Campus Units

History

Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date

9-21-2020

Journal or Book Title

History and Technology

Volume

36

Issue

2 Religion and Technology

First Page

205

Last Page

239

DOI

10.1080/07341512.2020.1816339

Abstract

The relationship of Modern Orthodox Jewish communities to technology is mediated by the calendar, following requirements to keep the Sabbath holy. As nineteenth-, twentieth-, and twentyfirst-century inventions reshaped work, public spaces, and domestic living, rabbis intensely debated whether, how, and why observant Jewish people should avoid using electric switches, kitchen appliances, elevators, and other everyday devices on the Sabbath. To justify their decisions, rabbis interrogated minute technical details of these objects. Sabbath prohibitions promoted innovation, as rabbis collaborated with Jewish engineers to create what they judged to be Sabbath-compliant adaptions of everyday technologies. Given that prominent rabbis often disagreed about proper technology use on the Sabbath, Jewish families had the opportunity to decide for themselves what counted as authentic devotion in handling personal and domestic technologies.

Comments

This accepted article is published as Bix, A.S., ‘Remember the Sabbath’: a history of technological decisions and innovation in Orthodox Jewish communities. History and Technology, 2020, 36(2- Religion and Technology );205-239. doi:10.1080/07341512.2020.1816339. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

Informa UK Limited

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

Available for download on Monday, March 21, 2022

Published Version

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