â€śDonâ€™t get in that one!â€ť a woman cried, standing in front of an open elevator door, a quiet toddler in her arms.
But why? Was this elevator dangerous?
Well, no. But in a city where perhaps the dirtiest word of all is â€śwait,â€ť it was close enough.
â€śItâ€™ll stop on like every floor,â€ť said the woman, Shira Stember, standing in the lobby of a Seward Park co-op building on the Lower East Side. While she is happy the elevator is there for her neighbors, Ms. Stember said, she prefers to take the next car, because this open door leads into a Shabbos elevator.
Jim Lincoln wrote: Legalism, be it Christian or Jewish is nonsense. Matthew 23
Religious hypocrisy ("robbery & self-indulgence") is the subject of Jesus's rebuke in Matt. 23, not merely legal hair-splitting. He didn't tell the Pharisees to stop cleaning their crockery, but to repent from their inner uncleanness (using crockery as a metaphor).
Matthew 23 25 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. 26 "You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.---NASB
For Jews I can see thinking about the Sabbath, i.e., Shabbat could have some useful purpose. But, too often the ceremonies take place of what the meaning of something that is behind them.
I have to wonder by what logic they think they can walk to & fro in the 1st place; surely that takes more effort than pushing buttons. But this illustrates the ludicrous extremes to which Rabbinic casuistry can go.