New exhibition showcases specially-developed products enabling soldiers to perform duties on Shabbat without desecrating it. 'This work is necessary to integrate religious soldiers in all units,' says Chief Military Rabbi Rafi Peretz.
Military Rabbinate presents: Shabbat-adapted touch screen
New exhibition showcases specially-developed products enabling soldiers to perform duties on Shabbat without desecrating it. 'This work is necessary to integrate religious soldiers in all units,' says Chief Military Rabbi Rafi Peretz
Kobi Nahshoni • Ynet
The Military Rabbinate unveiled a line of electronic devices enabling observant soldiers to perform various duties they are required to do on Shabbat last Tuesday. Among the new developments: Touch screens, light-bulbs, flashlights, water-coolers etc.
The goal of the exhibition was to expose military rabbis to technological solutions which could help soldiers on the field. The Israel Defense Forces will not provide the products to all units and the Military Rabbinate are hoping rabbis would encourage soldiers to purchase the items themselves.
The Military Rabbinate held a conference on the matter which was attended by Chief Military Rabbi Brigadier-General Rafi Peretz, Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz and rabbi and engineer Yisrael Rosen who heads the Zomet Institute, which developed most of the products.
Rabbi Peretz told Ynet that the Military Rabbinate caters to everyone, not just religious soliders, and had therefore decided to develop products which will allow them to perform electrical functions on Shabbat. He added that the IDF has been working in the past few years to produce dozens of products which would constitute a halachic equivalent to the army's technological developments.
Peretz noted that as head of the preparatory study program he encouraged soldiers not to serve in specific units where it was virtually impossible to observe Shabbat. He added that the Military Rabbinate's work in the field is necessary to prevent a situation where religious and secular soldiers serve in separate units.
He rejected the claim that the new developments unnecessarily waste energy and resources for halachic problems which can be easily solved with rulings.
Peretz further noted that the products that were showcased will serve for routine activity and not operational activity. "I wouldn't tell a soldier to cock a weapon differently to avoid desecrating Shabbat," he said and explained that the products apply in cases such as opening a gate or answering a phone at an operations room.