Ask the rabbi

  • Shabbat and Holidays
  • Electricity on Shabbat

Remote control for a tv


Rabbi Elchanan Lewis

9 Nisan 5766
What is the status of a remote control for a tv set on shabbat? Can one use it to change channnel and/or adjust volume on tv for a sick person who is in danger on shabbat or for a pscyhiatric patient undergoing intense debliltatiing anxiety?
A TV remote control is Muktze on Shabbat as can’t be moved. The operation of the remote control involves breaking Shabbat and thus prohibited. One is allowed and actually must, if needed, to break Shabbat in order to save another persons life. In your cases above, is turning on a TV set on Shabbat save the patients life? I doubt. A doctor should really comment on this issue but as I said I find it hard to believe that these patients need the TV on Shabbat to survive…
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