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READ: A Journey to Star K Approval for the Ultimate Shabbos Mobility Scooter!

People look forward to Shabbos as a day to daven in shul and enjoy the company of other community members. Unfortunately, there are people with mobility issues who are housebound on Shabbos and, for them, Shabbos is lonely.  But thanks to groundbreaking technology developed by Movinglife, an Israeli company with American service and distribution, the housebound are now afforded a new opportunity to rejoin the tzibbur and enhance their  Shabbos. We are excited to announce STAR-K certification of the Shabbatto folding mobility scooter, a new personal mobility device with a Shabbos Mode.

The road to certification began with Movinglife contacting STAR-K to discuss their project. After approaching STAR-K to seek certification, the Movinglife management team met with Rav Moshe Heinemann shlit”a, STAR-K’s posek and Rabbinic Administrator, at his home. This initial meeting lasted a good few hours, during which Rav Heinemann explained in detail what he would permit and what he would forbid for Shabbos use.

Movinglife subsequently programmed the scooter’s Shabbos mechanism to follow Rav Heinemann’s halachic guidelines. They showed the result to the Rav, who called for some further minor changes. Once those changes were incorporated, the final product was tested by STAR-K. We are now able to certify that the Shabbos mechanism for Shabbatto folding scooters fully meets all of Rav Heinemann’s requirements. Thus, the Shabbatto is the only scooter to currently meet STAR-K’s Shabbos standards, for use by Cholim only.

Below are answers to frequently asked questions concerning this scooter.

How it works?

SHABBATTO STAR-K offers users the ability to activate an external mechanism, that deploys 2 principles to make it permissible for use on Shabbos: the Grama Principle and the existing current modulation technique.The SHABBATTO motor operates in “crawl” mode throughout the Shabbos, consuming minimum power. This halachic principle is known as “continuous current modification.” According to this principle, instead of turning the engine on to drive, the user is only adjusting the level of an existing current to move and modify speed.The fact that the motor is turned on before Shabbos and operates continuously in the background is a breakthrough that makes the SHABBATTO STAR-K more halachically enhanced, allowing user to operate the scooter without fearing the desecration of Shabbos and sets it apart from the other Shabbos-approved scooters in the market.

Who can use this scooter on Shabbos?

The scooter may be used only by one who is designated to be a choleh, in that he or she is unable to engage in normal Shabbos activities due to mobility issues. An Orthodox Rabbi must be consulted to decide whether a particular person meets that criteria.

Can the scooter be used on Shabbos in a public domain that does not have an eruv?

No. It can be used on Shabbos only where there is a kosher eruv.

Can the scooter be used in any community?

No. Poskim of some communities may feel that it inappropriate for a choleh to use a scooter on Shabbos, or they may take issue with the halachic argument permitting its use. Therefore, the scooter may be driven on Shabbos only in communities in which the poskim condone its use, and driven to shul only if the rabbi permits.

Why is this scooter permissible on Shabbos?

Some melachos are forbidden mi’d’Oraysa (by the Torah) on Shabbos, while others are forbidden mi’drabanan (by Talmudic decree). One is not allowed to perform an action which will immediately result in the occurrence of either a melacha d’Oraysa or a melacha d’rabanan. Moreover, barring extenuating circumstances, one is not allowed to perform any action that will result in a melacha d’Oraysa taking place even at some later time.

However, to meet the specific needs of cholim on Shabbos, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l allowed for the custom building of devices that result in a melacha d’rabanan occurring after a brief delay. The Shabbatto’s Shabbat Mode mechanism relies on this principle of grama. When the scooter is in Shabbat Mode, it will not start moving immediately upon engaging the throttle; any movement is preceded by a few-second delay.

Why is it permissible to use the scooter’s brakes on Shabbos?

The scooter will stop immediately upon the application of the hand brakes, and there will not be any time delay. When in Shabbat Mode, the brakes work mechanically, similar to the brakes on a bicycle. Since the brakes are mechanical and not electric, this is permitted on Shabbos.

Is it appropriate to use the scooter in public on Shabbos?

On Shabbos, a person driving the scooter must place a sign on the back of the scooter stating that the user is a choleh due to impaired mobility, to mitigate the impression that he is disrespecting Shabbos. A STAR-K-approved sign is provided along with the Shabbos mechanism.

When in Shabbat Mode, are there any scooter controls which may not be used?

When in Shabbat Mode, all of the scooter’s electric controls activate only after a time delay of a few seconds. Any controls that activate immediately are disabled. The one exception is the emergency horn, which does activate immediately. Therefore, as its name suggests, it should only be used in an emergency.

Does the company that manufactures the scooter also manufacture the Shabbos mechanism, or are they two different companies?

They are one and the same.  Because Movinglife manufactures the scooter, they can seamlessly integrate the Shabbos mechanism.

How can I purchase this scooter? 

Movinglife’s mobility experts go the extra mile to bring our products directly to you, whether it be through phone consultations, select premium physical stores, personalized home demonstrations, or online platforms. This personalized approach enables us to provide professional guidance and tailored assistance, ensuring that you can explore, experience, and select the perfect solution every time.

Locations with showroom and home demo by a Frum mobility expert.

Locations with showroom and home demo by a Frum mobility expert include Tri-state area, Florida, California. Can’t make it to us? Contact us for an in-home free test drive (888)-680-1090

Purchase information about the STAR-K-approved Shabbatto portable scooter is available HERE

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