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Thread: Orthodox Family Feels Trapped on Shabbat

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn View Post
    While I'm Jewish by heritage, I don't practice the faith. Partially because I'm an atheist, and partially because following the myriad rules and rituals of the Jewish faith is a royal pain. This is a good example. Shabbat lasts from a few minutes before sunset on Friday and runs until an hour after sunset on Saturday. That's about 25 hours, once per week.

    During this time, observant Jews are expected to follow additional rules such as observing prohibitions on 39 activities. Many of these activities are easy to avoid; I don't know when I last spent time "binding sheaves." Or even Googling "sheaves" to figure out how to properly bind them. Or working out I'm supposed to do with "sheaves" once they've been bound. But I digress...

    But one of the big ones is "kindling a fire." In this modern ago, most observant Jews consider electricity as a modern form of fire. After all, electrical sparks are a sort of fire. And heating the tungsten filament of a an incandescent light bulb is considered fire. Some Jewish people see observations of the laws as a necessary sacrifice of convenience. Others find clever ways around the laws. Some configure timers in advance. And for years, "Shabbat lamps" have been available, which are left on throughout the Sabbath (you can leave existing fires burning) - but the lamp has a physical light-blocking shutter that functions as a Sabbath-friendly off-switch. Skim the Wikipedia page for more on the subject.

    Where it gets complicated* is when you have multiple families living in an apartment building, and not all of them observe the Sabbath. For example, if you're a practicing Jew on the 18th floor of your apartment building, there's no pushing elevator buttons. Buildings with a high Jewish population sometimes put their elevators into "Sabbath mode," and the elevator will continuously ride up and down, stopping at every floor.

    ================

    So onto the subject ... The plight of the family described in this article. They live in an Atlantic City condominium with a very low Jewish population. They consider themselves imprisoned in their apartment for 25 hours each day, because building management installed motion-detecting light switches in the hallways. If they leave their apartment, they'll trip the motion sensor, and turn on a light (kindling a fire).

    Link to article

    ================

    Those who know me probably know my feeling on this. They ARE trapped. But if you're practicing your religious faith to the extent that it makes you unhappy, then you need to work it out with your god. If you're happier staying in your apartment for 25 hours than you are for effectively violating one of the rules, then take whichever course of action makes you happiest.

    But you don't get to complain about it afterwards.

    BTW, if Ian joins, and clarifies or contradicts anything I've said about how Jewish people observe the Sabbath, his understanding is way better than mine on this subject.


    * What, you thought it was already complicated? You have no idea...
    I thought Jews didn't have hell? What happens if you break a rule?
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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueneck View Post
    I thought Jews didn't have hell? What happens if you break a rule?
    Ms Blueneck,

    You break your mother's heart. You want that the woman that brought you into the world and lives her life only for you should die of a broken heart?

  3. #33
    Veteran Member Micro Machines Champion, Race Against Time Champion Tedminator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by labrea View Post
    I thought that rule was suspended some time ago.
    eh? That'd be news to me. and a bit of a bummer if true.. Fish Frydays is one of the few rules from The RCC HQ that I like.


    Hmm ya know it would be easier to follow the FFF rule if the Vatican emails me some seafood restaurant coupons... you'd think they would take advantage of having a customer database of 1.2 billion people.
    Last edited by Tedminator; 13th July 2018 at 08:11 AM.
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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kallie Knoetze View Post
    Ms. Sassy,

    Because it wastes energy and kinda negates the purpose of the motion sensor lights.
    I understand, but this is community living. I don't think they rent? I think they own the condo, so they have a vote. And can get more votes. All of this is entirely dependent on the will of the community. BODs do not have the ultimate authority.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tedminator View Post
    eh? That'd be news to me. and a bit of a bummer if true.. Fish Frydays is one of the few rules from The RCC HQ that I like.


    Hmm ya know it would be easier to follow the FFF rule if the Vatican emails me some seafood restaurant coupons... you'd think they would take advantage of having a customer database of 1.2 billion.
    Ted you are so silly. The rule isn't about eating fish, it's avoiding meat. You can avoid meat w/o eating fish yanno.
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  6. #36
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn View Post
    While I'm Jewish by heritage, I don't practice the faith. Partially because I'm an atheist, and partially because following the myriad rules and rituals of the Jewish faith is a royal pain. This is a good example. Shabbat lasts from a few minutes before sunset on Friday and runs until an hour after sunset on Saturday. That's about 25 hours, once per week.

