My favorite treatise on the 39 Melachot is one that was commissioned by the Israeli Air Force. Since there was a non-zero chance that Israel would have access to manned spaceflight, the IAF needed to know how to apply these rules to astronauts in space. After all, since igniting and extinguishing have been extrapolated in modern times to include the use of and cessation of electrical power, does this mean astronauts can't turn switches on Saturdays? This is the sort of problem this pamphlet was intended to address.

Because I'm a loser, i now can't find the thing. However, it's an Israeli Air Force pub.

The IAF did, in fact, gain access to space. Astronaut Ilan Ramon, an IAF Colonel, was aboard the American STS-107 mission of the Space Shuttle Columbia. This mission, and all aboard, were lost on re-entry on February 1, 2003. As regards this node, Col. Ramon was quoted on CNN as saying that he considered himself a fairly secular Israeli Jew. Thus, the IAF's version of the 39 Melachot may not have come into play during that mission.

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