Sunday, May 27, 2012
The Jews are required to abstain from operating electric switches on the Sabbath. Since this includes elevator buttons, a special mode has been created for elevators so that Jews can continue using them even without ever touching a button. The elevators are designed to work by opening and closing on every single floor. This is a very time-consuming method, but the religious Jews will stand and wait until the elevator reaches their floor. They will step on, never touch a button, and wait for the elevator to open and close its doors on every floor until it has reached their desired stop. Then, they simply walk off.
I took the picture for this post in our very own apartment building. The elevator on the left side is the one that is used for Sabbath. The one on the right works normally, seven days a week.
I'll bet you are wondering how many people here actually observe this law. Well, I think you would be surprised at this elevator's popularity. Just put it this way... there is an elevator like this in nearly every multiple-story building in Israel!
Fascinating, isn't it?