Does anyone have any sources for what the halacha is of running a home security CCTV system with the monitor on over Shabbos in a place where it is easily visible within the house? I'm specifically interested if anyone discusses the problem of having benefit over Shabbos from being picked up on the camera - eg. for someone to open the door for you.

1 Answer 1


The Star-K have got a pretty definitive rundown here with sources.

It discusses whether or not pictures captured on a monitor come under the banner of the melocho of Kesiva - writing, and provides 5 reasons why it would not be kesiva mideoraisa.

After a great deal of discussion - see there for more, the concluding paragraph reads:

Ideally, a Jew should not leave a video camera on during Shabbos. If it is necessary to leave it on for security reasons, Rav Heinemann paskens that he should turn off the monitor and make sure that no noticeable changes occur during Shabbos. If no change that can be detected by the five human senses occurs, it is not considered a melacha on Shabbos. However, it is not sufficient to merely cover the monitor, or conceal any noticeable change in a similar fashion.

  • Very interesting. I've been in shuls with spotlessly high halachic standards that operate CCTV. Bli neder I'll try and speak to the Rabbonim and see what they rely on
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Dec 4, 2023 at 16:33
  • @rabbikaii probably those shuls consider themselves more of a risk and need higher level security (how to quantify a given shul or house's risk level is very subjective)
    – Double AA
    Dec 4, 2023 at 16:40
  • @DoubleAA highly likely the case, but the article linked doesn't mention anything to do with risk or pikuach nefesh etc
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Dec 4, 2023 at 16:52

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