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Fridge on Shabbos


Is it OK to use a frdige on shabbos? I heard that it is better to use it when the motor is on and i heard according to Rav Moshe Feinstein z”tl even when the motor is off its ok. If during the week when I close my fridge I hear a low whirring noise the moment the door closes, does his indicate a problem of using the fridge? Can I use it or can’t I? Thanks.


In the past, many poskim maintained that it was permitted to open and close a fridge on Shabbos, provided the light bulb has been disabled. As you note, some authorities write that the fridge should only be opened while the motor is running, but many opined that it is permitted to open it at all times, and this was the ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach.

However, new modern fridges involve several issues that can be problematic, such as fans, defrost devices, LED displays, and so on, all of which are influenced by opening the fridge. The Shabbos switch is therefore highly recommended.

For a fridge that doesn’t have a Shabbos switch, a posek familiar both with the halachah and with the modern mechanism installed in fridges should be consulted. In the case presented in the question, it sounds like there might be a problem. The Institute for Technology and Halachah can be consulted at 02-6424880 (or fax: 02-6420949), 1 Hapisga St., Jerusalem.


See Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasah (new edition, 10:12-14); Orchos Shabbos, vol. 3, chap. 26 (where various potential problems concerning new fridges are listed)

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