Q. On Shabbos, in a reshus harabbim, (no eiruv), there is a Jew who is standing outside a shul because he does not know the password to open the door. The Jew is holding a bag (a mechallel Shabbos r”l). May one open the door for him? (Whether from the inside or from the outside, such as someone who is also entering) Or should one b’dafka not open or hold the door for him and use a different entrance, or otherwise do something to prevent him from entering with the bag?
A. The opinion of Horav Dovid Pam and Horav Aaron Miller Shlit’a, (Rabbonim at the Toronto Kollel), is that one should not open the door for someone carrying a bag and entering from a reshus horabim to a private domain, as he will likely transgress if not on a Biblical prohibition, at least on a Rabbinical one. And since the individual carrying cannot enter without the help provided, not only the prohibition of “mesayea” or helping someone commit a sin is activated, also the Biblical transgression of “lifnei iver” or placing a stumbling block in front of the blind, may be involved.
Our Sages teach that it is permitted to deviate occasionally from the strict truth, when it is done for the sake of maintaining the peace and avoiding conflict, offense and disputes. (Lishnos mipnei hashalom – Yebamos 65b). Therefore, when entering one may say that he just realized that has forgotten the right password, and when exiting he may show some sudden pain and just apologize and walk away. If then he cannot enter or exit by a different door, he should wait until that person is gone.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Rabbonim at the Toronto Kollel