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Rabbinic guide to help your fridge pass the Shabbat test

The Federation of Synagogues has produced an online guide, detailing issues to watch out for when buying electronic household items

    Is your oven Shabbat compliant? How about that gleaming new fridge or your hi-tech freezer?

    For religious Jews worried about the halachic status of their household items over the day of rest, help is now at hand. The Federation of Synagogues has produced an online guide, detailing issues to watch out for.

    FedTech is intended to “offer guidance to the kosher consumer in choosing new appliances which will be compatible with the needs of the Torah-observant Jewish householder”.

    New technology may have made appliances more efficient, but it has complicated the business of keeping them Shabbat-friendly. The use of features such as LED lights or hidden door switches has removed the possibility of simply removing a light bulb or loosening a door spring to ensure a device does not breach halachah.

    Even items installed with a special “Sabbath mode” may not do the job, the guide warns.

    Rabbi Yisroel Moshe Guttentag, head of the FedTech initiative, said that it had become clear from the increasing number of questions received from Federation members that an educational resource was necessary.

    “Many European manufacturers are now offering Sabbath-friendly functions; however, since this is not always as a result of rabbinic input, one needs to seek rabbinic advice when deciding how to use them,” he said.

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