By: Dave Gordon
The IDF Rabbinate is working to develop a touch screen computer that would facilitate the use of important systems on Shabbat. Certain systems that track the location of IDF units during operations and battles, and the IDF’s medical information system, must be used at any and all times. While leading halachic authorities generally agree that such potentially life-saving procedures may be carried out on Shabbat, the IDF Rabbinate has been searching for ways to minimize the Shabbat violations involved in such activity. Another project involves research into Shabbat keyboards. The Rabbinate is also exploring the possibility of changing the incandescent bulbs in communications equipment, which involve the actual lighting of a fire, with LEDs (light emitting diodes), which are activated by an electrical current. Plans are also in place to install electrical switches that will enable opening of electrical gates in IDF bases in ways that do not directly violate Shabbat.