May One Use A Baby Monitor On Shabbat?

The Daily Halacha Moment - Using Baby Monitors On Shabbat 🤱 🍼


״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Question:

May one use a baby monitor on Shabbat?


Answer:

According to the Sefardic Custom One may put a baby-monitor in the room of a child on erev Shabbat in order that it will remain on throughout Shabbat. [1] The reasoning for permitting this is as follows: The fact that the baby’s voice activates the monitor’s system is of no concern, because the infant obviously does not intend to activate anything. And as for the fact that the speaker loudly sounds the baby’s voice in the house, Chacham Ovadia notes that this poses no problem according to Sephardic practice, since according to the Shulchan Aruch there is no prohibition against having noise in the home on Shabbat. Even though the parents might talk to the baby or to each other in the baby’s room, and they would then be activating the monitor’s system through their speech. Chacham Ovadia dismisses this argument, since this situation falls under the category of pesik resheh de’lo ichpat leh – an action which inadvertently results in a melachah which one has no interest in whatsoever. Although the parents’ speech would inevitably increase the flow of electricity in the monitor, this is neither their intention nor their desire – and therefore, since the prohibition at stake is only a rabbinical violation and not a Torah violation, speaking is allowed. However, it is preferable that when one is in the room he should cover the monitor so that one can speak when it is on without their voice being detected. Nonetheless, many Ashkenazic poskim are stringent one should follow one’s custom. [2]


Sources:

[1]. Halichot Olam, vol. 4, p. 197; Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, vol. 5 p. 403, Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 6, p. 151.

[2]. See Igrot Moshe O.C. 3:55. 

See also in Orchot Shabbat, 15:35 and 26:27 and in  Halichot Shabbat, vol. 1, p. 206. 


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