This is an emergency torch. It is plugged on power and, in case the electricity stops, turns itself on automatically and runs on batteries for hours

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If power falls on shabbat, can one

  1. disconnect this lamp from power ? (since by definition there is no electricity anymore)
  2. move it across the house to where light is needed ? (or is it muktze?) - if yes can one move it normally ?, does it have to be with a shinui, e.g., pushing it with the feet ?

2 Answers 2


Most agree that the emergency torch is a keli shemelachto le'issur (a utensil with a prohibited use). Such a utensil can be moved for its own use or to liberate the space it occupies. (see here and here, see the paragraph headed “While it's on”).

You ask: can one disconnect this lamp from power? I do not have a source for this but I agree with your bracket (since by definition there is no electricity anymore) that there should be no problem.

Can one move it across the house to where light is needed? Yes.

It is muktze but that category of muktze that can be moved for the sake of its use or its place.

Can one move it normally? Yes, this category of muktze can be moved normally.

  • Thanks! Have asked a rav over shabbat and plan to write up his answer. He agrees with you except on disconnecting it - there is a subtlety there. More in a few hours :->
    – mbloch
    Nov 11, 2017 at 18:55

I asked the question to a rav and talmid hakham and got the following answer

  • There is an issue in disconnecting a device which was connected to electricity at the beginning of Shabbat. The solution offered was to have the emergency lamp on a timer which is turned off at the beginning of shabbat. Since the lamp wasn't connected then, there is no issue to disconnect it during shabbat itself (provided of course the electricity is cut)

  • There is an issue in moving a lamp in general, but not for the sake of a mitzva (e.g., oneg shabbat since light is an important component) or for the sake of children who are afraid of obscurity

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