Assurance

What are the guarantees that KosherSwitch® is viable and that it will be used in positive ways?  Here are some assurances that have been presented with respect to this question:

 

  1. The Good of the Many (“Zikuei HaRabim”)KosherSwitch® makes it impossible to desecrate Shabbos — either intentionally or accidentally.  Countless chilulei Shabbos will be prevented every single week, and across the entire religiosity spectrum.  Do we prohibit the sale of music out of concern that someone will play it on Shabbos?  Do we prohibit a knife that facilitates the most fundamental of mitzvos out of concern that someone may murder with it?  Likewise, we should not prohibit a technology that is guaranteed to bring tremendous benefits to so many, out of a concern for a hypothetical few who may use it in an unintended manner.
  1. Education.  Use of a KosherSwitch® is very simple, and users would be educated regarding its proper use.  Every device contains installation and operating instructions in its consumer packaging.  Included within these instructions would be notices stressing the acceptable uses of the switch, both from Halachic and Hashkafic standpoints.  Similar educational efforts will be employed in our marketing efforts.
  1. Certification.  Our vision dictates that we seek the advice and guidance of great Torah minds who will help shape the feasibility of our technology.  Over the past few years, we have made great strides in this aspect, and have met with dozens of leading poskim & rabbis in order to ensure that this undertaking will be executed with the highest regard for Halacha and Da’as Torah.
  1. SpecificityWe encourage poskim & rabbis to endorse our technology in a way that they feel makes sense.  When required, approbations are written to very specifically exclude anything that is prohibited or things that a Halachic decisor feels are not in “the spirit of” Shabbos. 
  1. ImpracticalityThe design elements within our technology that make it Halachically permissible also make its use very impractical for other “non-kosher” uses.  Random-duration cycles; several layers of random delays during the various stages of each cycle (when the device is completely “dead”); and at least two failure possibilities during each cycle.  These are just some of the mechanisms that combine to make the device sensible for controlling a dining room light or a hotel thermostat, while being rather impractical in many other settings.
  1. Control.  Our technology is patented & trademarked.  Through persistent consultation with Halachic advisors, we maintain design control over our brand and over all of our devices, down to the finest details.  We decide how it will be licensed, to whom, and in what applications.  As such, we have a great deal of control over any product lines and embodiments that are manufactured and distributed, and over how the device is ultimately deployed and used.  We do not intend to allow our technology to be used in “non-kosher” ways.
  1. IntentionDuring the past few years, as the founder of our company pondered and refined the concepts and ideas for this project, his primary focus has always been Zikuei HaRabim in a manner that is in full accordance with Halacha.  Our diligence in this matter is attested to by the many rabbis and poskim with whom we have consulted during the maturation of this undertaking.  We have always been mindful that our technology should B”H be used in ways that bring much benefit to the masses.

 

 


More common questions answered in the FAQs

Halacha

Is KosherSwitch® meant to be used by everyone?

Due to the highly-relevant nature of this question, and the lack of visibility of the answers when presented in the form of a FAQ, we have relocated the information to a dedicated a page.

 

Is this real? I get to control electricity on Shabbat? Can it be used l’chatchila or is it only as a b’dieved?

Yes, it is very real!  Many of the rabbis/poskim who have endorsed the technology agree that it is not grama (indirect causation) and is therefore permissible l’chatchila  (the ideal Halachic condition or ab initio) and not just b’dieved (acceptable but not the ideal Halachic condition).  See the Halacha section for further details.

Who says that the technology is permissible/“kosher” to use?

From the early concept days for KosherSwitch®, we have been in constant consultation with many prominent Torah scholars around the world, seeking their guidance and their rulings.  We have always remained mindful of our primary objective of zikuei harabim – bring the merit to the masses.  All of our endorsements are from Orthodox, Haredi, and/or Hassidic rabbis/poskim.  See the Endorsements section for details.

How long does it take for the fixture attached to a KosherSwitch® Classic to turn on/off?

In Normal Mode, it’s instant.  In KosherSwitch® Sabbath Mode, there’s no way to predict how long it will take, since the device must go through one or more cycles, each with a possibility that it will fail to function as intended.  Typically, it will take “dozens of seconds” but sometimes, randomly,  it can take more than a minute or two.

Are the rabbis that endorse the technology engineers? Do they understand electronics?

The concepts and Halachic issues raised by KosherSwitch® technology are not necessarily analyzed by a rabbi/posek  on a technological level.  Instead, they are compared to cases and analogies that exist in the Talmud, the Shulchan Aruch and related works.  For example, rather than dealing with electric circuits, their analysis would examine the permissibility of extinguishing a candle by opening a window at a time when a wind is not yet present, etc.

Isn’t your technology the same as moving the pins on a Shabbos clock/timer?

No.  Among other reasons, the movement of the timer pins more directly cause the triggering of the electrical circuit.  KosherSwitch® is innovative, and quite different.  See the Halacha section for an in-depth analysis.

