NPR has the story (and that gorgeous, scene-stealing photo, displayed above). Here's a taste:
Over the years rabbis have approved various methods of automation, such as lights that run on timers, as permissible on the Sabbath.
But now some prominent rabbis have declared that Shabbat elevators must not be used. The rabbis say Shabbat elevators are a "severely prohibited" desecration of the Sabbath. Thus, the eternal debate about what an observant Jew may and may not do on the Sabbath has taken another turn.