Every Friday evening as New Yorkers wrap up another work week, tiny pockets of town are abuzz with last-minute preparations. The city's Orthodox Jews are getting ready to go dark.
Roughly 500,000 Jewish people around New York prepare for sundown with a flurry of activity: there are light timers to be set, hot plates to turn on, and oh, one more thing: don’t forget to unscrew the light bulb in the refrigerator. Because once the sun begins to set on Friday, nothing can be turned off or on, no work can be done here for a full day, until the first stars appear in the Saturday night sky. That means even something as everyday as flipping a light switch is temporarily off-limits.
This is Shabbos, one full day of rest, and it’s not just for people, it’s for their electronics, too.
But a few Orthodox Jewish homes, tucked away in an inner pocket of Brooklyn, are starting to make their own Friday evening routines surprisingly high-tech. Because their Shabbos is going “smart,” as the Orthodox parishioners install connected homes: pre-programmable smart lights, smart outlets and smart thermostats.
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