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Video-cameras on Shabes and Yom Tov


Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Tammuz 6, 5773
Dear Rabbi I want to put some viedeo-cameras in front of my builiding. they should work 24/7 and recording 24/7. Do I have a problem with Shabes and Yom Tov? what could be the halachic issues? thank you in advance and kol tuv
There are indeed a few issues. One is the activation on Shabbat or Yom tov , which you say is solved since it will operate 24/7. Secondly, is the issue of passing by the camera on Shabbat or Yom tov which causes some functions in the camera, however it does not create a "deoraita" problem since no new circuits are being created,(Bonehבונה) there are no bulbs with a filament in them (thus no" havara"הבערה). Therefore there is an issur derabanan, but since the passersby do not care about it(פסיק רישיה דלא איכפת ליה) ,it is allowed on Shabbat where there is a need such as security which I assume is the case here. In regard to the recording, Rabbi Rozen of the Tzomet institute had corresponded on this issue with Rav Shlomo Zalman Oirbach, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, and Rabbi Yehoshua Nuewirth all of blessed memory (Rabbi Yehoshua Nuewirth, the author of Shemirat Kehilchata, passed away this week ) all said that the storing of the picture is not considered "Kotev" . You may therefore use the camera on Shabbat and Yom tov with the reservation that nobody intentionally motions to the camera for someone to see. Kol Tuv שו"ת שבט הלוי חלק י סימן ס , שו"ת במראה הבזק , חלק ג לד) הנה לא ינום ולא יישן שומר ישראל
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