erusalem – Living in the fathomless depths of the ocean for weeks at a time as a crew-member of a military submarine entails many restrictions on every day activities that most landlubbers take for granted, while certain religious practices cause problems as well.

One such issue is lighting Shabbat candles on Friday night while on nautical service, where having an open flame is forbidden.

But the Zomet Institute, which provides technological solutions that accord with Jewish law (halacha) for overcoming complicated halachic problems, has found a solution. It says that it’s recently released Lee-Ner electric Shabbat lights comply with the requirements of Jewish law to light candles on Friday night, and avoid any safety concerns that the use of a naked flame entails.

The organization explains that the device utilizes a standard but small incandescent light-bulb, which in halacha is considered akin to fire and therefore permissible, in necessary circumstances, to substitute for the flame of a candle. Because it uses a battery and not the electrical mains, and because the plastic covering of the bulb is specially made to be especially transparent, one may even recite the blessing for lighting Shabbat candles when using the Lee-Ner device.

According to Zomet, a grandmother with two grandchildren serving in the Israeli navy’s military submarines recently turned to the organization to ask how they could fulfill the requirement to light Shabbat candles.

The institute recommended the new electric Shabbat lights to her, and so she ordered two of them and sent them to both her grandchildren, who have since used them on their submarines to mark the beginning of the Sabbath while 20,000 leagues under the sea, or thereabouts.

Soldiers wishing to light Shabbat lights while in tents or military quarters where candles cannot be lit have also requested the device. Ner-Lee was primarily designed to be used in hotels and hospitals where lighting candles in one’s room is often restricted due to fire hazard.

Developers at Zomet add that lighting Shabbat lights in a hotel lobby is less desirable from a halachic point of view, and say that people staying a in a hotel could instead “light” the Lee-Ner device in their hotel room without causing safety concerns.

As reported by Vos Iz Neias