If someone is taking a picture on Shabbos on their phone or a digital camera - must one try not to be in the picture; does he violate anything if he specifically “photo bombs” the pic on Shabbat? Does it matter whether the photographer is Jewish or not?

Most that say one can walk in front of a security camera are of the opinion that since the image is constantly changing - it’s not real ksiva because it’s a melacha that is not miskayem as well as it being not nicha le (and I think both are needed). Does that logic apply to a still image that is on the screen until the next picture is taken?

  • related judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/52546/…
    – rosends
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 10:47
  • Will the person being photographed enjoy the picture afterwards? Or he simply there accidentally? One cannot benefit from "melechet shabbat" if it was something that couldn't be done afterwards
    – mbloch
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 12:31
  • What Melacha would it be? Second, does this constitute a benefit from melechet shabbos if the photographer is the one who ultimately has the benefit; ie if someone turns on a street lamp outside on shabbos - is there any issue of a jew enjoying a lighted walkway on his way home from shul? Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 12:50
  • @Draizy-LeviPine remember to ping anyone you are speaking to by adding @ before their name - if the photographer is Jewish, the melacha is to take a picture with an electric camera :-> I asked if the person being photographed would enjoy it because THAT is forbidden if he is the only subject (i.e., it is forbidden to benefit from a melacha done on shabbat for one's purpose if one couldn't do it after shabbat - unlike cooking which you can do after shabbat). Being the subject of a photography by coincidence is no melacha
    – mbloch
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 13:30
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Waving at a security camera on Shabbat
    – user9643
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 15:46

1 Answer 1


I found in the book " Otzar Hatshuvos by Rabbi Abraham Scheinberg (great book, highly recommend)" a intresting question. The question was" a boy who was drafted in the army is asked to pose for a picture on the Shabbat to be photographed by a non jew what is the law? The answer is ,he is allowed to have the picture taken by a non jew who also takes the picture of other soldiers.

This question was taken from the sefer Keren LeDovid OC 102. I looked at the teshuva and its very long,I do not have the time at the moment to read through all of it but from a quick reading of the first paragraph it seems to answer the question of what is the issue of photography on shabbas is and I am sure it goes in depth discussing all variables that can come up.

Link to the teshuva: http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=1112&st=&pgnum=251&hilite=


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