Did Rabbi Moshe Feinstein hold that the ban on electricity use on Shabbos (where no other issur results) is a biblical prohibition, a rabbinic prohibition, or just a minhag?

  • Maybe you mean Reb Zalman Oyerbach? he held that the issur is derabanan (minchas shlomo a, 9-12), so did the Tzitz Eliezer
    – eliavs
    Feb 13, 2014 at 11:18
  • 1
    As summarized here Rav Moshe did not come to a conclusion on the matter, and remained in doubt about it. I don't know the source enough to know if it is reliable, and I don't have time to check the quotes, but he gives his sources to investigate.
    – Yishai
    Feb 13, 2014 at 23:18
  • Rav Shlomo Zalmen held it was a minhag
    – sam
    Feb 14, 2014 at 16:09
  • @sam From wht I understand Reb Shlomo Zalmen did not hold it is a minhag but derabanan (issur "nolad" or "ovadin dechol")
    – eliavs
    Feb 16, 2014 at 10:10
  • Electricity can be used in various forms. For example a fan would have a different din than a light bulb. And a cell phone from a car. Every device and how they operate will determine what the din is Mar 2, 2014 at 23:15

1 Answer 1


He writes explicitly that he's not sure whether extinguishing an electric appliance is forbidden mid'oraysa, and uses that doubt as grounds, when combined with certain other grounds, to permit doing so. (Orach Chayim 3 #42.)

  • Which implies it is at least mid'rabbanan. +1 Mar 6, 2014 at 19:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .