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Jul 10, 2011

Lift Controversy Trigger War Between Jewish Kosher

TEL AVIV (AP) - Until now, despite some controversy, orthodox Jewish communities have been allowed to use a lift specially designed and "adjusted" to the Jewish laws that prohibit the use of electrical appliances on the Sabbath.
"Elevator Kosher" has a Sabbath mode that ensures that the elevator stops on every floor, so passengers do not need to press a button to call the elevator.
But a group of rabbis led by Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, leader of the ultra-orthodox Jewish community of Lithuania Ashkenazi, aged 99 years denounced it and declared that even the elevator kosher contrary to Jewish law.
The rabbis said that they had reached a unanimous decision after consulting with "a number of technicians and engineers are certified elevator".
The use of elevators has always sparked debate kosher. Opponents claim that although the passengers (Jews) do not press the button, the weight of passengers increase the amount of electrical energy used to power the elevator, and it violates Jewish law.
Ban the use of elevators makes kosher orthodox Jews who lived on the top floor of a building into trouble.
Joseph Ball, an orthodox Jew, and his wife are now no longer use the elevator that was built specifically for the Sabbath, since a rabbi regulations prohibit its use.
Every Saturday, they have to climb a high ladder to come home, along with their five children plus stroller. "It's difficult, but we climbed the stairs slowly and require lots of patience," said Ball, 29.
Jewish law, or Halacha, prohibits the use of electronic items on the Sabbath, but over the decades, the rabbis "justifies" a special elevator that automatically stops on every floor, without having to press a button, so the orthodox Jews can climb and lived on the top floor of the building.
When a prominent rabbi stated that the use of the elevator bertentagan with Jewish law, it sparked a debate and forced the camp of orthodox Jews who live in high places to decide whether they are ready to climb dozens, even hundreds of steps every time they go home after visiting a synagogue on Saturday.
Indeed orthodox community have long disagreed about the Sabbath elevator.
The regulation also has the potential to provide a warning signal to the government, which adopted legislation in 2001, where the elevators are built in tall buildings should have a Sabbath mode.
But it is unclear how many Jews outside the Jewish community of non-Hasidic Ashkenazi Lithuania that will comply with these rules. A number of institutions have been attacked kerabbian regulations adapt technologies to the Jewish law.
Among others warned that the edict would only complicate the lives of Orthodox families, who traditionally have many children, to climb lots of stairs.
"No young couple willing to move to nine or ten floors of a building if it eventually becomes a prison for themselves," said Jonathan Rosenblum, an ultra-orthodox observer.
Rabbi Eliyashiv previously been known for making rules that give rise to debate, declared the use of wigs and plastic sandals illegal in the day of atonement. Another rabbi once gave notice to his followers not to clean up the nose on the Sabbath.
Rabbi Reuven Bulka, a former president of the Canadian Jewish Congress, said that there are many buildings in Canada, such as synagogues, apartment or nursing home, which has a Sabbath elevator. He added that the Canadian Jewish leaders are not sure whether Eliyashiv only put names on these recommendations, or formulate its own rules.
"If true, it would be burdensome," Bulka said. "The problem is still not clear if he says something to its reputation."

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