    During this time, observant Jews are expected to follow additional rules such as observing prohibitions on 39 activities. Many of these activities are easy to avoid; I don't know when I last spent time "binding sheaves." Or even Googling "sheaves" to figure out how to properly bind them. Or working out I'm supposed to do with "sheaves" once they've been bound. But I digress...

    But one of the big ones is "kindling a fire." In this modern ago, most observant Jews consider electricity as a modern form of fire. After all, electrical sparks are a sort of fire. And heating the tungsten filament of a an incandescent light bulb is considered fire. Some Jewish people see observations of the laws as a necessary sacrifice of convenience. Others find clever ways around the laws. Some configure timers in advance. And for years, "Shabbat lamps" have been available, which are left on throughout the Sabbath (you can leave existing fires burning) - but the lamp has a physical light-blocking shutter that functions as a Sabbath-friendly off-switch. Skim the Wikipedia page for more on the subject.

    Where it gets complicated* is when you have multiple families living in an apartment building, and not all of them observe the Sabbath. For example, if you're a practicing Jew on the 18th floor of your apartment building, there's no pushing elevator buttons. Buildings with a high Jewish population sometimes put their elevators into "Sabbath mode," and the elevator will continuously ride up and down, stopping at every floor.

    ================

    So onto the subject ... The plight of the family described in this article. They live in an Atlantic City condominium with a very low Jewish population. They consider themselves imprisoned in their apartment for 25 hours each day, because building management installed motion-detecting light switches in the hallways. If they leave their apartment, they'll trip the motion sensor, and turn on a light (kindling a fire).

    Link to article

    ================

    Those who know me probably know my feeling on this. They ARE trapped. But if you're practicing your religious faith to the extent that it makes you unhappy, then you need to work it out with your god. If you're happier staying in your apartment for 25 hours than you are for effectively violating one of the rules, then take whichever course of action makes you happiest.

    But you don't get to complain about it afterwards.

    BTW, if Ian joins, and clarifies or contradicts anything I've said about how Jewish people observe the Sabbath, his understanding is way better than mine on this subject.


    * What, you thought it was already complicated? You have no idea...
    Not judging this family. Maybe they are fetishizing the rules. Maybe crazy Dad has his family under his thumb like this. Maybe Mom has a beef with her condo board and is using religion to batter them.

    Could be anything. And this is certainly not plainly abusive, compared to some Hasidic schools that fail to teach children to read and write in English, whilst accepting taxpayer funds for education and flaunting the mandatory education laws.

    And worse. Jews are not saints. They commit every sin known to humanity, from time to time, including murder.

    But as a society that protects freedom of religion, I think we have to allow this family to live in whichever peculiar way they like UNLESS a child or vulnerable adult is at risk of harm.

    So, if the baby son has some breathing issues during sleep and needs a CPAC, but nobody will flip the on switch on Friday nights, the government can and should step in to whatever degree is necessary to protect that child from that harm.

    Just like all religions, 99% of rabbis would declare that turning on the breathing machine on Friday nights is permissible, because when God made the rules, he never intended babies would be neglected to death.

    However, just like any other religion, there are extremists. Cult leaders, etc. And in the case of Judaism, new converts who are way too dogmatic, people who love to Israel and get kosher fever, Jewish teenagers who get rigid about the rules to shame their parents, etc.

    Yanno. Like any other type of humans.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn View Post
    It's intentional as long as they know the switch exists. I installed motion-sensitive LED lights in the stairwell into our basement, pointed at the shelves of food next to the stairs. When I walk down those stairs to get a can of whatever, I'm doing so with the intent of tripping the LED lights.
    He creates a whole universe in seven days and has OCD about light switches? I never cease to be amazed at how little credit believers give their creators. Surely he's got bigger issues to tend to.

    And what about people on life support?
    Last edited by Blueneck; 13th July 2018 at 08:10 AM.
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  8. #38
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    There is a lot for me to respond to in this thread. However, the short version is that, if the situation is causing too many problems for them, then they should move rather than break Shabbat.

    I will respond to some individual posts when time permits. Hopefully before Shabbat prevents me from doing so for 25 hours.

  9. #39
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    That said, I don't understand how ANYONE can practice Catholicism. The fundamental flaws in this religion are unavoidable and incurable.

    People who say they are practicing Catholics are, IME, either treating the religion like a tribal ritual OR have an extreme disregard for the dogma. IOW, they are not at all spiritual but obeying this conspiracy of pedophiles is otherwise gratifying to them.

    And IMO, that is fucked up.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueneck View Post
    And what about people on life support?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pikuach_nefesh
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