Isn’t KosherSwitch® just another “grama” (indirect causation) device? How are you any different than Zomet? What’s special about your technology?

No, KosherSwitch® is “un-grama”™ technology based on the rulings of many leading rabbis/poskim.  This is why its use is not limited only to the infirm and other lenient situations, as are the solutions offered by Zomet and the Institute for Science and Halacha.  For more details, see: How Does it Work, Analogy, and Halacha.

When all is said and done, isn’t it my action that’s causing the light to go on or off?

Technically, yes; Halachically, no!  (Actually, your action isn’t causing anything to happen, but only allowing something to maybe happen in an unrelated future.)  Halacha does not only consider the end result, but also carefully evaluates the means used to get to that end. See the Halacha section for an in-depth analysis.

Isn’t KosherSwitch® just like the Star-K/Rabbi Heinemann Sabbath Mode feature?

No, KosherSwitch® is very different.  More details are available here.

 

 

Shouldn’t we be concerned that KosherSwitch® technology will be used in inappropriate ways? Won’t it be used as a T.V. remote and to drive a car on Shabbat?!

No, that’s the last thing that we would want to see happen.  Our mission is to enhance the sanctity of Shabbos, not to diminish it.  Someone who is determined to experience Shabbos in inappropriate ways will find a way of doing so with or without our technology.  Therefore, our focus is Zikuei Harabim — to bring the benefits to the masses and not be concerned with individual “renegade” users.

Isn’t this just a loophole that’s bypassing the religious rules? Isn’t this Halachic subterfuge?

No.  Halacha is very specific in what is permitted vs. prohibited.  We have invented a way of doing something that traditionally has been forbidden in a new way that’s permissible and yields tremendous benefits.  Historically, there are many such examples, and they are not viewed as bypassing Halacha.

Isn’t it better to be more stringent and avoid using KosherSwitch® ?

The real question to ask is “which is more stringent – using a KosherSwitch® or not using one?!”  We believe that one is behaving much more stringently by using our technology rather than avoiding it.  Since KosherSwitch® makes chilul Shabbos impossible, it is the perfect tool for one who wishes to be stringent since it will prevent him/her from even accidentally desecrating the Sabbath (or doing so in a Halachically forbidden manner in other extenuating circumstances, such as in amira l’akum).  Still, use of our technology is highly subjective, and we don’t expect everyone to use it.  Existing psychology takes time to reshape, and adoption in certain groups will be slow.  However, we believe that history will prove that by not using a KosherSwitch®, one is being too lenient.

 

Have any rabbis/poskim that have been approached refused to endorse KosherSwitch® ?

We have spent the last few years securing the responsum & endorsements of many respected rabbis in order to help an individual decide whether or not to use KosherSwitch®-based products.  Most rabbis that have refused to endorse the KosherSwitch® have done so on non-Halachic grounds.

Even if permissible, won’t it confuse my kids when all along we’ve been teaching them that electricity is off limits? Won’t they use a regular light switch on Shabbat?

No.  Kids are smart, and they know the difference between something that’s permissible and something that’s not.  This is true even when the two items look identical, which is certainly not the case with the KosherSwitch® since it looks and behaves very differently than traditional switches.  One child provided the best affirmation when asked, “why are you allowed to use a KosherLamp™ on Shabbat?” they answered simply, “because it’s different!”  During our testing, children ranging from 3 to 5 years old were able to discern the difference between a KosherSwitch® and a regular switch, and to verbalize when it’s permissible to use a KosherSwitch® (“only when the light is green”).  More details are available here.

As I used the switch, the Status Light changed from green to red!

In our usage section,  we explain that one should use the KosherSwitch® on Shabbat and Yom Tov only when the Status Light is green, but not when it’s red.  In reality, the device continues to be dormant for the entire duration of the Status Light’s green and red cycle.  Only at the very end of the red cycle does the device become active.  So flicking the on/off button as the Status Light is changing from green to red is of no consequence.

 

Available Now!

KosherSwitch® Classic Wall Switch
KosherSwitch® Classic Wall Switch

Videos of Interest

Featured Shiur/Lecture

Rabbis & Poskim

Rabbi Aryeh Sokoloff Analyzing the KosherSwitch
Rabbi Aryeh Sokoloff Analyzing the KosherSwitch
HaGaon Rabbi Noach Isaac Oelbaum Analyzing the KosherSwitch
HaGaon Rabbi Noach Isaac Oelbaum Analyzing the KosherSwitch
HaGaon Rabbi Peretz Steinberg Analyzing the KosherSwitch
HaGaon Rabbi Peretz Steinberg Analyzing the KosherSwitch
HaGaon Rabbi Eliyahu Ben-Chaim (Ben-Haim) Analyzing the KosherSwitch
HaGaon Rabbi Eliyahu Ben-Chaim (Ben-Haim) Analyzing the KosherSwitch

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