Shabbat Elevator

kosherswitch

A Shabbat elevator is an elevator which works in a special mode, operating automatically, a way to circumvent the Jewish law requiring observers to abstain from operating electric switches during the Sabbath. In this mode, an elevator will stop automatically at every floor, allowing people to step in and out without having to press any buttons. They are found in Israeli hospitals, hotels, and apartment buildings, and in some synagogues.

The Israeli Knesset passed a special Shabbat elevator law in 2001 ordering the planning and building of all residential buildings, and public buildings which have more than one elevator, to install a control mechanism for Shabbat (Shabbat module) in one of the elevators. In 2009 senior haredi rabbis, led by Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, published a religious injunction forbidding the use of Shabbat elevators on the grounds that even in Shabbat mode the user is indirectly violating Shabbat.

 

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