Sabbath Service (SHO) is a special service mode elevator which is only found in Sabbath Elevators, normally found in areas with large populations of observant Jews or synagogues. Elevators with this mode normally do not have floor buttons, or the floor button exists but do not function.


When enabled, elevators with this mode will typically proceed from the lowest landing directly to the top landing, and then stop automatically at every floor on the way down. This allows passengers to step on and off without having to press any buttons. This prevents violation of the Sabbath prohibition against operating electrical devices when Sabbath is in effect for those who observe this ritual.


Due to the elevator automatically stopping at all floors, Sabbath mode has the side effect of using considerable amounts of energy, running the elevator car sequentially up and down every floor of a building, repeatedly servicing floors where it is not needed.

In hospitals, elevators with Sabbath mode would be considered dangerous because they are to be relied on for fast service for transporting patients in dire need of care or surgery.


The solution for Sabbath elevators in tall buildings with many floors is that car must move on a frequent enough basis so as to not cause undue delay for potential users that will not touch the controls as it opens the doors on every floor up the building.


  • There is a set of glass elevators in Apple Store Ginza, Tokyo which is considered a Sabbath Elevator because it doesn't have floor buttons and stops at all floors automatically.[1]


  1. Elevators at Apple Store Ginza, Tokyo (taken by SchindlerLift1874)


Elevator Special Modes 

Anti-Crime Protection (ACP)Attendant service (AS)Earthquake emergency return (EER)Emergency power operation (EPR) • Fire service mode (EFS) (Fireman's elevator) • Independent service (ISC) • Inspection service (INS) • Medical emergency/Code Blue service (EHS)Nudge modeOut of service • Peak times modes (Up peak (MIT) • Down peak) • Pet modeSabbath service (SHO)

See Also: List of Elevator and Escalator Brands • Elevator Fixtures Guide

Return to Homepage: Click here

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.