Photo Credit: Vox Efx / https://www.flickr.com/photos/vox_efx/
LeFrak City

(JNi.media) A group of Orthodox Jews who live in LeFrak City, a large cluster of 20 residential high-risers for rent in Corona, Queens, are claiming discrimination after the building management has installed lobby doors that require electronic key. Using the keys constitutes a violation of Shabbat laws, to the New York Daily News reported.

Tenants Sulaymon Ibragimov, 26, and Murod Takhalov, 45, are suing the LeFrak Organization for religious discrimination under the Fair Housing Act.

Advertisement

“Halacha, the Jewish law, prohibits Jews from breaking or creating an electric circuit on Shabbat, and during certain days of observance such as Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah and Passover,” according to the suit, which was filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.

The plaintiff allege that a building manager told them to “Go somewhere else if you don’t like it.”

The plaintiffs also say that they can’t use the elevators on Shabbat, because using them would also violate Jewish law.

“It’s like praying for a miracle to stand outside waiting for someone to come and open the door or someone to use the elevator,” Ibragimov told the Daily News. “I’ve also missed services at my synagogue many, many times.”

The suit claims Jewish tenants are forced to stand outside the building in inclement weather “and in the dark of night.”

Using an umbrella on Shabbat is also prohibited by Jewish law.

“There are rules in every faith and I want LeFrak management to respect every religious belief,” Ibragimov told the Daily News.

A spokesperson for LeFrak said that the electric key system was installed in compliance with federal Department of Housing and Community Renewal rules and regulations.

The plaintiffs’ Attorney Daniel Markowitz wants the complex to install one door in each building with a regular lock; he also demands Shabbat elevators, programmed to stop on every floor without any buttons being pressed, on Shabbat and holidays.

LeFrak City has a Jewish center on its campus, according to the Daily News, but Ibragimov prefers a synagogue a few blocks away.

Advertisement

14 COMMENTS

  1. Halacha dosent talk about doors. It talks about making "fire" which is forbidden. Electrical circuits that can cause a spark is interpreted as fire since a spark can ignite a fire. Ergo, no electrical appliances can be used, no fires lit, no cars driven etc. You are allowed to use an elevator that stops on every floor therefore not requiring the passenger to press any buttons.

  2. no sparks or 'fire' are created with an electronic lock. some people go to far. There are arguements that the 'fire' in the Torah refers to doing everyday, make a living work, such as a blacksmith or baker, not lighting a candle to see in the house.

  3. Alan Kardon Regular physical keys don't cause any electrical circuits to open or close, so they are fine on Shabbat and Yom Tovim.

    Hotels have been using electronic keys for some time as it makes "key" management easier, but if in Jewish communities, they will usually volunteer to open the doors for you. In this case, in a heavily Jewish area, I would expect appropiate arrangements to be installed. Sometimes management just likes to "test" the waters for various reasons.

    Automatic doors are also a problem as passing through the radar causes the door to open. You can wait until a non-jew wants to enter and he opens the door, but it is better if there is a non-electric door nearby.

  4. Chris Hoffman your comment is uninformed, derisive and disrespectful. Rabbis Moshe Feinstein and Dov Feinstein live (d) in the city in elevator buildings. Next, I did say the heter was for the infirmed and not to make your life easier. That's what a heter is supposed to do. Next, while there are poskim who live in Monsey you can find any number who live in the city right there with … like your orthodox synagogue rabbi. Assuming you are orthodox and have a synagogue and have a rabbi? After all that's who this thread is directed towards. For if you were not orthodox your comment would also be deemed intolerant.

  5. Jewish law doesn't prohibit any of these things. It is the interpretation of statutes by orthodox "scholars" that creates the situation. I view this as another attempt by rabbis to create potential sins so that they can retain control over the lives of the every Chaim Yankel. The sooner common sense overtakes the rabbinate, the sooner that religious Jews will be able to take advantage of modern technology without fear of guilt.

Comments are closed.

Loading Facebook Comments ...