Electricity and Shabbat

The Use of Electrical and Electronic Devices on Shabbat was voted on and approved by the CJLS on May 31, 2012. In it I provided an overview of the laws of Shabbat, focusing on the specific issues posed by contemporary electrical appliances and digital devices. I also considered broader Jewish values such as the demands of health, dignity, conservation, and spiritual joy in arriving at a nuanced set of conclusions. Turning to the mainstream media, I contributed a related article called “Seeing God in Other’s Faces” to The New York Times feature, “Room for Debate,” and also participated in The Atlantic Online’s article, “People of the E-book?” The NY Jewish Week published an interview with me on this subject in August 2012. The Washington Post referred to the controversy over using digital devices in an article by Michelle Boorstein published in September, 2013. New York Times writer Jennifer Medina quoted me on this subject in her April 14, 2014 article about the use of digital Hagadot and other apps on Passover, “A Question for Seder: What Role for Screens?”