Orthodox Jews in NYC are trying to work out whether they can use special Shabbos elevators that automatically stop at every floor on the Sabbath so its passengers don’t have to perform an action forbidden by the Torah (work, which includes using electrical devices is banned on the Sabbath). Many observant Jews have rejected the special elevators since they were sanctioned in 1964, but now a new ruling has caused anxiety for the families and elderly who have favoured using them to get to their high-rise apartments. A new edict decrees that an electrical device that automatically detects the number of passengers in the elevator car and adjusts its power is equivalent of ‘using’ an electrical device. It’s causing something of a headache for building managers.
Read the full article in the New York Times.