Sabbath mode ?

33


Discussion by: mmurray

I just bought my second refrigerator.  The first one lasted 28 years. I think they forgot the redundancy. The new one has something called Sabbath Mode.  Someone on the internet suggested that means it plays Black Sabbath when you open the doors. Alas no. It means special settings to accommodate Orthodox Jewish superstitions about not being able to turn electricity off and on during the Sabbath.  

Some immediate questions spring to mind:   Will my refrigerator keep bacon OK ?  Can it be opened by a menstruating women or will it just go into auto clean mode ?  Is there a Pope setting so that it won't keep treats during Lent ? Is there an Islamic fridge that doesn't cool beer ? 

More serious questions. Am I right to be vaguely annoyed by this ?  It's clearly not the most pressing issue in the world. But like finding I'm in a building with no 13th floor it irritates me.

Maybe I should just chill.

Michael

33 COMMENTS

  1. One of the things that always amuses (and confounds) me is the effort that religious people go to in order to avoid obeying the laws they believe have been passed down by an all powerful, all knowing god. If I truly believed I was being judged by my adherence to these rules by an all knowing being, I wouldn’t be trying to juke the system.

    This is an all seeing, ever present being, for Christ’s sake. Do you honestly think he’s going to be fooled by you putting a bit of string around a whole city in order to get around the restrictions he imposed? Do you think he’ll be amused by the timers built into the oven so you can still cook your food without having to turn the switch? When you die and this omnipotent being judges you, how well do you think he’ll take the fact that you did your absolute level best to evade every single law he put down?

    If I truly believed that this shockingly powerful entity gave me a law that I couldn’t eat meat on a certain day or I’d be going to hell for all eternity, I wouldn’t be dicking around trying to recategorise beavers as ‘fish’ to avoid it. I would err hugely on the side of caution. That so-called religious people try so hard to avoid these rules and thus willingly risk eternal punishment makes me think they can’t really believe this eternal punishment actually exists.

    • In reply to #1 by BenS:

      One of the things that always amuses (and confounds) me is the effort that religious people go to in order to avoid obeying the laws they believe have been passed down by an all powerful, all knowing god. If I truly believed I was being judged by my adherence to these rules by an all knowing being,…

      My religion follows the strict letter of the law… we DONT take chances… In fact, our sages, thousands of years ago, set down more rules for the sole purpose of guarding the already existent rules. For example: a fridge with Sabbath mode: the problem with opening the door is that the light will turn on and we can’t turn on light on Sabbath. Theoretically, if there was a fridge with no light, it would be 100% undoubtable permitted for use on the Sabbath. So what is Sabbath mode? The simple ability to deactivate the light… that’s all. Its not a loop hole because our Law never mentioned anything about fridges just fire… lights… And by the way, for every minor (certainly major) law there are countless books and disputes over the proper way to fulfill them in the best, most beautiful way possible. Don’t tell us that were taking chances when you haven’t even studied one law of ours and all its complexities and ramifications…

      • In reply to #26 by assumptionsaretherootofallevil:

        . . And by the way, for every minor (certainly major) law there are countless books and disputes over the proper way to fulfill them in the best, most beautiful way possible. Don’t tell us that were taking chances when you haven’t even studied one law of ours and all its complexities and ramifications…

        By using the words the most beautiful way possible, you’ve implied an aesthetic sensibility when looking for ways to meet god’s stated requirements. One could imagine that god is going to be impressed with your ingenuity. But what if he’s not? These are the interpretations of mere humans and we all know that your god is a fickle god. What if he’s angered by these presumptuous humans? Knowledge of your books of laws and and interpretations is not going to save you.

        • In reply to #27 by Nitya:

          In reply to #26 by assumptionsaretherootofallevil:

          . . By using the words the most beautiful way possible, you’ve implied an aesthetic sensibility when looking for ways to meet god’s stated requirements. One could imagine that god is going to be impressed with your ingenuity. But what if he’s not? These are the interpretations of mere humans and we all know that your god is a fickle god. What if he’s angered by these presumptuous humans? Knowledge of your books of laws and and interpretations is not going to save you.

          Its says in Psalms 115: 12-18 “The heavens are G-d’s, but the earth He has given to mankind.” This implies that G-d has given us the earth and the Torah (Bible, Mishnah, Talmud, Midrash, Prophets, Writings, Kabbalah, commentary) for us to use them as we see fit. Additionally, there are various instances in which the Talmud relates a dispute between the heavens (G-d) and our sages (humans) and in this type of case we always follow the sages (based on their well thought out interpretations of the text) and not G-d. And this is G-d’s Will, He wanted to put the ball in our court so that we can create our own destiny, not Him… “but the earth He has given to mankind…” ‘to do what they see fit, not Me.’

