'Strictly kosher' green man
Photo: Yaron Brener

London gets 'kosher' pedestrian crossing

Crossing located on busy road near synagogue to become 'hands-free' on Shabbat so that religious Jews can avoid pressing button to operate it

Not just Shabbat elevator: A pedestrian crossing located on a busy road near a London synagogue will soon become "hands-free" from Friday evening until nightfall on Saturday so religious Jews can avoid pressing a button to operate it on Shabbat.


Starting in December, traffic on the intersection will be held up automatically every 90 seconds on the Jewish day of rest, allowing pedestrians to cross safely without violating Shabbat.


British newspaper Daily Mail reports that the decision was made after leaders at Finchley United Synagogue explained their predicament to staff at Transport for London, which is responsible for maintaining main roads in the UK capital.


According to the report, the system will come into operation in December when the junction fully reopens after a massive 10-month upgrade costing £8 million (about $12.5 million).


"This idea was suggested by the synagogue, whose members asked if it could be done," said a TfL spokesman. "We thought about it and came to the conclusion that it could."


"This is a sensible idea that will make a real difference," a member of the North London Jewish congregation told the Daily Mail.


According to the newspaper, the move follows the controversial formation of an eruv – a boundary recognized by Jewish law within which certain activities are permitted – in the same area.



פרסום ראשון: 10.03.11, 09:47
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