Skip to comments.Orthodox Jewish Couple Imprisoned By Superstition, Blames Motion-Sensing Light Instead
Posted on 07/19/2009 2:21:46 PM PDT by MyTwoCopperCoins
Was that headline mean? I'm sorry, but the silliness of this story, which centers around one couple's quest to annoy/sue the hell out of their entire apartment building, warranted it. The ridiculous story unfolds like this:
On Saturdays, Dr. Dena Coleman and her husband Gordon claim they are imprisoned in their condo because the landlord went and installed a motion-sensing security light to save energy and money. As Orthodox Jews, they say triggering the light violates a Sabbath rule, so they sued. Which rule? The Promethean one:
[The couple] claim they cannot leave their holiday flat on the Sabbath because when they do they automatically trigger the light in the communal hallway - contravening a religious ban on turning on electrical items from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday because it constitutes 'creating fire'. They say their human rights are being breached and are now suing the flats' management company - their neighbours - for failing to accommodate their religion.
Of the 35 other owners in the complex, not a single one of them supports the Colemans' lawsuit or their suggested fix, which entails forcing the management company to install a custom override switch. Oh, and management and the other tenants must pay back all the legal costs too.
Adding insult to injury is the fact that this is just the couple's holiday flat.
The case is scheduled for later this year. May the management install even more motion-sensing lights in that span.
[Read full: Daily Mail, UK]
Why would Orthodox Jews go out after dark on the Sabbath anyway? They would have to walk everywhere and then there are traffic signals with pedestrian lights that have to be activated.
Methinks this is a couple who are litiginous. If they are devout then keeping the Sabbath is more important than a hallway light. I suspect they are not devout Orthodox Jews.
David Duke freelances for the _Daily Mail_? Who knew?
It’s very debatable if just triggering a motion sensor is forbidden.
“The question is this: someone does something on Shabbat which is, in itself, permitted—like dragging a chair along the earth. All he intends to do is to move the chair. But while he is doing so he may be making a furrow in the ground. And making a furrow is forbidden on Shabbat, either as a subsidiary case of building or of plowing, two of the categories of forbidden labor.”
Let them hang a rope ladder from a window, they won’t have to pass a light sensor that way!
Gee, I thought orthodox Jews were not supposed to move more then 200 feet from their residence on the Sabbath. It hardly seems the light makes much difference.
Really makes one want to become Jewish, doesn’t it? And these are God’s “chosen people”?
What kind of light was in place before the motion sensing light?
Is this inside a hallway or on the exterior of the building?
"Fire" is rapid oxidation that emits heat and light. The filament is, by design, sealed within a low-pressure, inert atmosphere specifically to prevent oxidation. Since oxidation cannot occur, "fire" cannot occur.
Turning on an incandescent lamp (or exciting a fluorescent phosphor) IS NOT "creating 'fire'".
Actually their bigger problem is treating the mind-burps of a bunch of technically-ignorant archaic geezers sitting around trying to dream up "fences to protect the Law" as if their pronouncements themselves are Divine Law -- when they are not...
Besides, the #1 Expert on the Law said, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." (Mark 2:27)
The Colemans lose (in more ways than one...)
The filament isn’t what’s being discussed; the chance of a spark igniting a very small fire on the circuit (that would extinguish almost immediately) is. Yes, it’s that complicated. That’s why an orthodox jewish couple probably should be on Mea Shearim, and not messing around in England, at least not on Shabbat.
“They say their human rights are being breached...”
Give me a break.
Please further argue that case if the Spirit moves you so to do.
But isn't the very idea of "Sabbath" contingent on some kind of meaningful interaction/intersection (communication) between God and man? How do you justify separating the "partners" of this "discourse?"
No it doesn't. Yes they ARE.
I try to perceive them as exemplary. Are we not nitpicking rationalizing sneaky deceptive creatures? One and all?
Who would have thunk of dragging a chair to plow a field. Yet before this law was formed, what would you bet there was a market for chair shaped plows?
I do not do so; quite the contrary.
I merely pointed out the fallacy (and danger) of interposing the fallible opinions of men (no matter how "wise") as authoritative "legislators" between the "partners".
Apologies! Didn’t intend to exclude you...
There are always going to be these quirky things in religion.
Britain has a lot to worry about with encroaching take over of Islam and the use of such to stifle such human rights as free speech and thought; e.g., Michael Savage, and a Brit paper is bellyaching over this?
Aren't there many funny things that go through courts anyway?
Anti-Semites are smashing Jews faces in in subways and double deckers in Britain and I should care about this? I don't think so and neither should Britain so much!
And this is exactly what most Orthodox Jews do, and have done, for generations. The reason for being out after dark on the Sabbath is quite simple. Remember that according to the bible, a day begins at sundown (from Genesis), so the Sabbath actually begins at sundown on Friday night. I used to walk home with my Grandfather from Shull every Friday night (after dark) and would walk to services again the following morning. And sometimes it's nice to just take an evening walk.
Traffic signals wouldn't be such a big deal, since they're generally on timers.
But I agree, these are probably people looking for a payoff. I think that there would be a way to do what they want without going to court. Like mixing timers and motion detectors.
Thank you, Mark, for your reply. You told me something I didn’t know.
From what you’ve said, walking about after dark is acceptable if the lights are already on, or if someone else is “making the fire” [turning the lights on]. Correct? If that is the case this couple could ask the apartment management to keep the hall lights burning on their floor all Sabbath night. I’m sure it could be arranged. A lawsuit seems really silly when alternatives are available.
Since I live in the countryside without street lights, after sundown it is pitch black when moonless and very difficult to get around outside without a flashlight. I suppose those would violate the Sabbath rule about making a fire, too.
But what I meant was that there could be a timer/motion sensor combination so that the lights were on, say until midnight, and then afterwards, it goes to motion sensor. Simple fix, no court costs! That's why I agree that it's probably for a big score.
Regarding your situation, what about those solar powered "garden lights" that have a small solar panel that charges a battery, and an electric eye, so that the light comes on automatically when it gets dark? This might be of some use at least on your own property. For my Grandfather, that wasn't an issue, since there were street lights.
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