can you do that or that's not allowed?

Has anyone ever looked into the case of "jumping" between time zone from one place to another in a very short time? (Soon B"H we might have plans that will do the same between Israel and New York!)

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    Since your question seems to boil down to flights across the International Date Line, this would seem to be a duplicate of Halakhic International Date Line issues. Is this assessment accurate? – DonielF Jun 20 '18 at 16:44
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    @arie985uk NOTE: There is a general halacha question as to which day is Shabbos in Samoa New Zealand. See HERE. – RibbisRabbiAndMore Jun 20 '18 at 16:57
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    Thanks for all the clarifications. Could you now please edit the post one more time - to make it read as one cohesive post that motivates and then presents a single clear question? It'll be much more valuable to readers and likely to get answers if it flows nicely. No need to keep meta-information about what was edited when, etc. Anyone interested in the edit history can get it here; most readers will just want to understand the question. – Isaac Moses Jun 20 '18 at 21:12
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    FYi The Mesoras Moshe had a non-dateline question that may have related halachos -- I make havdalah in London, jump on a Concorde supersonic jet, and arrive in New York while it's still Shabbos. – Shalom Jun 21 '18 at 2:48
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1 - Your assumption that if one changes his location, his Shabbos will depend on his present location, is true according most poskim (see תאריך לישראל סי' ה' אות ה', ט', וי"ג). However, שו"ת ארץ צבי סי' מ"ד writes that one's Shabbos would continue until the end of day at the location he started Shabbos.

2 - Changing locations in order to shorten or totally cut out Shabbos, would be permitted according to the Chazon Ish (ע' ספר קו התאריך הישראלי פרק ע"ג). Rav Chaim Pinchus Sheinberg is quoted (in תאריך לישראל סי' ה' אות ט) as permitting it L'chatchila, and Rav Chaim Kanievsky (in אות ט) is quoted as saying "it's not appropriate to do it". In Tarich l'Yisroel (שם אות י"ג) he notes that many poskim compare it to someone who doesn't wear a four cornered garment, thereby avoiding the Mitzvah of tzitzis.

According to the Chazon Ish who rules that the halachic date line runs along the shoreline, this question is extremely relevant. If someone would start off Shabbos in China, Australia, etc., and then want to go on a boat, he might be changing his day without traveling.

This is also relevant for a sick person who has trouble fasting on Yom Kippur, if changing locations should be done rather than breaking his fast. The Tarich L"Yisroel discusses this at length.

I"m answering the main question about causing oneself to miss a Shabbos. However, the example would not be relevant according to the Chazon Ish, who says that both off these places start Shabbos after America.

  • I'm not convinced a docked boat would really be called off the shore (like a boat adjacent to Israel regarding Terumah) – Double AA Jun 21 '18 at 1:25
  • @DoubleAA - Rav Elyashiv (quoted in *תאריך ישראל סי' א' הערה לח) says that wherever the water by the seashore is shallow enough for a person to stand, would be considered land, past that point is questionable. I"ll edit to reflect your point. – פרי זהב Jun 21 '18 at 2:48
  • @פריזהב - Thanks for your answer. So basically, if let's say I am a travel agent and a secular (HILONI) person asks me to help him buy a ticket with Talofa Airways then Halacha says I am allowed to "help" him because he won't be violating the Shabbat?! – arie1985uk Jun 21 '18 at 5:49
  • @arie1985uk that sounds like a question for your rabbi. – Isaac Moses Jun 21 '18 at 11:42
  • @arie that is not a basic extension of this answer at all – Double AA Jun 21 '18 at 18:42
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Coming in way late, and as a "barely Jewish" person, but would'nt Shabbos depend on the person observing it?

IE, "Let's say you want to take a flight from Pago Pago International Airport (in American Samoa) at 5pm on Friday to Fagali'i Airport which is 30 minutes away by flight, but the time in Fagali'i Airport (Upolu) is 5pm SATURDAY ..."

From the person's perspective, they have (maybe) seen a sunrise on Friday... the next sunset defines the "end of the day" and the start of Sabbath... and if it is already the Sabbath, what are they doing getting on a plane? (ie, if they care enough for it to matter, why are they doing this). If they stay in NZ, they can catch up on local Sabbath time next week.

This is also relevant for a sick person who has trouble fasting on Yom Kippur, if changing locations should be done rather than breaking his fast. The Tarich L"Yisroel discusses this at length.

Again, as "barely Jewish" I was under the impression that personal heath pretty much overrides religious observance of holidays, etc ...

  • Personal health doesn't override religious observance, pikuach nefesh (saving lives) does. – mbloch Feb 1 at 4:49
  • @mbloch so saving someone else's life is greater than saving your own? – ivanivan Feb 1 at 5:04
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    Saving any life overrides most religious commandments. But when you wrote "personal health", I thought you might be referring to broader things than saving lives – mbloch Feb 1 at 5:05

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