Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Introducing The Shabbos App

The "Shabbos App" may "lighten" the issur to a grama on a d'rabbanan of kosev, which would be muttar l'tzorech choleh etc. But not to tell someone why you are late for kiddush. Moreover, it is a nevalah b'reshus haTorah as defined by the Ramban on the mitzvah of Kedoshim Teheyu. As Kedushas Shabbos is an integral halachic and hashkafic component of Shabbos, it is both halachically and hashkafically objectionable.

The comment by the develepor who said "Shabbos will look the way Hashem wants it to look" is absurd. We are responsible for maintaining the spirit of Shabbos. As I noted in an "ancient" Mail Jewish conversation:

From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Tue, 2 Nov 93 19:45:46 -0500
Subject: Bicycles on Shabbos and Related Issues

I don't wish to comment on the precise Halachic details of bicycles on
Shabbos, rather I would like to use this issue to make a related point.
There is a "reductionist" tendency in some Halachic circles, albeit not
necssarily this one, but others, which is, basically: "If you cannot
prove to me what precise definition of pre-established melacha/issur,
etc. this fits into, it must automatically be permissible. In this
regard it is important to note what the Chazon Ish zt'l says about
umbrellas on Shabbos.

        In Orach Chaim 52:6 the Chazon Ish takes issue with the
conventional wisdom, the Noda b'Yehuda, who bans umbrellas on Shabbos as
temporary tents (ohel). Rather, he says, the opening of an umbrella is
similar to "fixing" (tikkun mana), but even that is not a true
comparison. He goes on to state that the reason one is forbidden to use
an umbrella on Shabbos (even where there is an eruv) is because:

        "It is a very public workaday act (avsha milsa / uvda d'chol)
        and causes a breach in the sanctity of Shabbos... The
        determination of which public acts descrate the Shabbos to too
        great an extent is something that is given over to the sages [of
        each generation, obviously - there were no umbrellas, much less
        a prohibition at the time of Chazal] to erect fences in places
        of possible breaches, and such public matters of Shabbos
        sanctity are more severe than any private specific prohibitons,
        because this is a fence for the entire nation for all times.

My free translation. I always understood the severity of a Jew's opening
his store on Shabbos, despite the relative light nature of the ban on
business transactions on Shabbos, as related to the Chazon Ish's
fundamental concept.


  1. Does something every stop being a weekday activity?

    For instance, in regard to the umbrella statement of the Chazon Ish - today, with personal cars and modern public transportation, the only time most people ever need to use an umbrella would be on Shabbos when they need to walk wherever they go.

  2. If there is such a process it would have to proceed along the lines suggested by Reb Moshe, Igros Moshe OC 2:100 see


  4. I believe that the great philosopher Aaron Berger once stated that the Jews are the only nation that was ever able how to figure out how to make a device (Eruv) which allows one to carry on Shabbos.

  5. Even assuming that their technological "solutions" eliminate any and all problems with using the phones on shabbos, isn't it impossible to pick them up on shabbos? that is, isn't an item that is expensive (hundreds of dollars if you don't get it as a promotion from a cellular carrier) and that the owner is careful not to use for anything other than its intended purpose (no one uses a smartphone to hammer in a nail or to prop up a table with a short leg, and most people seem to keep them inside elaborate protective cases all the time) muktzeh irrespective of its function?

  6. The "Shabbos App", a stupid prank by stupid people.

  7. I don't see how it could be Muktzeh Machmas Chesron Kis. The whole yesod of MMCK is kovei'a lo makom. The very nature of a cell phone is that it has no such kevi'as makom. It would be no different than a very expensive wristwatch.