Are Shabbos Elevators Permissible to Use?

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  • #602371
    Naysberg
    Member

    Is it permissible to use a Shabbos elevaotor, considering your extra weight causes the elevator to use more electricity? (And, also, possibly keeps the electronic elevator door to remain open longer, sensing a person is coming in or out.)

    #858083
    Logician
    Participant

    BREAKING NEWS: Poskim have been printing Tshuvos for quite a while now!

    #858084
    yitayningwut
    Participant

    Ask your rabbi. If you’re asking me, I say yes.

    #858085
    sushee
    Member

    Since your weight is causing the elevator to use more electricity, I don’t see a “Shabbos Elevator” being much different than going into a standard elevator and pushing the button for your floor on Shabbos.

    #858086
    147
    Participant

    The elevators are pre-programmed for more weight [i.e. using exgtra elecricity for much higher weight than is actually in elevator/lift] than will probably be the weight of the several passengers in the elevator/lift at any time of use, so Naysberg:- Your issue was long ago already dealt with & taken care of.

    #858087
    Derech
    Member

    How are you certain that every manafacturer of Shabbos Elevators pre-program their product to use the same amount of electricity regardless if the elevator is travelling empty (no passengers) or if it is carrying 5 passengers weighing over 1,000 pounds of extra weight?

    #858088
    oomis
    Participant

    Sushe, that’s not what many poskim say. Your weight being in or not in the elevator does not cause it to go or stop, as it stops at every floor. Your intention is not to cause more electricity to be used, it is just a possible unintentional side effect (is that what we call a p’sik reisha, btw?). When you pour water into a cup from a kettle that has been on the blech, does the water that remains in the kettle not heat up even more (because there is less volume in the kettle now)? But you would not say that is assur to make a cup of hot tea on Shabbos,would you?

    #858090
    Josh31
    Participant

    There are multiple opinions on this.

    One opinion is that going up is OK, going down is not.

    (From Shiur from Rabbi Nachum Sauer in LA over 20 years ago)

    This is of course what the Rabbis’ in the Talmud meant when they said “Maalin B’Kodesh v’ain moreedin” (We may elevate holiness but not diminish holiness.) <Orach Shikurin 328:14>

    #858091
    yitayningwut
    Participant

    oomis1105 – Pretty close, p’sik reishe is an inevitable side effect. A regular, possible, unintentional side effect that is not inevitable is called a davar she-eino miskavein.

    #858092
    dash™
    Participant

    The elevators are pre-programmed for more weight [i.e. using exgtra elecricity for much higher weight than is actually in elevator/lift] than will probably be the weight of the several passengers in the elevator/lift at any time of use

    There is no way to pre-program how much power will be consumed by an electrical motor with varying loads. Whether or not a variance in power has any Halachic ramifications is dealt with by the Poskim.

    #858093
    sam4321
    Participant

    Every elevator is made differently and has to be checked by a rav there is no general psak.

    #858094
    babygoose
    Participant

    In E”Y, shabbos elevators are pretty popular. i know the belzer bais din is matir it’s use. there are a few others who permit it. AYLOR!!!!!

    #858095
    Loyal Jew
    Member

    Nearly 3 years ago, Harav Elyashiv, Harav Kanievsky, Harav Karlitz, and Harav Vosner paskened that it is assur. Why is this being debated now?

    #858096
    sem graduate
    Member

    Personally, my husband and father both do not use shabbos elevators so I don’t. However the Poskim in Eretz Yisroel came out with a Psak for the Israeli Shabbos elevators: you may use them going up as the weight in the elevator does not effect anything. However, it is assur to use them going down as the extra weight combined with gravity does make it use less electricity. This is the psak only for elevators in Eretz Yisroel, as far as i know. Many people that I know will put a baby carriage into the elevator and then use the steps and meet the carriage upstairs…

    #858097
    lesschumras
    Participant

    Naysberg,Susie

    Many poskim matir them. You want to be machmir and get exercise at same time, Boone is forcing you to use them.

    #858098
    oomis
    Participant

    “oomis1105 – Pretty close, p’sik reishe is an inevitable side effect. A regular, possible, unintentional side effect that is not inevitable is called a davar she-eino miskavein”

    Thanks for the clarification. Mekol melamdai hiskalti.

    I personally do not feel comfortable witht he idea of using a Shabbos elevator (just not shabbosdig to me), but especially when people have difficulty with walking up steep flights of stairs (i.e, elderly, people with leg or back injuries, people visiting someone on the 10th floor of a hospital – with double flights of steps per floor), it is a benefit to them to have the heter to be able to use this. I know that in the local hospital and the Jewish nursing home, there are Shabbos elevators (so marked), with the posting that the elevator will automatically stop at every floor (so do not push the buttons). I am certain the VAAD in my neighborhood would not allow this if it were l’chatchilah assur, and if all major poskim assered it. But even if muttar, I prefer not to.

