By: Rabbi Mordechai Frankel

August 07, 2023

Shabbat Mobility scooter

People look forward to Shabbos as a day to daven in shul and enjoy the company of other Shomer Shabbos community members. Unfortunately, there are people with mobility issues who are housebound on Shabbos, and, for them, Shabbos is a lonely day. But thanks to newly developed technology by Movinglife, an Israeli firm, the housebound are now afforded a new opportunity to rejoin the tzibbur and to enhance their enjoyment of Shabbos. We are excited to announce STAR-K certification of the Shabbatto folding scooter, a new personal mobility device with a Shabbat Mode option.

The road to certification began with Movinglife contacting STAR-K to discuss their project. After approaching STAR-K to seek certification, the Movinglife management team met with Rav Moshe Heinemann shlit" STAR-K's posek and Rabbinic Administrator, at his home. This initial meeting lasted a good few hours, during which Rav Heinemann explained in detail what he would permit and forbid for Shabbo's use.
Movinglife subsequently programmed the scooter's Shabbos mechanism to follow Rav Heinemann's halachic guidelines. They showed the result to the Rav, who called for further minor changes. Once those changes were incorporated, the final product was tested by STAR-K. We can now certify that the Shabbos mechanism for Shabbatto folding scooters fully meets Rav Heinemann's requirements. Thus, the Shabbatto is the only scooter currently meeting STAR-K's Shabbos standards for use by cholim only.
 Below are answers to frequently asked questions concerning this scooter.

Who can use this scooter on Shabbos?

The scooter may be used only by one designated to be a choleh, in that they cannot engage in normal Shabbos activities due to mobility issues. An Orthodox Rabbi must be consulted to decide whether a person meets that criteria.

Shabbay Mobility scooter

Can the scooter be used on Shabbos in a public domain that does not have an eruv?
No. It can be used on Shabbos only where there is a kosher eruv.

Can the scooter be used in any community?
No. Poskim of some communities may feel that it is inappropriate for a choleh to use a scooter on Shabbosor they may take issue with the halachic argument permitting its use. Therefore, the scooter may be driven on Shabbos only in communities where the poskim condones its use and driven to shul only if the rabbi permits.

Why is this scooter permissible on Shabbos?
Some melachos are forbidden mi'd'Oraysa (by the Torah) on Shabbos, while others are banned mi'drabanan (by Talmudic decree). One is not allowed to perform an action that will immediately result in either a melacha d'Oraysa or a melacha Tabanan. Moreover, barring extenuating circumstances, one is not allowed to perform any action which will result in a melacha d'Oraysa taking place even at some later time.
However, to meet the specific needs of cholim on Shabbos, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt" l allowed for the custom building of devices that result in a melacha d'rabanan occurring after a brief delay. The Shabbatto's Shabbat Mode mechanism relies on this principle of grama. When the scooter is in Shabbat Mode, it will not move immediately upon engaging the throttle; a few-second delay precedes any movement.

Shabbat Folding Mobility scooter

Why is it permissible to use the scooter's brakes on Shabbos?
The scooter will stop immediately upon applying the hand brakes, and there will not be any time delay. In Shabbat Mode, the brakes work mechanically, similar to the brakes on a bicycle. Since the brakes are mechanical and not electric, this is permitted on Shabbos.

Is it appropriate to use the scooter in public on Shabbos?
On Shabbos, a person driving the scooter must place a sign on the back stating that the user is a choleh due to impaired mobility to mitigate the impression that he is disrespecting Shabbos. A STAR-K-approved sign is provided along with the Shabbos mechanism.

When in Shabbat Mode, are there any scooter controls which may not be used?
When in Shabbat Mode, all of the scooter's electric controls activate only after a time delay of a few seconds. Any controls that activate immediately are disabled. The one exception is the emergency horn, which does start immediately. Therefore, as its name suggests, it should only be used in an emergency.

Does the company that manufactures the scooter also manufacture the Shabbos mechanism, or are they two different companies?
They are the same. Because Movinglife manufactures the scooter, they can seamlessly integrate the Shabbos mechanism.

How can I purchase this scooter?
Find USA purchase info for the STAR-K-approved Shabbatto folding scooter at or by calling the number at the top

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