Hot water boiler
Hot water boileriStock

At the Ramot Shapira Guest House and in the Keshet Guest House in the Golan Heights, hot water can now be used on Shabbat according to Jewish law.

Tzomet Institute engineers examined the heating system and found that the electric boilers are shut down during Shabbat and holidays by an astronomical timer programmed for decades ahead. The system works with heat exchangers that separate the heated water from the incoming water.

The incoming water is heated only by the walls and pipes of the boiler, and not directly from the fire. Therefore the water entering the system has only the status of a "second vessel" that many halakhic authorities allow to be reheated on Shabbat.

Tzomet Institute head Rabbi Menachem Perl says at hotels many people accidentally open the hot water tap on Shabbat, possibly igniting a new spark and thereby desecrating the Sabbath.

"We're pleased that after checking two guest houses that approached us, we found that according to Jewish law there is no problem opening the hot water faucets. This is good news for vacationers. As a general rule, it's appropriate that the vacationing public be aware of the meaning of spending Shabbat at a holiday resort before going so as not to get into unpleasant situations," the rabbi said.

Rabbi Menachem Perel
Rabbi Menachem PerelSpokesman