Certain neighborhoods are becoming increasingly sought after by observant Jews—but in keeping with what is written in the Torah, apartment hunting can be a formidable undertaking. Observant Jews not only have to deal with New York City’s low vacancy rate but they need to find a home that, most importantly, is within walking distance to shul (synagogue) from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday and some Jewish holidays—owing to the fact that Sabbath obligations, of which there are a lot, do not allow one to drive a car. It goes against what’s written in the Torah to start or extinguish fires during the Sabbath, and, well, cars burn fuel. And by the way, this also means cooking only one, single, solitary item.
Another big-time wrench in the works is not being able to press an elevator button since it’s a Torah no-no to use any kind of machinery. One way to avoid trudging up and down multiple flights of stairs, or worse, from a penthouse, is to either buy a low-floor unit, track down an apartment building with a “Sabbath elevator” or, at the very least, find an apartment house willing to declare the offering of one by simply programming the elevator to stop at every or every other floor. ….