In the Pre-Borsalino Era it was simply forbidden to kindle a fire on SHABBAS. Pre-Borsalino folks protected themselves from stubbed toes and the occasional wet floor caused by, er, “missing the target” by simply leaving a light on in the bathroom. This scheme worked well most of the time but suffered from one fatal flaw – you had to remember to leave the light on. Why we frequently forgot to do this was one of the Mysteries of SHABBAS.

The Borsalino Era has seen the invention of a vast array of devices to allow us to do on SHABBAS what we are, well, not allowed to do on SHABBAS. The well-equipped Borsalino Era house is fully automated with SHABBAS clocks, programmable timers, X10 controllers, SHABBAS lamps and that pitcher-thing that keeps the water hot.

No longer do we have to worry about coming home to a dark house on Friday Night. All you have to do is press the Program button two times, press the Up or Down button to set the time, remembering to see if the AM/PM light is on, press the Set/Confirm button once long and once short (or twice long if it’s Thursday) and everything turns on and off at the proper time…eventually.

Unfortunately, there comes that awful time, about three o’clock SHABBAS morning when you realize that what you have to do - like right now - is going to be made rather difficult by what you forgot to do before SHABBAS. Yes, you forgot to turn on the bathroom light - the only light in the whole house that isn’t on a timer.

Of course, you could always ask a non-Jew to turn on the light but where do you find one at 3:00AM in a neighborhood full of Borsalino Era FRUMMIES? And even if you did find somebody, we all know it is forbidden to ask a non-Jew to turn on a light on SHABBAS, but there are some that say it is permissible if you ask in Polish. Consult your local Borsalino Era Rabbi when you can walk on your stubbed toe again.


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