Ask the Rabbi

  • Shabbat and Holidays
  • Electricity on Shabbat

motion detector on Shabbat


Rabbi Elchanan Lewis

Cheshvan 15, 5769
Dear Rabbi, I live in a rented flat in a house which has a motion detector infront of the entrance door. When coming home late on Shabbat or on holidays I obviously cause it to turn the light on. What am I supposed to do if there is no way to trick the motion detector, nor another way to the flat and if I can’t convince the responsible people to take the motion detector down and if moving flats will incur big financial loses? Until now I always closed my eyes when approaching the door in order not to derive any benefit from the light. Is this sufficient?
Since you have no interest in that light turning on and you just walk as you would normally home, you can walk in and out regardless of the sensor, therefore it is unnecessary to close your eyes. [Rav Shmuel Wosner, Tchumin 23 p.277].
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