Thermostat on Shabbat

Question

Shalom Rabbi

My daughter goes to religious school. She went for Shabbaton for girls from her class. One of the girls accidentally turned the cold on in the house in their room to very cold temp. My daughter got sick at night. The teacher at the house knew the room is cold and did nothing because it was Shabbat.

I don’t want to get in the middle of this as a parent at school without having an independent opinion. What is Halachically right to do? Kids come to your house. You are Shomer Shabbat. You know kids are cold and in danger for their health, and there is a temperature meter. What are you supposed to do? Call a non-Jew? If one is not available, then what?

 

Many thanks.

Warm regards

Chaim

8 months

Answers

  1. While I empathize with your question, the Halacha is quite clear that under normal circumstances there is not much that can be done on Shabbat to change the temperature setting. Can a non-Jew be called to the house to change the thermostat? If the non-Jew can be hinted to that the room is too cold so that they understand that they should change the setting then there are authorities who would allow that to happen. But, if there is no option for a non-Jew to come to the house and there is no danger to anyone’s life due to the cold, then there is nothing that can be done except to bundle up as warmly as possible.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team