Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
The Schmooze

Heath Ministry Allocates Shekels to Solve Problem of Electronic Doors

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.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.