Sunday, 2 June 2019

Wait at the Bus Stop

Question: I want to go to visit someone in hospital on motzaei Shabbos. Can I walk to the bus stop on Shabbos and wait for the bus that will come a few minutes after Shabbos? My sister will meet me there with the fare.
Answer: The Gemara (Shabbos 114b; 118a) decreed that one mustn’t prepare on Shabbos or Yom Tov for the following day (See Shulchan Aruch OC 302:3; 503:1). Different reasons are offered for this prohibition. According to Rashi (Shabbos 114b) the extra tircha, effort, that one has to expend is inappropriate on Shabbos (See Mishna Berura 323:28). Rambam (Shabbos 23:7), however, writes that hachana, preparation, is akin to mesaken¸ fixing something.
The Shulchan Aruch (OC 306:1) writes that the prohibition of hachana includes actions that are not otherwise melachos. One of the examples given is walking to the city gates in order that they can rush to the bathhouse when Shabbos is out. The Magen Avraham (306:1), however, writes that this is only problematic when it is apparent that one is preparing.
Thus, R’ Ephraim Greenblatt (Rivevos Ephraim 4:97:92) quotes R’ Refael Zilber (Marpeh Lenefesh 3:40:2) who writes that while it would be wrong to wait in a bus stop, one can walk towards it and wait nearby so that it isn’t obvious that they are catching the bus. Similarly, R’ Menashe Klein (Mishne Halachos 7:50) gives a few reasons why one can walk to a bus stop if necessary on Shabbos.
R’ Yehoshua Neuwirth (Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasa) allowed one to walk until the end of one’s techum before Shabbos was out though only if they were travelling for a mitzva. Under such circumstances, one would even be allowed to do so if it was apparent.
In conclusion, one who is going to perform a mitzva may walk to a bus stop to catch a bus after Shabbos. They must ensure that they are not carrying anything muktze. Preferably, they should not stand by the actual stop where it is obvious that they are waiting for a bus.

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