          Also, G-d doesn’t get angry. Its all a metaphor to the disappointment we should have when we fall short in our endeavors. Similarly, hell is not necessarily a pit of fire… in fact, one of our great sages has said that hell is a mere metaphor; it does not really exist. The metaphor is regret, when we die we will regret our shortcomings and long to have used our time more wisely (unless of course we succeed, which is the goal).

          So, when I said “beautiful” I meant what we humans see as “beautiful” based on our honest interpretations. “G-d has given the earth to mankind” What ever we come to a consensus on, as a group, is what we will follow and is what G-d will appreciate. For He gave US the world for US to take care of, not Him.

      • assumptionsaretherootofallevil Apr 1, 2014 at 5:23 am
        Theoretically, if there was a fridge with no light, it would be 100%
        undoubtable permitted for use on the Sabbath. So what is Sabbath mode? The simple >ability to deactivate the light… that’s all.

        So the fact that the thermostst automatically turns the compressor on and off all day doesn’t disqualify using a fridge on Saturday? Are you permitted to stoke up a fire Friday afternoon and just let it burn untended until Saturday night and use the light and heat it produces while it burns?

  2. Interesting, I would have thought to just pull the plug.

    Actually, I do like barns with hex signs…and I appreciate bottle trees especially by frat houses that have no clue that they rid an entire city of evil spirits from a night of drinking.

    One thing that drives me nuts is going into a home which has been Feng Shui-ed in a literal cheezy manner. Solutions like putting a fountain in an unexpected location of the house or a red, windchime complete with Chinese “carry out” graphics and chinese wording at someone’s front door looks strange when the rest of the house is styled in traditional or mid-century modern. One time, I went to a Feng Shui house blessing. We walked around the house tossing rice soaked in perfectly good vodka to chase away the spirits. (What a waste.) Over and over we chanted “om mani padme hum.” (What is it about saying something “holy” in a language you don’t even speak? namaste)The thing is – I couldn’t get the wording quite right so I leaned in to listen to a woman’s pronunciation in hopes that I could correct myself. She was Mexican or maybe Puerto Rican and I realized she was saying “Oh, madre padre home.” lol

      • In reply to #11 by mmurray:

        In reply to #2 by QuestioningKat:

        Interesting, I would have thought to just pull the plug.

        Isn’t your food going to go off though ?

        Michael

        Not if you take everything out and put it in a cooler or outside if it’s cold.

        OK, I went back and viewed the Utube video so now I understand what Sabbath Mode is…but I don’t understand. If you’re not to take any action shouldn’t you just shut off all electricity, lay around and vegetate while your non Jewish friends bring you Kosher food?? What difference does it make that the lights and digital readings are no longer visible? …I don’t understand. Why not adapt Amish ways and steer clear from all technology one day a week and leave to your local campgrounds? Sabbath mode seems like a way to trick someone into thinking they are taking no action. I…I just don’t get it.

        • In reply to #14 by QuestioningKat:
          >

          OK, I went back and viewed the Utube video so now I understand what Sabbath Mode is…but I don’t understand. If you’re not to take any action shouldn’t you just shut off all electricity, lay around and vegetate while your non Jewish friends bring you Kosher food?? What difference does it make that the lights and digital readings are no longer visible?

          The “reasoning” seems to be that if you open the door and the light comes on or the digital readings change then you have caused electricity to flow — that’s bad. Likewise if the compressor kicks in because you opened the door which I think some fridges to in anticipation of the fact that opening the door will mean warm air enters. The fridge can run along by itself — that’s OK. Presumably the thermostat turning on half an hour later because you opened the door is also OK … ???

          …I don’t understand. Why not adapt Amish ways and steer clear from all technology one day a week and leave to your local campgrounds? Sabbath mode seems like a way to trick someone into thinking they are taking no action. I…I just don’t get it.

          The Jewish response seems to be to try and go legalistic on God. Like BenS says it seems a risky business and being Omnipotent and all that He might notice your failure to pursue the spirit of the law. But I guess Judaism is a very legalistic religion if you are Orthodox.

          Michael

  3. ” Will my refrigerator keep bacon OK ? Can it be opened by a menstruating women or will it just go into auto clean mode ? Is there a Pope setting so that it won’t keep treats during Lent ? Is there an Islamic fridge that doesn’t cool beer ? “

    All testable hypothetically. I suggest you start with the beer test!

  4. “Orthodox Jewish superstitions about not being able to turn electricity off and on during the Sabbath”

    Is this actually a thing? I knew there were some crazy ideas out there, but this takes the cake. What about motion sensor lights, automatic doors, and the like?

    • In reply to #5 by ShadowMind:

      “Orthodox Jewish superstitions about not being able to turn electricity off and on during the Sabbath”

      Is this actually a thing? I knew there were some crazy ideas out there, but this takes the cake. What about motion sensor lights, automatic doors, and the like?

