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Sep 30, 2009

Shabbos Elevators or Elevators on Shabbos

A lot of bloggers and columnists have been writing about the recent psak of a number of rabbonim against using Shabbos elevators. Because so many have written about it, I saw no point in writing as well, just to say the same thing. But I now have a couple of points to make. I will keep it brief.

A couple of points:
  1. The psak forbidding shabbos elevators talks about new technological implements that are problematic. Assuming the psak is real and is to be followed (not a good assumption, but let's just make it anyway) people who are installing new elevators will be the ones having the problem, not people who already have the elevators installed from before the inclusion of the new "technological advancements". Everyone worried about people who already have and use elevators need not worry - just because elevator q is prohibited because of how it works, does not mean elevator n is also suddenly assur. if it was considered ok because of how it works, that "certification" remains in place.
  2. I saw in one article, I think it was in Yisrael Hayom, discussing the elevator issue a point I did not see made anywhere else, and I want to mention it. It was discussing the suggestion that Rav Elyashiv did not want to sign the psak, but was pressured to do so. I think the article was quoting Rav Rozen from Machon Tzomet, who said that Rav Elyashiv did not really want to sign on it, but was pressured to. That is why he very carefully included his own text in which he said "Elevators on shabbos" are prohibited, rather than saying "Shabbos elevators" are prohibited. A nuance, but for a rav who is careful with every word (as most are) and the wording of his psakim, it makes all the difference.

12 comments:

  1. The conspicuous use of the word "machon" in the psak and the fact that they never once consulted Tzomet during any of their "research" make me think this is more about dissing Tzomet than anything resembling an intellectually honest psak halacha. This is just another dirty political gambit. It's a shame that R' Elyashiv didn't have the guts to actually stand up for the Torah and real halacha and refuse to sign this, rather than playing a sneaky semantic game.

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  2. This is just sad. If true, then psakim from Rav Elyashiv no longer need be listened to.

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  3. Anon, No one ever needs to listen to any of Rav Elyashiv's psakim only your LOR who may at his discretion follow Rav Elyashiv, any other senior Rav or his own opinion.

    However, he can only follow Rav Elyashiv if he knows what he holds which is generally impossible.

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  4. DJ, that's essentially my point. If this is true, it means even if the LOR verifies that R' Elyashiv has signed a psak/kol korei, he still can't pasken like it because perhaps, as in this case, the actual meaning is the opposite of what the test implies.

    However, there is no way to be certain that this is always true. It could mean exactly what it seems to mean. So, all of these will have to be considered irrelevant.

    This could open up fresh ground for the kolleleit, who can spend their days being medayek in R' Elyashiv's signature on Kol Korehs. Lots of room for "chiddushim".

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  5. On a serious note, even my LOR doesn't need to listen to R' Elyashiv.

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  6. Anon, The LOR couldn't just verify the "signed psak/kol korei". He would need a detailed Tshuva in order to implement it.

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  7. That's exactly my point. And since no such detailed teshiva exists for any of these recent psakim...

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  8. There are ways to verify what RYSE holds. You need to get in touch with one of his talmidim and they can verify it for you. Not the "mafia" type talmidim, the real talmidim, rabonim of differen schunos around yerushalaim, or his SIL rav Zilberstein from BB.

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  9. The simplest solution of all lies with Misrad Habinui Veshikum. All they need to do is to zone all new Charedi neighborhoods to include only buildings of 10, 15, and 20 stories.

    Mark

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  10. I'm not sure if I recall correctly, but is R' Elyashiv the same Rav that was clearly being browbeaten into saying things that he didn't quite want to say in a recent video? (and who also might have appeared to perhaps be of declining mental health)

    Mark

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  11. Mark - good solution. that will get shabbos elevators approved very quickly!

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  12. I don't mean to sound disrespectful, but I'd have a hard time following a Psak from any Rav who lets people bully him into signing his name on something he may not agree with.

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