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Question for those who observe Jewish Sabbath

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We are doing a History and Comparison of World Religions and today read about Judaism. One of the things mentioned was that there were 39 different categories of work that were not done on the Sabbath, one of which being cutting wood or kindling fires.


It mentioned that using electricity falls under that exclusion. Does running a furnace also fall into that category?


We read that the US states with the highest percent of Jewish population were New York, New Jersey, and Florida. I'm sure it is very cold right now in the first two. So are you allowed to use either electric or other mechanical heating devices during the Sabbath?


(We thought this might be an exception to the exclusion, since it potentially involved saving a life, but this is only our speculation...)


Thanks for the clarification. I hope my questions do not offend. That was certainly not my intent.

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