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    Is the kosher switch really permissable for shabbos?


    i noticed that the article on only simchas did not mention any rabbnoims names, or how it works halachikly.


    They have a website.


    The list of rabbis endorsing the kosher switch is pretty impressive.


    The list of rabbis who hold it’s assur might be even more impressive, but of course, they don’t publish it.

    To give some credit, they do allude to the fact that they were unable to receive endorsement from some rabbis. They claim that most who wouldn’t endorse it were for “non-halachic” reasons. If that means zilzul Shabbos (which I don’t see a way around, and their rationalization is a bunch of empty words), I would call it halachic. They could use the term Rabbi Oelbaum (who strongly hinted that he holds it’s zilzul Shabbos) used, and say that their lack of endorsement was not for melachah reasons. Even this is far from clear (and they hint that some asser for melachah reasons). The miskaven issue is difficult to get around.

    If you look carefully (to be honest, I looked at only a couple), at least some of the “endorsements” are pretty tepid.


    I saw the video for the switch and it seemed to be working similar to the Kosher Lamp.

    Either they have Rabbi Oelbaums endorsement or they is using video editing to make it seem like he is endorsing it.



    I don’t see how it is similar, at all, to a Kosher Lamp. You are not uncovering a light which is already lit and shining.

    I saw what Rabbi Olebaum said, I would not call it an endorsement. He does not say that you are welcome to use it. He says ask your Rav. Very big difference.


    The idea behind it is nothing like the kosher lamp, which is a cover over the bulb. This is a different type of switch.

    Rabbi Oelbaum’s endorsement is limited to the melachah aspect, but he alludes to the zilzul Shabbos issue when he tells you to speak to your own rav.

    I don’t think the kosher lamp has an endorsement which says, “ask your rav”. I bought an urn made under Jewish ownership, and the endorsement, where a rav says it doesn’t require tevila, doesn’t say, “but ask your rav”. The hechsher on my box of cereal doesn’t say, “kosher l’mehadrin, but ask your rav”.


    Kosher lamp only covers and uncovers the light bulb by blocking or unblocking it. I don’t see how that is comparable to Kosher Switch.


    BTW, this is not a new project. It’s been around for years. I saw a proposal to investors which cynically predicted that the chareidi opposition would generate free PR which would boost sales in other sectors, and eventually it would become universally accepted.

    When I hadn’t seen anything on it for years, I hoped that the rabbonim who endorsed it realized that they were marketing it to the public (rather than for certain institutional use, for which it seems to be useful), they dropped their endorsements.

    I’m dismayed to see this come up again, being marketed as a l’chatchilah.


    This switch blocks something. (If you watch the video) the plastic does nothing except cover something from going across. but the item is still going. That is basically how the Shabbos lamp works, you are blocking something


    I would also note that there are parts of the promotional video that are at least slightly off-color. Not what you would anticipate or expect in a video that is supposed to promote the “kashrut” of this product.


    It’s interesting to note that they take great pains to differentiate this from the Shabbos Mode ovens, which almost everyone assers.

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

    It may be better, according to some, regarding the grama issue, but I don’t see how they get around the zilzul issue. The link from that article to the Kol Koreh no longer works, but I’ll quote the translations:

    To all of the above we affix our signatures:

    (HoRav) Yosef Shalom Elyashiv”

    (HoRav) Elya Ber Wachtfogel

    (HoRav) Shlomo Miller, Rosh Kollel, Kollel Avreichim Toronto

    (HoRav) Gershon Bess, Rav Kehilas Yaakov, Los Angeles”

    I left out the part about melachah/grama, because the technology is different, but I don’t see why the zilzul Shabbos issue is better.


    Is this any different that changing the settings on an appliance while the power is turned off by an automatic timer, assuming the controls are mechanical? I believe the reason we don’t do this has to do with muktzeh. One has always been able to plug things into a timer while the timer is running but power if off to the outlet controlled by the timer, and the objections to doing this would seem to apply to the “kosher switch.”


    ZD, they’re blocking different things, and halachically, there’s no comparison.

    Akuperma, it’s not merely because of muktzah. You’re causing it to go on or off.

    As they point out, I think correctly, if it were muttar, it wouldn’t be muktzah.



    It isnt remotely similar to the Shabbos Lamp. With the lamp it is on for the duration of Shabbos you just cover it with a safe cover to block the light which remains on. This is not much different than closing the door to a lit room.

    The kosher switch, does block something but that in of itself doesnt make it muttar. The light actually turns on and off. It is in no way similar to the kosher lamp. “Blocking something” isnt a magic phrase that allows melacha to be done (though it often turns it into gerama which is still assur), many melachas invlove “blocking something” for example all you do when you shut a stovetop is block the flow of gas to a flame, it is still assur on Shabbos (and Yom Tov).

    The way it works as identified on


    Zahavas Dad

    From the Kosher Switch website:


    Not that anyone would belive me, But I have direct access to at least 2 of the Rabbanim who are on this video.

