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Uding Electronic Key on Shabbat

1) May a person use electronic key on Shabbat to gain access to the building,if security is not present and other tenants do not go in and out of the building? How long must one wait before using the electronic key-there is no physical key available/computer control only. The elderly parent will be waiting at home and if the child who is an adult is late, the parent (who has diabetes) will be nervous and it is bad for her health. The person will walk in a 34 floor building to their floor-will not use elevator on Shabbat or Yom Tov, but there is a challenge with the gaining access through the door.

2) When you travel in Europe and North America, most hotels give you electronic key to your room-same problem on Shabbat/must you ask staff to open the door for you? For personal safety and security you do not wish to inform the world that you are a Jew (proud to be a Jew), in some parts of the world you may place your self in danger.

3) In some countries you must give a present or a gift, or cash (call it what it is-CASH BRIBE) to people you are doing business with…may one do so? Central and South Americas, Eastern Europe, Africa, Orient etc. It is a normal part of conducting business…or you will not get a visa, border control, your merchandise will become “lost”. What is one to do? Thank you.


1) An electronic key may not be used on Shabbos.

If there is nobody coming in and out, we have a problem. Preferably, an arrangement should be made in advance with a non-Jew, and this can be done (although full amira le-akum is not permitted even from before Shabbos, in this case, which we can assume is a rabbinic prohibition, one can be lenient).

2) For travelling purposes, one can check in advance. Many doors have an alternative key mechanism that can be used. If this is not possible, a normal card can be used for leaving the room “unlocked” over Shabbos.

3) There’s no problem in giving these cash-bribes, because they are the normal way of doing business in these places, and part of a person’s regular “business expenses.”

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