Question about Shabbat...

Discussion in 'Judaism' started by Mason, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. Mason

    Mason Chin Up =)

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    I read this on Judaism 101:
    This made me wonder,.. just how do Jews cope on the night of Shabbat? If they can't light a Fire (does that include a candle?) and can't turn on the lights, how are they meant to cook, entertain themselves or move around the house safely?

    ^_^ ?
     
  2. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    Mason,

    for the traditional observance of Shabbat electricity is allowed to be left running. It's not shut off. So cooking is pre-prepared, but could be left on a very low heat that won't cook the food. Lights are okay to be on, and even on a timer, so they'll shut off on their own later on.

    Originally, it is probably that all fires were extinguished, but the rabbis, following change in direction by Ezra the scribe, wanted to transform Shabbat into a day of joy. So they found a loophole that allowed for the leaving of fire to be left burning if it was lit before Shabbat started. This is why Jews historically light candles before Shabbat. It was done so there would be light in the house. Now it's done to mark sacred time and for other reasons.

    Dauer
     
  3. Mason

    Mason Chin Up =)

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    Well, Thanks for answering my question Dauer ^_^
    So its ok to get a timer to turn the lights off,.. what about on, or are they left on? is there a difference?
     
  4. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    Nevermind what I said about Ezra. I checked my notes and it looks like it was more of a gradual change in the type of holiday it was. Like if you look at Jeremiah 17 you'll get one view, but Ex 16 gives another, and Deut 5:12-15 gives another, and Ex 31 gives another, each one distinct.

    Dauer

    edit: Can't turn them on yourself. Can leave them on. Can't turn them off either. Can have a timer that will do it without hhuman involvement.
     
  5. Faustus

    Faustus Jew In Progress

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    You're also not allowed to ask someone to turn them on for you; having a "Shabbos goy" who comes by and "independently" turns on the lights and such (that is, someone with whom you made arrangements prior to Shabbat), that's apparently okay, going by the letter of the law. I know virtually no one who observes Shabbat traditionally and has someone coming by to mess with their lights and stuff, though.
     
  6. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    a timeswitch or a timer is usually sufficient for most people's requirements. the "shabbos goy" (of which i do not really approve) is only for emergencies - not real emergencies, i hasten to add, just inconvenient ones. for real emergencies with danger to life you have to break shabbat.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  7. Faustus

    Faustus Jew In Progress

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    "Shabbos goyim" really aren't in the spirit of keeping Shabbat, IMHO, but I'm not shomer Shabbos, so I guess it's not really my concern. Although I've had to be the Shabbos goy at my campus' Chabad house a couple of times when the power went out and someone had to help light candles in stuff. I've never seen the rabbi and his wife so happy to see me. Heh.
     

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