    I am going to find out if they really endorse the product of its just fancy video editing (At least one of the people on the video I belive did not endorse the product and was just there via video editing)


    Marketing the product as Lechatchilu on shabbos is probably an overreach. Akuperma’s take is very apropos although it does have the randomness built into it which makes it a bit better – makes it less a gromo. I would imagine its use would be best fit in hospitals or in homes for the elderly and maybe yuntiff for a tzoyrich.

    With respect to the miskavein issue i believe there are those who hold that melechis machshevet works both ways so that just like when you do not intend a melocho its muttar midoraysa no matter your action when you intend a melocho its assur as a gromo no matter the action you take – but that is clearly not the general opinion and represents a small minority view.


    “Shabbos Mode ovens, which almost everyone assers”

    It isn’t really Shabbos mode, it is Yom Tov mode. And in my community almost everyone uses them. Rav Heinemann and Star-K are reliable.


    ” breach in the wall of Shmiras Shabbos and Yom Tov through which the Jewish nation is sanctified thoughout the generations.”

    Jews have been adjusting flames on Yom Tov for thousands of years.


    Those who asser are certainly reliable, and there are a lot more of them. He’s a daas yochid, and other than a talmidei muvhak, I don’t see the justification for following the leniency. “He is reliable” isn’t enough.


    “Is the kosher switch really permissable for shabbos?”

    Surely a jewish maidel has a Rav to answer her halachic questions.


    I don’t see the justification for following the leniency. “He is reliable” isn’t enough

    If Rav Oelbaum, Rav Steinberg or Rav Nevensaul muttar it, they are reliable (Like I said I dont think Rabbi Mizrachi was endorsing the product)


    OK, you all got me curious and I watched the video.

    I am, as usual, in no position to comment on the Halachic considerations.

    Here’s my question-

    Do any of you have access to Rav Yosef Mizrachi?

    Like Zdad, I’m quite sure he in no way meant to endorse the product and I agree that there seems to be some sort of (not so fancy) video editing going on. If that’s the case, then for myself personally that passuls the device.

    Selling a product must be done with Emmes. After we’re clear with the Choshen Mishpat issues, we can move on to Hilchos Shabbos.

    You didn’t mention, Zdad, who are the two Rabbonim you’re going to speak to. I’m going to look for your comment, that will hopefully appear after you ask them under what circumstances they appeared in the video.


    I do not wish to say which ones, but its possible for people to figure it out not too difficult. I am not going to go to both of them, just one of them, I dont want to bother both of them with this video



    You really don’t have to bother them with the video. All you have to is ask them “Do you reccomend using the kosher switch as a lechatchila in a residential setting”.

    If it seems that there rePonse is not in conformity with what you understood from the video, you can ask them that. If they question the video, I doubt they will fell it a bother that you bring it to their attention. Quite the contrary.


    I don’t see the justification for following the leniency. “He is reliable” isn’t enough

    If Rav Oelbaum, Rav Steinberg or Rav Nevensaul muttar it, they are reliable (Like I said I dont think Rabbi Mizrachi was endorsing the product)

    I was talking about Shabbos Mode in that quote, not this switch.

    There’s apparently some controversy about Rav Nebenzahl’s position. I actually found this on their website. Now, maybe they’re correct that some are out to get them (they list a few), but something is absolutely fishy about the endorsements – and this is apparent just from their site, although they, of course, claim that it’s all the others who are wrong.

    You should ask the other two what they say. I’m also curious what they’ll say.


    Any Jewish company that uses a video of a beautiful blonde woman in makeup and jewelry to sell their product has already lost my trust and interest in anything else they have to present regarding that or any other product.


    What if they used a brunette?


    Rabbi Noach Isaac Oelbaums true position on kosher switch .

    I regret that my father’s position on kosher switch was misrepresented by stating that he endorses it l’maaseh . His position is that there are 2 aspects in hilchos shabbos. One is issur melacha and then there is zilzul shabbos. My father’s opinion is that there is no issur melacha or chilul shabbos. However , there is a concern about zilzul shabbos as he stated clearly on the video. Before it is used one should ask a shaila from his rav.

    Moshe Oelbaum

    Son of Rabbi N I Oelbaum


    Is that your real email?


    Thank you for posting, moish3@yahoo.

    Your post is enlightening and very much appreciated.


    nishtdayngesheft: The Kosher Switch video you speak of with the woman from the street is more than slightly off color. It is highly vulgar and disgusting and unbefitting a Jewish outfit.


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    Rebbe Yid

    So I had a thought on this. And for all I know the same could apply to Zomet’s inventions and the Shabbos Mode ovens. But anyway here’s the thing:

    The switch doesn’t operate like other cases of grama or hasoras hamone’a, like the jugs of water or opening the door involving the wind and the candle, because the light emitter and detector are both part of the same unit and connected to the same computer. It’s not like there are two different things that are occurring, like in the traditional examples, fire here, water there; wind here, candle there. It’s a single implement that has its own internal workings–it’s a glorified “what position is the switch in” detector. Now, if there were two separate devices or even two separate computers in one device, I could see, because then it would be two separate things and they would coincidentally happen to interact. But with it all being connected to a single computer it doesn’t seem to fit the mold of the cases of grama in the mekoros.


