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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Have you ever heard of "The Shabbat Elevator"?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (13718points) October 9th, 2018 I learned something new today.

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23 Answers

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Adagio's avatar

Fascinating Red Deer Guy, that was something I never knew.

MrGrimm888's avatar

People are idiots…

JLeslie's avatar

I just talked about it on a Q a day or two ago. The Q was about kids pushing every button in an elevator, which makes it stop on every floor.

I’ll just repeat what I wrote there. My sister’s apartment building has a Shabbat elevator, and so do most hospitals in NYC.

I operated an elevator for Shabbas at Boca Raton Resort over some holiday where a lot of orthodox Jews were at the hotel. I don’t remember which holiday it was. Or, it might have been the no work days for Passover.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Hospitals have them? I hope they make the Jewish people pay more for everything.

The entire premise is flawed. If they got to the elevator, they undoubtedly used technology all the way there. It’s unavoidable.
How can they even walk around in a building with lights, or air conditioning. The AC is something that they can’t avoid. Their body heat helps make the thermostat turn on the AC. The concept is ridiculous…

JLeslie's avatar

@MrGrimm888 No! Orthodox Jews leave their relatives in the hospital the whole weekend if they don’t get discharged early enough on Friday to get home. Doctors go along with it. Over the weekend the family doesn’t visit if they didn’t stay over night in the hospital, because they won’t ride in cars or on the subway to get to the hospital.

It’s only one elevator that is stopping at every floor, the other floors are functioning normally. It’s not all hospitals, but definitely the Jewish ones, and some of the others.

My sister’s apartment is in China Town, lol, but a lot of Jews live in it, so it has the elevator. Each tower has two elevators, one that stops at every floor on Shabbas and one that is normal.

NYC is 12% Jewish I think. It’s a lot of people. I don’t know what percentage of those people are observant. Probably not very high.

It is crazy the extremes they go to, but in NYC it is catered to.

JLeslie's avatar

I found this article. Even one of Trump’s buildings (maybe more than one) has a Shabbas elevator.

I was trying to google to find a reference for all the Shabbos elevators in NYC. I couldn’t find one.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I still think the concept is ridiculous…

JLeslie's avatar

^^It’s annoying and ridiculous and very nice all at the same time. If you spend time around the observant Jewish people who follow these ridiculous rules, especially Shabbas rules, there is almost always a very nice calm and patience about them, and a sense of humor too.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I didn’t mean to be offensive. I guess I haven’t really known many people who strictly adhere to the rules of the Jewish faith…

JLeslie's avatar

I’m not offended.

zenvelo's avatar

It isn’t just the Shabbos elevator. There is also the eruv.

Observant Jews do not carry anything out of the home on the sabbath, no keys, no stroller, no babies, no tissues. But the Law allows for a private enclosure to be considered an extension of the home, this enclosure is know as the eruv.

Hasidic neighborhoods in New York are delineated as Eruv by the placement of string on telephone or light poles all around the neighborhood. The string is checked each week by rabbis to make sure the neighborhood is intact.

JLeslie's avatar

Yeah, a friend of mine plays tennis on Saturday with another lawyer in his firm, and the other guy is observant. My friend has to carry the guy’s tennis racket to the court, but he’ll play tennis. Lol. It’s crazy.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Good grief. I’m out. I have nothing to contribute.

JLeslie's avatar

Watch the movie Religulous by Bill Maher if you want to see all the ridiculous stuff people do to satisfy the customs and laws of their religion. The Catholics are the sanest ones in the movie in my opinion. The movie was a little slow moving for me, but I didn’t mind sitting through it. Some funny parts for sure. I love in the beginning when he tells the story of finding out his mother is Jewish. He also talks to some politicians, you see part of that in the trailer.

Here: watch the trailer:

elbanditoroso's avatar

I’m Jewish and I think the concept is ridiculous. Look at the book (that I referenced in my first post) – it is fascinating in that it lays out these incredibly arcane workarounds in the name of adherence to Jewish law.

But note – this sort of chicanery is not followed by all Jews – just the super religious ones.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I had a friend that worked at a resort in New York as a Shabbat goy (a non-Jew who performs certain types of work which Jewish religious law prohibits the Jew from doing on the Sabbath.

JLeslie's avatar

Not followed by most Jews. I think there are about 20% of Jews who identify orthodox.

Maybe some of the conservative Jews follow some of the Sabbath rules, I know many of them don’t, but I don’t know the percentages.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The time this guy worked as a Shabbat goy was in the 1960’s in the Catskills. These were high dollar Orthodox.

JLeslie's avatar

I used to go to the Catskills as a kid in the summer in the 70’s. My family wasn’t high dollar, but it was very common for Jews in NYC or the suburbs close in, to vacation in the Catskills. Some Italians did it too.

I don’t know the stats now, but back 30 40 years ago 50% of “whites” in NYC were Jewish. I think that stat was whites not Hispanic. So, every time you met a white person, 1 in 2 chance they were Jewish.

Where I used to stay in the Catskills I don’t remember anyone being orthodox, but it wouldn’t surprise me if some of the people followed the traditions of the sabbath. I would have been totally unaware. The thing is I doubt it was kosher kitchens at the resort where I stayed. Might have been though.

Where I live now in FL there is a Borscht Belt club, and they have different entertainment every month. It was the nickname for the Catskills.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

That is great to hear “Catskills” .

JLeslie's avatar

^^A few years ago I stayed at Mohonk Mountain House in the Catskills on the recommendation of Gail and Janbb. I wanted to take my husband up there. It smelled like childhood summers, and the trails there were incredible. The mountain ridges were fabulous, and actually it was much more scenic than where I used to stay.

The Catskills lodging went kind of down hill for years except for some choice spots, but it’s supposed to go through a revival. Someone I know was supposed to be building a new hotel in the Catskills, I don’t know what happened with it.

Here’s the link for Mohonk for anyone interested.

Qav's avatar

My gas kitchen stove is a Shabbat stove. It can be set for the oven to turn on before sunset and stay on at a low temperature through a set time on Sabbath. Food can be added to warm up or be removed for eating throughout the hours it stays on. I never use this feature, however: I just don’t cook on Sabbath.

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