      Presumably they have to be disabled. Some apartment buildings have a setting so the elevators go on automatic during the sabbath. They go up and down continually opening and closing at each floor.

      Michael

      • In reply to #10 by mmurray:

        Sabbath elevators? If the fridge took the cake, there goes the whole bakery! The in-efficient energy use alone is enough to render this concept nuts. I’ll admit I don’t know much about orthodox judaism, but it’s starting to look completely bonkers.

        • In reply to #20 by ShadowMind:

          In reply to #10 by mmurray:

          Sabbath elevators? If the fridge took the cake, there goes the whole bakery! The in-efficient energy use alone is enough to render this concept nuts. I’ll admit I don’t know much about orthodox judaism, but it’s starting to look completely bonkers.

          You will like this then.

          Michael

  5. Your bacon may be in jeopardy!
    “Shabbat mode refrigerators include a timer for the compressor so that opening the door, which will normally indirectly cause the compressor to turn on as the temperature rises, will have no effect on the electrical operation of the appliance.”
    -Wiki (of course)

  6. You probably heard that loud clunk all the way over in America from Australia. That was my jaw hitting the ground. They actually build refrigerators with this function?? WT…

    Yes you have every right to feel “vaguely annoyed” by this. As BenS so succinctly put it above. If your god demands something of you then by all means do as he thinks best, but with a caveat. Your action cannot impinge on anyone else. If you need to vegetate and starve on the sabbath, knock your self out. But you have no right to demand a fridge that bypasses god’s law (Thank you BenS) and openly declare yourself as a hypocrite.

    Religion should be practiced by consenting adults in private.

  7. Shalom Mmurry, Let us analyze why you might be browned off by this.

    1. A form of technology made possible by the hard acquisition of knowledge through the scientific method is now being used in a device to support people who would like to see acquisition of such knowledge limited to what can be derived without contradicting any of the fables in a 2000 year old book.

    2. People are so interested in selling refrigerators that they will attempt to appeal to ridiculous superstitions undermining the acquisition of knowledge which might make improved refrigerators see point 1.

    3. Every time for the next decade or so (depending on built in obsolescence) you look at the fridge you’ll be reminded of this.

    I too am annoyed on your behalf.
    Buy pork. Lots of pork! Shellfish, crabs, prawns and Lobster and keep a copy of the God delusion in the vegetable crisper.

  8. Hey mmurray,

    There’s always something slightly amusing and somewhat irritating when modern technology is used for ancient superstitions. The Sabbath mode in refrigerators and ovens, or the avoiding of the floor number 13 are comparatively mild examples, but there are of course more sinister versions of this mindset.

    Like the kosher mobile phone that doesn’t allow you to dial certain numbers like sex hotlines and dating services.

    Or downright criminal and scary ones like the electronic dowsing rod for explosives used by Iraqi security forces.

  9. They also have sabbath phones, which constantly dial all numbers at once. In order to use it, you have to “dial” the numbers you don’t want, in order to block their signal, thus leaving only the numbers you wish to dial in operation.
    Therefore you haven’t actually dialled a number, you’ve prevented all other numbers being dialled and you’ve in fact saved some work.

    They’re all a bunch of nut jobs…

  10. As if there were not enough rules to dominate our lives already, we humans have to keep manufacturing more! JW’s pervert the scriptures so that they cannot drink the blood administered during a blood transfusion, orthodox Christians limit their choice of food groups during their extensive fasting periods ( about 6 mths/year) and Jewish people are not capable of abiding by an imaginary Eruv. I think there are sufficient laws and regulations to keep most antisocial tendencies or health limiting practices in check…I don’t want or need any more.

  11. I need to add this to my psychological profile of god. Is a god worth worshiping if that god is so petty that he will send you to hell for eternity just for grabbing a few leftovers from the fridge. Petty. Petty. Petty. And I will also add this to my growing psychological profile of a fundamentalist, who actually believes this is true to the extent that they demand a fridge with these properties and then act on these inane religious commands.

    What a waste of a human genome.

  12. I lived in Israel for two years when I was a teen and happened to stay with some religious people over the weekend . I found it very strange that they compensated with technology . I asked them why bother ? why not just do as the book says word by word. It was amazing that they could pick things that were ok but not others.

    I explained that even if they had an automated house and switches, that there would still be work being done. To them resting on sabbath meant automation. Disregarding the fact that using electricity in your home is work. But they said it is only work if you flick the switch manually. Needless to say I thought this was utterly ridiculous who are they fooling but themselves ?

    Too many inconsistencies create doubt.

    I don’t think you are wrong for being bothered by this. But it is the first time I hear of a fridge having this feature, it is usually ovens and such.

  13. This is just another example of the religious mental contortions to circumvent irrational faith taboos! – Like the Japanese eating whale and pretending it is fish, because of a religious aversion to “meat”. – Or like Roman Catholics eating fish on Fridays to avoid “meat”!

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