Most of today’s refrigerators include a multitude of systems and sensors that regulate a variety of functions. Electronic counters and sensors regularly monitor refrigerator moisture and temperature levels, while these and other instruments determine when other systems, such as the auto-defrost heating element turns on and off. According to Darin Franks, Chief Engineer at General Electric, today’s refrigerators have “as many as seven or eight computers onboard.” Many compressors run periodically, or continually but at variant power levels, and are often affected directly by each and every opening or closing of the fridge door. Switches that could once be circumvented before Shabbat are now commonly replaced by sensors that cannot be avoided.
Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, the OU’s late Halachic decisor had for years advocated finding uncompromised solutions for the use of modern refrigerators on Shabbos.
In response to interest from Jewish consumers, GE Appliances (working together with Rabbi Tzvi Ortner, director of OU Kosher’s Division of Halacha and Technology) has developed the Shabbos Keeper, an add-on device which interfaces with over 100 models of GE’s French Door refrigerator line. The Shabbos Keeper is preprogrammed with Shabbos and Yom Tov dates for the next 30 years, and is designed to completely disengage any of the technology that creates Shabbos concerns. There is no need to cover switches, unscrew light bulbs or even activate a Shabbat mode. The Shabbos Keeper also disconnects compressor function from door opening, resolving the concerns of even the most strict opinions, and unlike previous devices such as refrigerator timers, the refrigerator can be used throughout the entire Shabbat.
OU Kosher favorably endorses this product, which completely resolves all Shabbat and Yom Tov issues associated with refrigerator use according to even the most stringent halachic opinions, and is a 100% solution for Shabbos use.
Rabbi Moshe Elefant, COO of OU Kosher stated: “GE’s Shabbos Keeper is likely to revolutionize the use of refrigerators on Shabbos”.
“With this device, we are able to meet the needs of the Jewish community in a way I don’t think anyone has been able to do before,” says GE CEO Kevin Nolan. “This technology works seamlessly and takes the worry out of refrigerator use.”
OU Kosher hosted a webinar with more information about this which can be accessed here.
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