The Institute for Science and Halacha is ‘not an institute that is looking for loopholes’ yet it houses, ‘amateur inventors tinkering at work tables to find Shabbat-acceptable devices. Among the latest projects is a doorbell that uses air pressure instead of electricity’ and ‘an attempt to create Shabbat wheelchair that uses pneumatic power as an alternative to electric power.’
The institute is a mix of library, workshop and warehouse. In one room, Orthodox rabbinical students pore over books. Next door is a workshop loaded with switches and wires, a place to experiment with ways around using electricity on Shabbat.