# 2928 At Arm’s Length?


Q. See questions (2926-27) above. Can one use that prosthetic electronic arm hand on Shabbat? What if it is not connected to the batteries?
A. On question 1221 regarding new technology that enables the totally invalid or paraplegic to drive a wheel chair only via their brain electrical waves. Electrodes connected to their head receive those waves and with some training, allow the invalid to control his thoughts and change his mind wave patterns. Those are interpreted by the wheel chair computer to start, stop and direct the movement of the chair. We wrote:
“Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that a melacha or work performed on Shabbos by using only the electrical charges that emanate from ones controlled and willing thoughts, collected by electrodes attached to the head, is considered a proper melacha. However, for someone who does not usually use his thoughts for the creation of electrical discharges, it likely would be a melacha performed with a shinui or a significant deviation from the norm and therefore only Rabbinically prohibited. However, an invalid or paraplegic that uses this method to constantly move and perform other works, for him it becomes the norm and would constitute a Biblical prohibition.”
Therefore, the use of that bionic arm and hand, regardless whether it is done directly, by using the electrical discharges provided by the nerves or the electrical waves provided by the brain, would not be permitted during Shabbos. However, if one turned off the arm before Shabbos, and just wants to use it as a covering or dressing to look like others, it would be permitted.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.