Hotels and Shabbos Observance

27 Adar I 5774
February 27, 2014

The item appearing below is a translation from the Hebrew original appearing in the Chief Rabbinate of Israel Kashrus Enforcement Unit alert number 011/5774, published on 26 Adar I 5774.

The Chief Rabbinate has received complaints regarding a lack of sensitivity in the hotel industry for Shomer Shabbos guests. Some of those complaints have been registered against Isratel and Patel hotels. Guest cited they were requested to check out of their rooms on Shabbos afternoon.

In some cases, hotel officials compelled guests to give a guarantee on Shabbos they will pay additional charges after Shabbos for being permitted to remain until Shabbos ends.

In order to prevent Chilul Shabbos and aggravation, guests booking for Shabbos must inquire at reservation time regarding the following:
• When is checkout time on Shabbos
• Shutting off the system that shuts down and turns on the heating/air conditioning when one enters and leaves the room.
• Obtaining a manual key (JKN adds in some cases, even if a manual key is used the electronic system may still be operational. Check with a rav who is in the know).
• Shutting off the electronic systems in the bathroom
• Shutting off of electric doors or finding an alternative
• Shabbos elevator (JKN adds NOT every hotel elevator operating on automatic is Halachically a Shabbos elevator!)
• Determine if the atmosphere in the public areas of the hotel are suitable for Shabbos

The Chief Rabbinate has also learned that at times, a kosher certified hotel may opt to distribute vouchers for a local restaurant instead of serving meals in a dining room. At times, vouchers may be given for restaurants that do not have kosher certification. This has recently occurred in the Royal Beach Hotel in Eilat.


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