    #858099
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    I don’t use it, so far; neither do I use an escalator, but I have no idea why. When there is more load there is more current, but so what? Since when is allowing an electron to pass an Issur? It does not fit the definition of the Issur of electricity as defined by the Chazon Ish, Reb Shlomo Zalman, or Reb Moshe. It can only work with the Shita of electricity being Hav’ara, which is long out the window.

    Notice, that through all the generations there is not a mention of the sparks caused by taking off a sweater in dry weather. If causing electrons to flow would be an Issur, we wouldn’t be allowed to think. But hey, maybe that’s why we aren’t supposed to learn Be’iyun!

    Had it been around B’yemei Chachomeinu perhaps they would have Assured it, because its usage usually includes pressing buttons; perhaps they wouldn’t, because people depend on it a lot; and perhaps they would only be Mattir a specially built one — that doesn’t have any controls.

    #858100
    far east
    Member

    Assuming you are allowed to use a shabbos elevator would you also be allowed to walk into a regular elevator on shabbos and just let it go to whatever floor the other people inside are heading?

    #858101

    Our understanding of the issues is interesting to discuss (personally, I don’t see the difference between an elevator motor working harder to lift me, or my refrigerator/air conditioner working harder to cool my food/family), but this has been discussed extensively by people who know halacha and the science of elevator workings better than most of us here.

    Please see the links below for a halachic discussion based on the way elevators work.

    (editor/moderator – please allow the links below, since this is purely halacha and applicable for the discussion at hand)

    http://www.megavolt.co.il/articles_H/elevator1.html

    http://www.megavolt.co.il/articles_H/elevator2.html

    http://www.megavolt.co.il/articles_H/elevator3.html

    http://www.megavolt.co.il/articles_H/elevator4.html

    #858102
    yitayningwut
    Participant

    far east – Again, ask your rabbi, but if you’re asking me, yes.

    See: http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=1525&st=&pgnum=174

    #858103
    cherrybim
    Participant

    I can only try – thanks.

    But it has ups and downs.

    #858104
    oomis
    Participant

    Assuming you are allowed to use a shabbos elevator would you also be allowed to walk into a regular elevator on shabbos and just let it go to whatever floor the other people inside are heading?”

    Good question. We were taught that on Shabbos, if we needed to visit someone in the local hospital, to wait for an obvious non-Jew to walk through the electric doors and quickly follow that person in. But nonetheless, the doors are remaining open longer because we walk through them, even if initially they were opened by someone else.

    #858105
    lesschumras
    Participant

    If you won’t use the elevator because your weight increases electricity usage,then you shouldn’t use air.conditioning. . More people in room forces the compressor on

    #858106
    oomis
    Participant

    If you won’t use the elevator because your weight increases electricity usage,then you shouldn’t use air.conditioning. . More people in room forces the compressor on

    True dat. And opening a fridge can cause the compressor to turn, as well.

    #858107
    cherrybim
    Participant

    Yes, and opening my mouth produces a lot of hot air.

    #858108
    hershi
    Member

    If Shabbos elevators are assur, can you invite someone to your upper floor apartment on Shabbos if there is a real risk the guest might use the elevator? Can you trust his kashrus, if he brings home-baked goods as a gift to you (and assuming there was a kosher eruv)?

    #858109
    sam4321
    Participant

    How are people giving yes and no answers when there are different types of elevators that have different mechanisms. Each one has to be identified and then the machlokes of what issurim are involved can be discussed.

    #858110
    hershi
    Member

    Same4321: Some of the issurim identified by poskim would apply to all elevators.

    #858111
    nitpicker
    Participant

    oomis wrote (1 day ago) “

    When you pour water into a cup from a kettle that has been on the blech, does the water that remains in the kettle not heat up even more (because there is less volume in the kettle now)?

    So what if it does?

    #858112
    writersoul
    Participant

    What about regular, normal elevators with an elevator operator (like in hotels)? I don’t use them just for me, only if I have my grandmother with me who’s in a wheelchair, but if I were using it for myself would it be permissible?

    Yes, I will be asking an actual posek, not just YWN. Just curious.

    #858113
    oomis
    Participant

    So what if it does?’

    My point was, that if you are still permitted to pour water from the kettle, in spite of the fact that doing so will cause the lesser amount of water in the kettle to heat up even more (because there is now less water but the same amount of heat on the blech), how would that concept be any different from causing more electrical power usage by additional weight in the elevator (though in the opposite way, being that in the case of the water, the lesser weight/volume causes increased energy, and in the case of the elevator, ADDED weight causes increased power usage – still a shift in weight causes power consumption to increase in both cases)?

    #858114
    avhaben
    Participant

    Rav Elyashev shlita and other poskei hador issued a psak a few years ago assuring using Shabbos elevators.

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