UPDATE: Preventing Transgression: Gedolei HaPoskim Asur Pressing Buttons on ‘Shabbos Mode Ovens’ on Yom Tov

(UPDATE IN EXTENDED ARTICLE) 6/04/08 3:00PM EST: The modern electronic ovens presently being sold are no longer simply ovens that cook, but rather sophisticated, computer driven electronic marvels. While in the past, the Halochos pertaining to using ovens on Shabbos and Yom Tov were pretty straightforward, nowadays simply opening and closing the ovens can entail violations of Shabbos and Yom Tov. The “Sabbath Mode” on many of the ovens sold today actually do resolve many of these issues, and is very useful. However, utilizing the “Sabbath Mode” to raise or lower the temperature on Yom Tov is a matter which has been presented to the Gedolei HaPoskim and they have all unequivocally rendered their decision that it is absolutely forbidden to utilize that feature on Yom Tov. Having seen the written explanation for the basis of the leniency, HoRav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv Shlit”a, HoRav Shmuel Wosner Shlit”a, HoRav Nisim Karelitz Shlit”a and HoRav Moshe Sternbuch Shlit”a all signed that it is strictly forbidden to rely on this leniency on Yom Tov. In addition, when a written lenient opinion (“Daas Yochid”) was presented to local Rabbonim, they were also unanimous in their decision that it is forbidden to utilize that feature on Yom Tov. Among the Rabbonim who signed were HoRav Yechezkel Roth Shlit”a, HoRav Shlomo Miller Shlit”a Rosh Kollel Avreichim of Toronto, HoRav Yechiel Tauber Shlit”a, Rosh Kollel Mechon Hoyroa in Monsey, HoRav Yaakov Horowitz Shlit”a, Rav Of Telze Minyan in Boro Park, Horav Elya Ber Wachtfogel, Rosh Yeshiva of South Fallsburg, HoRav Gershon Bess, Rav Kehilas Yaakov in Los Angeles. HoRav Feivel Cohen Shlit”a corresponded with HoRav Elyashiv shlit”a and also expressed his opinion that one cannot rely on the leniency. HoRav Yisroel Belsky Shlit”a responded publicly that it is forbidden to adjust the temperature on these ovens. Rabbi Shmuel Fuerst, Av Bais Din of the Agudah in Chicago also publicly forbade the adjustment of the temperature on Yom tov. Click HERE to view the Kol Koreh signed by the Poskim, and a letter written by Rav Moshe Shternbach Shlita forbidding its use as well. The following is a translation of the Kol Koreh sent to YWN by a prominent Rov and Posek:  The development of “Sabbath Mode” operation of ovens seeks to permit the raising and lowering of oven temperatures on Yom Tov. The change in temperature settings is accomplished by pressing keys on a keypad that is connected to the microcontroller built into the oven.  Pressing the keys while in “Sabbath Mode” does not result in an immediate change in oven temperature nor does it have any other observable effect.  Allowing this activity is based on the presumption that pressing the keys is merely a “Grama” and is therefore permitted on Yom Tov. In our opinion, pressing the keys on Yom Tov is strictly forbidden since pressing a key immediately closes an electrical circuit and instructs the microcontroller to carry out an action. Pressing the key is forbidden just as all manipulation of electricity is forbidden on Shabbos and Yom Tov either because of “Makeh B’patish” or because of “Mesaken” as described in Igros Moshe (vol.3 §42 and vol.4 §84) whereby there can be a Torah violation immediately upon pressing the key even if no “fire’”is created. This operation is not considered “Grama”. [Furthermore, according to a number … Continue reading UPDATE: Preventing Transgression: Gedolei HaPoskim Asur Pressing Buttons on ‘Shabbos Mode Ovens’ on Yom Tov