Inviting Guests who may Drive on Shabbos

Dear Rabbi,

We have a question regarding the issues involved when inviting non-shomer Shabbos Jews to our home for Shabbos night. We would like to branch out a bit and invite non-frum Jews to our Friday nights. However, the issue of said Jews driving to our homes now figures more prominently in our minds than it did previously. I can surmise that there are opinions both for and against (due to the fact that it is “done” as they say), and that therefore perhaps it becomes an issue of hashkofa. In short, is it acceptable to invite when we know they will be driving to our home? I’m not sure if it makes a difference, but they would be parking on public property, arriving before Shabbos, walking to and from shul, etc, and then leaving our “sphere of responsibility” (and our property) prior to any melacha (that we know of).

Thanks, David

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Dear David,

If there are good reasons to invite the person/people in question, e.g. kiruv potential or family members, etc., you can invite for Friday night if they arrive before Shabbos, etc, as you describe. However, in extending the invitation you should make it clear that your preference would be for them to spend the whole Shabbos with you, and not drive home on Friday night. Make it clear that as far as you are concerned, you would be pleased for them not to leave, with the chillul shabbos which it entails. In this way, your message is: Come and honour/celebrate Shabbos with us, not “come and/even though you will desecrate Shabbos–our invitation is more important”.