Simple Theoretical Question.

What halachic considerations are involved in the following scenario?

I arrange with my friend/relations in California (covers the 10 hours from beginning of Shabbat), and Singapore (covers 5 hours till end of Shabbat ) to check the temperature in Israel or my home, and control my air conditioner.

To be absolutely clear, the person in the non-Shabbat time zone checks the temperature, and if in their opinion it is neccessary, they use the air conditioner to change the room temperature. The people in the Shabbat time zone are not involved in any way.

  • 2
    There are similar questions here about sending faxes and the like to a shabbos zone. This is probably going to be closed as a dupe. Check those out for more info.
    – user6591
    Sep 14, 2017 at 22:05
  • 1
    I did, it is not at all related. In this case the operator is observing and responding to events in the shabbos zone. This is connected to all things related to the internet of things (IoT).
    – LOIS 16192
    Sep 14, 2017 at 23:22
  • 2
    "and control my air conditioner" He will electronically cause a melacha to happen in a different timezone which is observing shabbos. How is that not related to sending a fax to that same timezone?
    – user6591
    Sep 14, 2017 at 23:29
  • I'm confused. Who is doing the actual setting of the temperature? If it's you and it is Shabbat at the time that you control things, then you're doing melacha. It doesn't matter where the A/C is located. You're the one causing the temperature change, and I assume that you're using some electrical / computer or other means that is a melacha to cause a change in the setting. Why should it matter where the device being affected is located? How would this be any different than your calling someone in Israel during your Shabbat?
    – DanF
    Sep 15, 2017 at 13:41
  • Consider generalising the question, the site isnt intended to dispense halakhic guidance for specific cases. As always, consult a competent halakhic authority rather than anonymous people online.
    – mevaqesh
    Sep 17, 2017 at 2:54

1 Answer 1


It would seem that this is dependent on whether an air conditioner on a time switch or thermostat would be accepted to be in use on Shabbos

This is based on the Mishna Brura On Shulchan oruch orach chaim 276,1

The Shulchan says אינו יהודי שהדליק את הנר בשביל ישראל אסור לכל אפילו למי שלא הודלק בשבילו - a gentile who lights a candle for the benefit of light for a Jew, it is forbidden to derive benefit from that light even for one whom the light was not intended for him.

the Rema adds -הגה: מיהו אם עשה אינו יהודי בבית ישראל מדעתו אין הישראל צריך לצאת אף על פי שנהנה מן הנר או מן המדורה -If the gentile lit the candle without permission one is not obligated to leave the premises even though he benefits.

The mishna brura then says ואם הא"י עושה בע"כ חייב לגרשו מביתו מפני חילול השם שיחשדוהו שעושה הא"י בשליחותו כיון שהוא בבית ישראל - If The gentile does it (lights the candle) against his will, He must drive the gentile out of his house because of profaning G-ds name that one would think the gentile is doing the Jews bidding in the jews house.

The Jew in Singapore / California is not doing any Melacha.

The Jew in Israel is not benefiting from the act of a gentile or a violating Jew for which it would be prohibited to derive benefit on Shabbos.

The only issue might be, that those present in the room who think that someone (e.g a gentile) has been told from before hand to switch on the air-conditioner when it gets too hot which is a Chillul Hashem as stated in the MB above, so if time switches or thermostats are accepted this will not cause any raised eyebrows and would be permitted.

  • 2 points on the Chillul Hashem issue 1. As no one in the room adjusted the temperature, most would assume that it is a thermostat or timer initiated. 2. Once this method becomes commonly known then it would seem this would fall into the same category as timers etc. If you any of these points are valid please update your answer.
    – LOIS 16192
    Oct 23, 2017 at 16:05

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