Q. I was invited to give a shiur for young people who are interested in becoming Baalei Teshuva and I seem to be promisingly successful. A good part why is that the area we are able to meet for the convenience of the group, is in a section of town that suffers from high crime and is considered kind of dangerous. The group greatly appreciates my devotion and dedication to them.
However, I have my doubts. Is it permitted for me to place myself in a situation of personal danger for the sake of teaching Torah and being mekarev non-frum people?
A. Talmud (Pesachim 8b. Yuma, 11a, et al) teaches that people engaged on performing a mitzva, will not be harmed. However, it adds that it is different in places were the danger is common and frequent (shechiach chezeiko).
Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that one should investigate how regular or frequent the dangerous acts actually take place.
Since there are methods of significant prevention, (such as having someone looking out for your arrival or carrying with you a portable loud alarm etc.) it is likely that there is no real meaningful danger issue, and the great kiruv benefit preempts it.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit’a