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Is Maras Ayin a Problem in Front of Non-Religious Jews?

Rav Yitzchak Grossman

Question:  In the last segment, we said that construction work may be done by a non-Jewish kablan on a property that is out of the techum of any Jew. What about non-religious Jews? Would it be a problem if they are within the techum of the work?  

Answer:  There’s very little written material on this question.  

I spoke about this with my father-in-law, Rav Shlomo Miller, and he noted that there were many non-religious Jews in the Chofetz Chaim’s time as well, but he still says that construction work can be done if it is outside the techum of the Jewish community. This seems to indicate that he was not concerned about non-religious Jews who are within the techum of the property.  

Apparently, the problem of maras ayin is that people who see someone doing something on Shabbos will be affected and will come to transgress Shabbos themselves. This concern would not apply to non-religious Jews, who do not observe Shabbos in any case. According to this, there would be no problem of maras ayin in front of irreligious Jews.    

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