On a time switch (timer), there are generally two options: one which will ignore the time switch and let the current flow, and one which activates the timer.

In the case where the switch is on the first option and the current flows, is it permitted (on Shabbos) to move the button to activate the timer switch if at this time the appliance is turned on?

  • 1
    A discussion is here torahmusings.com/2010/09/timers-on-shabbat-and-yom-tov
    – rosends
    Jun 27, 2019 at 12:29
  • I tried to clarify your question. Still you don't describe enough of the reality. On time switches I have, between the two positions one goes through neutral and a lamp plugged in would switch off for a small amount of time. Are you describing a different reality?
    – mbloch
    Jul 28, 2019 at 7:30
  • The Shmiras Shabbos Kehilchoso allows this under certain conditions. (E.g. it's mechanical.) Jul 28, 2019 at 8:16

1 Answer 1


It seems to me that the question is very much alike the known discussion about whether it is permitted to open the refrigerator on Shabbat, when the majority of the possekim allow you to open the refrigerator while it is turned on. If the timer is turned off, and it will turn on in some time, if the switch is mechanical it seems to me like it is permissible, as you are making a melacha that would happen, no to happen (even more than the refrigerator, as yoou are not only delaying the action, but making it not happen at all). Electronic timers or similar are not included on the logic. I am not sure about making it turning ON, as grama being permited or prohibited needs more details about the actual case than provided by you.

Check [https://www.zomet.org.il/eng/?CategoryID=199&ArticleID=69] and https://oukosher.org/content/uploads/2019/01/Using-Refrigerators-on-Shabbos.pdf for references.

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