Friday, July 16, 2010

Starbucks on Shabbat

I'm trying out something new, which is really something old, though it is new to me.

I call it blog-byting.

By this I mean that when I have a cool idea, but no time to expound upon it, I will simply produce a mini blog post instead of my typical tome.

So here is my very first blog-byte, which is really a question:

Is it okay to use a Starbucks gift card on Shabbat?

The answer, for those who adhere to a more-or-less halakhic observance of Shabbat, is "obviously not," but I think that perhaps we should reconsider this, based on two ideas:

  • The Shabbat Elevator
  • The fact that being able to get an iced Venti coffee or Frappuccino on these deadly summer afternoons could be considered "oneg Shabbat," the enjoyment of Shabbat, or even "pikuach nefesh," a life-saving maneuver, which is a mitzvah, to be sure.
This blog-byte presumes a certain Jewish literacy so if you are reading this and need help, call up your Jewiest friend, who can hopefully explain what Shabbat elevators are and what the deal is with spending money on Shabbat. Because this is a blog-byte, I will be logging off now to resume my regularly-scheduled crushing workload and leave this provocative question dangling in cyberspace.

Or blowin' in the blogosphere, if you will.

Opinions, comments and feedback are welcome.

Shabbat Shalom!!

3 comments:

胡茹雨胡茹雨 said...

辛苦了!祝你愈來愈好!..................................................................

鄭雅琦鄭雅琦 said...

喜歡你的部落格,祝你愈來愈好............................................................

Rabbi Jason Miller said...

I'm not sure how different this is from being at a hotel and instructing the waitress by the pool to "charge the frozen margarita to room 2016."

I suppose the pre-paid card (or gift card) has monetary value (like a credit card) and the exchange of the card is a monetary transaction. Also, carrying the card (outside of an eruv) violates Shabbat.

You could probably make an arrangement with your neighborhood Starbucks to keep a tab. You come in on Shabbat afternoons and your drink-of-choice is there waiting for you. After Shabbat you come and pay your tab (or pay it before).

Then you only have to deal with the murky issue of marit ayin!