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Amusement Park on Shabbat

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Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Av 5, 5782
Question
hi. Can a jew go to an amusement park on Shabbat if they already paid for the ticket and are walking back and forth to the park?
Answer
ב"ה Shalom Depending upon exactly what is being done in the amusement park, there are many aspects to your question. If your intention is merely if a Jew can walk through the amusement park on Shabbat with his prepaid ticket, it is possibly allowed, on a few conditions,. 1. Purchasing prepaid tickets is a well-known practice so the person is not suspect of purchasing them on Shabbat. 2. The place is not operated by Jews, so you are assisting in the desecration of Shabbat 3. There is an Eruv in the area which allows you to carry the ticket on Shabbat. 4. The ticket must be something which is merely presented at the gate, not torn off a stub nor scanned, the more likely situation in our time. Even after these conditions, I am still in doubt if it can be allowed, since usually there are so many stalls of purchasing food and other items and participating in games with prizes, how can one possibly walk through there without being suspect of desecrating Shabbat. If the intention is to ask if a Jew can take rides on Shabbat, then I would have to say that this would be totally in contradiction to the spirit of Shabbat and a gross disrespect for Shabbat which on its own is an essential Shabbat criterion, and therefore cannot be allowed. This would be my answer, even if other Shabbat prohibitions such as having the non- Jew do all sorts of actions forbidden on Shabbat would be surmountable, which I am in great doubt if that is possible. This takes in consideration the scanning of tickets done at the entrance to each attraction, electronic opening and closing of gates, activating safety features sometimes done for each individual passenger and the list can probably go on. In short, I would find another alternative for the kids to have fun on Shabbat since just walking through is highly problematic. If there are other possibilities, you may ask again, since each situation can possibly have a different answer. All the best
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