Feb 17, 2011

Interesting Psak: Shutting Car Alarms On Shabbos

To begin, I feel it is important to mention that this psak was given in a b'dieved situation - after the fact.

Rav Yuval Cherlo was asked by a person who wanted to know if he did the right or wrong thing when his car alarm went off on a Friday night at 2 AM and they didnt hear it, the police came having been called by a disturbed neighbor. The police told them to shut the alarm, but they said they cannot as it is Shabbos. The police suggested they give over the keys and the code to the car, and they the police would shut it off. The person then handed over the keys and said "do what you want".

The person then asked a two part question:

  1. in retrospect was that the right or wrong thing to do?
  2. in the future, if it should happen again, if there is no non-jew around to enlist his services, would he be able to shut it off right away himself to prevent the Jewish neighbor from calling the police?
Rav Cherlo responded that the question is a complicated one. As it involves damage being done to others by this person, one could not prevent him from taking the keys himself and shutting off the alarm, especially in light of the fact that according to many opinions the issues of electricity are not issurei d'oraisa. Furthermore, we are obligated to try and do things in the correct way, b'hetter, meaning if no non-Jew is available it would be better to shut it off using a shinui or a gramma, or any other possible way.

From a halachic perspective, we have here the serious issur of preventing others from sleeping (which, Rav Cherlo says, is not "gezel" as is commonly thought but is an issue of damages) against the issur d'rabbanan (of handling electricity), and in such a case, this is the proper way to respond. (source: YPT)

Seems pretty radical to me, but the logic makes sense. I definitely would have liked that to be the accepted psak when my neighbors car alarm went off not too long ago, and also that of a Mehadrin bus that was parked at the end of my block a little while back...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...