    So if the switch was a removable piece, you would say it’s okay?


    Personally, I would take anything tzomet says about a direct competitor with a grain of salt. Stripped of its hyperbole, the tzomet argument is that the kosher switch is not a lechatchila on shabbos. I think many of us look at it the same way. But for those with an elderly resident, young children, sick residents, etc this seems like a simple cheap way to make things a heck of a lot easier. I don’t see the downside to putting these in your home for those just in case moments or to prevent accidentally flicking the switch.


    Besalel, there is a very serious downside.

    The downside is the possibility of Chillul Shabbos ch”v.

    Please speak to your Rav before deciding that this belongs in your home.

    In the case of a choleh, or sick person, the Halacha may be more lenient. But the downside is such that I don’t think we should act without consulting an expert, just as you wouldn’t decide on your own what medication to give a choleh (unless you’re a doctor).


    theroshyeshiva: rov rosen not only basically condemns the device but even the man/company who is making it as dishonest!. I hope this does not become main stream. its the same concept as leaving a tv on for shabbos.

    “I don’t see the downside to putting these in your home for those just in case moments or to prevent accidentally flicking the switch.”

    The downside is they will be used regularly even not by accident. better flick a real switch once by accident than use these every shabbos.


    You can’t be serious. I don’t have a taiva to flick on a light switch. With this in place if I accidentally hit it I would not be doing a melocho and can right away flick it off saving myself a chatas and an aveiru chillul shabbos beshoygeg. If I had elderly people at home or young children I would have even greater uses. I think if you really care about shabbos spending a few shekels to eliminate the possibility is a no brainer. I think once you get past the natural initial reaction and disregard the bells and whistles of the video it makes so much sense for a yirey shomayim to have these instead of regular switches.


    Same with the Shabbos Mode oven; while Poskim can disagree, you can’t put down the numerous Poskim who endorse it and the programed technology that permit its use halachically on Shabbos and Yom Tov: Shabbos- use of warming drawer for food left in it before Shabbos; oven lights are cut off; 12 hour turn off is cut off. Yom Tov- temperature and other oven displays are gone; 12 hour turn off is cut off. It seems that zilzul Shabbos is not an issue to the Poskim that are matir the Star K (Rav Heinemann) Shabbos Mode oven.

    And what about Rav Moshe Feinstein’s chidush and Psak that one can even turn OFF a gas range completely on Yom Tov, l’chatchila! Shocking? Well, many thousands of his talmidim, his family, and those from the lower East Side do it. It seems that zilzul Shabbos was not an issue to Rav Moshe when he felt there was a valid halachic reason to permit it; while the use of Shabbos clocks for the most part were problematic.


    it also goes without saying that asking my rov would be step one.


    Cherrybim, none of those cases are the same as the kosher switch.

    Also, which poskim besides Rav Heinemann were mattir Shabbos mode? He was outgunned on that.

    Rebbe Yid

    DY: Not if the switch was a removable piece. If it was 2 unrelated units, or 2 computers one controlling the light pulses and the other controlling the receiver and then the room light, I might be more accepting. A single computer controlling everything means it’s just playing games with itself: “I’m going to shine a light into my own eye, and if this human puts something in the way, I won’t turn on his light, but if he removes my blindfold, I will turn his light on.” The wind behind the door has nothing to do with the fire initially, nor the jugs of water with the fire. I’m not sure I’d like the switch even in the disjoined circumstance, but this way seems like a false, superficial imitation of grama. Not “Ungrama,” but “pseudo-grama.”


    Would you have the same objection if the transmitter and receiver were two feet away from each other, and the light was activated by removing a garbage can from in between?

    I guess I’m trying to figure out your threshold of artificiality for a grama to be a “pseudo” grama.


    I don’t get this, since when was Gramma Muttar? Was there some general assembly, ???? ????? ??????, that I missed? And what kind of randomness game is this anyhow? You slid the switch to get it to turn on and it will. Who cares when? Random would help if you aren’t trying to turn it on and it might not turn on at all. That would be classic Ein Mis’chaven.

    Personally, I take issue with considering an electronic delay as a Gramma. Is it really not ???? ??????

    The Zilzul Shabbos aspect is self evident. To most people it will look no different than a regular switch that just happens to include a ‘Halachic twist.’ In fact, it makes more a Zilzul Hatorah in general, for that matter.


    Another two issues with the delay factor:

    First, the reason we don’t turn volumes up and down, although according to the reasoning of the Issur for electricity should not apply to that is that we don’t use the devices. Why would a delay operated device be any different?

    Second, the Issur of turning something on is either Binyan, Tikkun Manne, Makke Bepatesh or Nolad. The problem is not having a blade soon around making you cool, if that could be done by hand. In this case you are likewise turning it on. It is in operation regardless of its effect. Is turning on a cellphone or computer — that takes time to initiate — any more Muttar than turning on a fan?


    HaLeiVi, they’re claiming it’s not even a grama.

    I agree with your point about miskaven.

    The delay doesn’t make something a grama, the indirectness does. However, if the result is immediate, it’s not considered a grama.

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