GramaChip Technologies

There are cholim (ailing or frail individuals) who would greatly benefit from being able to use electric devices on Shabbos. GramaChip Technologies is a company that provides halachically compliant solutions for these cholim; its products are STAR-K certified.

As its name suggests, the products rely on the halachic principle of grama. The Mishna discusses grama in the context of putting out a fire on Shabbos. One is permitted to arrange a ring of water around a fire, even though the fire will certainly be extinguished when it reaches the water.1 This is halachically allowed due to the time delay between the action of arranging the water and the subsequent melacha of extinguishing the fire on Shabbos. Similarly, any activity that includes a time delay between a person’s action and the ensuing melacha would be categorized as a grama.2 Grama of a melacha de’oraissa is permitted only in situations of financial loss.3 However, grama of a melacha de’rabonnon is permitted on Shabbos.4

The use of electric devices which produce fire, heat or light5 is forbidden mi’deoraissa. The use of other electric devices is forbidden mi’drabonon,6 and operating them through grama should be permitted. Nevertheless, doing so is generally considered to be a denigration of the sanctity of Shabbos and is, therefore, forbidden. This is not the case when performed by a choleh who does not have other available options.7

For example, there are many people who have limited mobility and are unable to walk up and down a flight of stairs. During the week they may use a stairlift, which is a motorized chair that carries the person up and down the stairs. On Shabbos, they cannot use this device and may be unable to get from one room to another (e.g., from the bedroom to the dining room). GramaChip Technologies produces a device which can be installed in a stairlift to enable its use on Shabbos.

GramaChip Technologies can be contacted at 732-655-4206 or at [email protected].

  1. Mishna Shabbos 16:5
  2. Rabbi Heinemann shlit”a
  3. Rema O.C. 334:22
  4. Minchas Shlomo 1:10
  5. Incandescent or fluorescent
  6. Minchas Shlomo 1:10
  7. Rabbi Heinemann shlit”a