The Shmooze

Heath Ministry Allocates Shekels to Solve Problem of Electronic Doors

By Nathan Jeffay

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At the entrances to Israeli hospitals, like public buildings across the world, there are often electronic doors which open when the sensor is set off. No problem – except for observant Jews on the Sabbath, as operating the doors is deemed Sabbath transgression.

The Haredi newspaper Yated Ne’eman reports that the Health Ministry, which is controlled by the Haredi United Torah Judaism party, has “decided to allocate hundreds of thousands of shekels” to solve the problem. It is going to “install systems with a timer designed to leave electronic doors open during Sabbath.”

In Jewish mythology there is the logic of Chelm, the town where stupidity ruled. Well it seems that there’s a Chelm contingency at the Health Ministry. Why on earth does it need to spend state money installing timers, when every electronic device can be switched off? Any hospital orderly could open the doors and then isolate the power supply that closes them before Sabbath.

Or if they are insisting on a high-tech solution here’s one – it’s called a Non Electronically Dependent Door With Operating Device. Oh yes, we used to just call it a door with a handle.


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