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Section: Questions   Category: Halacha
Halacha - Website on Shabbat
Submitted by Yosef  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh

If it is purely a Torah website like Revach, than there is no more problem than making any machine that the buyer may possibly use on Shabbos. Since the site runs without any imput from its creator it is not the responsibility of the manufacturer if a melacha is done on Shabbos.

However a Jewish website that also offers items for sale would not conduct sales on Shabbos because it is forbidden to derive benefit from commerce that was conducted on Shabbos, even if no aveirah was committed by the seller.

posted:2008-04-10 09:15:36

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Visitor Comments: 3

Yosef, 2008-04-21 13:13:19
To tell you the truth the reason I asked before was that I had read an interview with Rav Elyashiv recently in the french journal "kountrass". He was asked if it's ok to run a torah website.

Rav Elyashiv responded that it was ok but one must shut it off on shabbos if there is a possibility that jews will access it then so as not to "aid them in transgressing" the shabbos.

Not sure though if he meant this as halacha l'maase
Anonymous, 2008-04-13 14:42:56
As far as I understand, an e-commerce website owned by a Jew may "operate"
on Shabboss with sales made, so long as the customers Credit Card is not actually charged until after Shabboss.

It is my understanding that under these circumstances (where a transaction is only authorized and is pending an actual charge until after Shabboss and by manual intervention) it would be Halachically permissable to operate an e-commerce website on Shabboss.

Please respond.

Rabbi Peretz Moncharsh, 2008-04-13 02:23:40
Dear Yehuda,
Thank you very much for your insights. I'm sorry if I didn't make myself clear enough.
My intention was primarily to address the issue raised in the question of running a Torah website such as Revach on Shabbos. On that issue I ruled that it it permitted because no melacha is involved. I also pointed out that the reasons to permit a Torah website might not apply to an e-commerce site where additional issues may apply. I did not mean to imply that it is absolutely forbidden for a Yid to have a web site running on Shabbos under all circumstances, just that the added complication would explain why some sites do not conduct sales on Shabbos. The process you describe sound like it should address these additional issues as well, and if that is the psak you received from a Rav who understands all the intricacies involved in web sales you should certainly feel comfortable relying on it.
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