12 November, 2007

Elevator Entertainment

As some of you may or may not know, my dear son was hospitalized for a few days last week, after a youth group accident. Thank God he is fine, stitched and home, and we are grateful and relieved. Needless to say, I wasn't in a terribly picture-taking mood while he was hospitalized, but the morning that we got his release order from the doctor, I relaxed a bit, and asked him if he'd seen any funny signs around the hospital. He aimed me for the elevator, and asked me to take a picture of this:

The writing came out pretty small in the photo, and anyway I'll translate for those less fluent in Hebrew. The yellow one says "Elevator for Passengers Only" and the dark red one says "For Transporting Patients and Loads Only." I asked my son why he thought this was funny, and his answer was twofold: first, why aren't patients passengers? And second, he seemed quite certain that transporting the patients with the heavy loads would cause severe damage to the patients.

I turned around, and saw this one on top of the elevator across the way:

This is a sign for the Shabat elevator - an elevator (found commonly in Israel) that operates automatically, going from floor to floor on a timer, without anyone needing to push buttons. This Shabat elevator is apparently very special - it seems to have some serious Willy Wonka action going on.

And then, looking left, I found this fancy, new-fangled elevator that can accompany men, men and women!

I really don't get this one. Does this particular elevator run on a strict male/female ratio? Anyone out there care to take a guess what they're trying to convey?

Baruch Rofeh Cholim.


skap said...

Too funny! Reminds me of the old song--"Sign, sign, everywhere the sign...do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?"

toby said...

I'm pasting a comment here that a friend of mine put on Facebook, just because I think it's funny and I'd like to share it with everyone:

maybe the last sign was to meet the halkhik standards of two men for every woman to avoid yihud? -Shlomo

Deric said...


The big letters say, “Ma’alit Shabbat” – Which means “Shabbat Elevator”. What happens in Israel is that on Shabbat (Friday sundown to Sat sundown), is that the elevators automatically go up and down, stop on every floor, and open. This way, according to added rules of Judaism, they don’t have to push the elevator button to ride it! So the sign is saying the elevator will go up and down automatically, and stop on every floor, where people can get off and go either direction without “breaking” the Sabbath.

toby said...

Hi Deric - I am pretty familiar with the concept of a Shabat Elevator - what threw me off were the arrows going sideways - what are those about?

ריבי said...

Hmm... my guess would be that although the Shabbat elevator is there to accommodate the Orthodox, there need not be a separation of men and women.

Sorry this comment is months later than everyone else's. There was a link to this point on What War Zone so I just saw it for the first time now.