After the turmoil created by the response to the p’sak halacha released pertaining to the prohibition against the use of shabbos elevators, based on a report in the Hebrew edition of Yated Neeman and on an in-depth follow-up on Kol Chai Radio, it is now being explained that Maran HaGaon HaRav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv Shlita did not affix his signature are first indicated, but his comment from the past was attached to the publicized signatures of the other gedolei yisrael.
As reported earlier by YWN, Zomet Institute’s Rabbi Yisrael Rosen maintains the technology of the elevators remains unchanged since the ruling permitting their use were issued by Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Aurbach ZT”L, questioning how the change in the ruling came about while none of the rabbonim close to the gedolei yisrael contacted him or his institute. It appears Maranan V’Rabanan Gedolei HaDor Shlita, Maran Rav Shmuel Halevy Wosner Shlita, Maran Rav Nissim Karelitz Shlita and Maran Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita did indeed sign the p’sak as reported earlier by YWN and others. The change is that Rav Elyashiv did not sign at present, but the inclusion of his past remarks on the issue led to a misunderstanding.
HaGaon HaRav Levi Yitzchak Halprin, who heads the Jerusalem Institute for Technology & Halacha is quoted as saying he has written a book on the matter, and the ruling permitting the use of a shabbos elevator is based on decisions by gedolim, and since that time, there have not been changes.
Rav Halprin confirms hearing a “certain engineer” did make an appearance before one of the gedolim and stated the elevators are indeed a cause for chilul shabbos, adding in his (Rabbi Halprin) opinion, “he does not know what he is talking about”.
Rabbi Halprin adds that Rav Elyashiv did not come out against shabbos elevators but against elevators on shabbos (in Hebrew – “ma’aliyot b’shabbos” and not “ma’aliyot shabbos”, insisting Rav Elyashiv did not come out against the ruling, adding he learned the posek hador did not wish to affix his signature to the ruling that carries the names of the other gedolim.
Rav Halprin concludes that until such time he learns of a change in the p’sak halacha, he does not see a reason not to use the shabbos elevators where applicable.
Click on the following link to see the P’sak posted earlier this morning by YWN http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/elevator_psak.jpg
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)