From the Rav’s Desk: Alexa bathroom smart system on Shabbos

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Alexa bathroom smart system

  1. Question:

How can one use a bathroom on Shabbos if the door is connected to an Alexa bathroom smart system which notifies them if the bathroom is occupied by turning on a smart plug light on the outside. When the bathroom door is closed, it notifies Alexa, which notifies the smart plug to turn on, which turns on light. When the door is opened, the light turns off. Now for Shabbos, we set it up that Alexa doesn’t turn on the plug with the light. But the sensor would still be working when you open and close the door. Is this a problem?



This enters the subject of a Rabbinical Melacha Shelo Nicha Lei, of which many Poskim are lenient, although some are stringent. I would thus say that one should initially unplug the sensor from before Shabbos, although if it was not unplugged one may be lenient to use the bathroom, assuming the light will not turn on as a result. This follows a similar ruling of Admur regarding applying the rules of Lo Nicha Lei to a cloth that is wrapped around the pipe of a barrel.

See here for details of this matter: Piskeiy Teshuvos 277:8; Lo Nicha Lei: Halacha 3C

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