Can a person who has no health issues make use of a shabbos elevator?

  • 3
    See also this question about escalators, whose answers' sources could probably shed light on this question.
    – Isaac Moses
    Dec 13 '12 at 22:26
  • There is literally an entire book on the subject by R. Levi Yitzchak Halpern. See here and here May 19 '16 at 6:47

There are many moving parts to this question. Even if it is permitted to use a "Shabbos Elevator" which has everything in place technologically to override the weighing system, electronic eye, etc., there is a very real and common issue that a routine repair to the elevator can remove the mechanisms which made this elevator useable for Shabbos.

Returning to your question, assuming everything is checked before Shabbos, Rabbi Broyde and Rabbi Jachter conclude, "While it is true that some halachic authorities permit one to use an elevator both for ascent and descent, it is clearly better to avoid putting onself in a situation where one will need to routinely rely on lenient opinions." See here for another beautifully comprehensive explanation shared by Zomet Institute.


Rav Moshe Mordechai Karp writes in Hilchos Shabbas BeShabbas (volume 3, page 245) that "all the Gedolei Yisrael" have forbidden it. This is in reference to an injunction issued by Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, Rav Nissim Karelitz, Rav Chaim Kanievsky, and Rav Shmuel HaLevi Wosner forbidding the use of Shabbos elevators to those who are not sick. In particular, Rav Karp writes (in footnote 39):

בכרוז שיצא בחתימת כל גדולי ישראל בשנת תש"ע ובראשם מרן הגרי"ש אלישיב שליט"א אסרו השימוש במעליות שבת בין בעלייה בין בירידה ועיקר טעמם שבמעליות של זמנינו ובהתקדמות הטכנולוגיה בזמנינו רבו השאלות והפעולות הנגרמות ע"י ירידת ועליית המעלית וגם יש בכך למיגדר מילתא בדבר הפרוץ לרבים משום זילותא דשבת וביד גדולי הדור לגדור גדר לרבים כמ"ש חז"ל בקעה מצא וגדר בה גדר ואין לסור מדבריהם ומ"מ בשימוש בו לחולה וכדו' ע"י גוי יש לשאול לחכם.

  • 1
    I added in more detail for this answer, based on examining Rav Karp's sefer inside. I'm not sure it's a helpful answer, as it only presents one side, without much reasoning, but I wasn't about to flesh it out now.
    – magicker72
    Aug 3 at 0:37

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