Bibi’s Aides Use ‘Shabbos Phone’


netanyahuA newly-purchased device will enable Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu to speak to his religious advisers during Shabbos. Netanyahu’s bureau employs the highest number of religious workers since Israel’s establishments and most of his aides are observing Jews.

The prime minister has now found a way to communicate with them during Shabbos. His bureau has purchased 12 special phones allowing the parties to talk during Shabbos with no fear of desecration.

Among those who received the “Shabbos phones” are National Security Council head Yaakov Amidror, Bureau Chief Natan Eshel, Bureau manager Gil Shefer, political advisor Ron Dermer and Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Eyal Gabay.

Some observing Mossad and Shin Bet men also received such phones. The devices are estimated to cost NIS 1,119 (roughly $330).

The Shabbos phone was created by the Zomet Institute which specializes in adapting medical and security equipment for Shabbos use. It utilizes a special technology: A special mechanism scans the phone for activity regularly. This way when the user presses buttons, picks up the phone or hangs up he is not directly activating the device. Actions are performed only when the scan picks up on them thus cancelling out the electrical aspect.

The phone is installed on a regular line and can be turned into a regular phone with one click.

“If the user realizes the call isn’t justified or is not urgent we recommend that they ask the caller to postpone the call until after Shabbat,” Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, Zomet Institute head said. “But if the phone has already been picked up, there is no problem, as the actual action of talking on an already open device does not constitute Shabbat desecration.”

{Ynet/ Newscenter}


  1. A few years ago on behalf of the RCA, Rabbi Yehuda Shain met with Rabbi Rosen re: Tzomets shabbos appliances. Rabbi shain’s conclussion was that it may not be used on Shabbos / Yom Tov.

  2. how much longer before these phones go for sale publicly & EVERYONE has them? then the kedusha of shabbos & yom tov will be gone & it will be too late to live without “things taken for granted become NEEDS”

  3. Wao…I see where are we heading! shabbes car, shabbes hair dyers, shabes stove, shabbes fire, shabbes TV,shabbes radio,shabbes money,shabbes shopping list,now we can call someone on shabes to tell him guit shabbes…………Guit shabbes! guit shabbes!

  4. Baruch Hashem There should be more Shmiras Torah Umitzvos in the Israeli Govt and More following of Daas Torah.
    Good steps in the right direction

  5. We should notice the obvious: This means that Netanyahu is the first prime minister (other than Begin, perhaps) who cares enough about Shabbos observance to go the extra mile to accomodate his shomer Shabbos aides, rather than dismissing them or not hiring them at all because they can’t speak on the phone on Shabbos.

    Obviously, the fact that this phone was sanctioned for a prime minister and his aides (and I’m assuming it is only going to be used when it’s urgent and not to order coffee) has no bearing on the rest of us.

  6. Wouldn’t it be better simply to designate certain roles (like national security advisor) as being pikuach nefesh/tzorchei tzibur by definition and allow a limited number of people to use regular phones, knowing that they can do so only within pikuach nefesh limits, rather than open the floodgates to massive chilul shabbos once these phones go down in price a little?

  7. Zomet microphones are in use in three Orthodox synagogues in America. Kudos to PM Netanyahu for minimizing chilul Shabat!

  8. We have a problem here that is more than just a high tech phone. Pikuach nefesh is always pikuach nefesh you can use a regular phone for that l’chatchilah ….so im not buying this shabbes phone story! this phone is a loop hole
    that will keep us away from oneg shabbes!

    I see it as an atempt to out smart jewish values by using our own rules against our own principals, beware of that danger!!

  9. I dont get it. So if they make a car or golf cart type of a thing with no doors that goes at a very slow speed on a special track around town, if you can jump on while it’s already in motion, it is ok??? Bad example?? I dont know.

  10. what about shabbos makeup? now shabbos phones! i
    this world is becoming rediculous i am waiting for a shabbos car to come out too.