Emergency Switch

One time, in the middle of Shabbat on a large farm, a young boy in the area of the poultry pens walked under the power lines, where many birds happened to be sitting. The boy started to sing and clap his hands, startling the birds, which flew away. Because of the sudden movement, two wires touched each other, and this tripped the safety fuse and turned off the power to all the poultry pens. In such a situation, without electricity for proper ventilation and feed for the chickens, they would have all died within a few hours. This would not only have caused the chickens to suffer, it would also have meant a great financial loss for the farm.

 As a result of this incident, the Shabbat Emergency Switch was invented, as a universal device to handle electrical emergencies. The device is installed before the fuse box in the electrical line. When the "Shabbat button" is pressed, the electricity to the fuse box is turned off (by the technique of gramma – indirect action) for a full minute. This is long enough to reset any fuse that has been tripped and to solve any other problems in the system (such as unplugging the food line or putting a slipped belt back into place). When the electricity returns automatically one minute later, the equipment will have been reset and normal operation will resume.

 This emergency switch is meant for institutions, such as commercial dining rooms with large refrigerators, and for agricultural enterprises. It can be used in any situation where a sudden loss of power on Shabbat would cause serious financial loss. It should not be used for major repairs but only for simple fixing (after consulting with a local rabbi).

 The gramma technique may be used in situations of financial loss, as in the cases described above. The unique aspect of the Emergency Switch is that the electricity is turned off in a single act of gramma and it goes on again automatically after a preset time. This avoids the need for a second act of gramma.

 There are many other examples where it is necessary to have a very short power outage in order to take care of a disturbance. And this is where the Shabbat Emergency Switch can be used.


For more details and a price estimate, contact The Zomet Institute.

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