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Let's assume we follow Rabbi Moshe Feinstein's ruling that hearing aids are permitted on Shabbat, but microphones are not.

What about installing an audio induction loop in the synagogue? It would send out a magnetic signal that's inaudible to naked ear, but would allow hearing aids (switched to the right mode) to turn into sound?

Is anyone aware whether its permissibility has been discussed? Or if it's been installed anywhere? (It appears this technology is more popular in the U.K., if that helps)

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חדש אסור מן התורה? –  Seth J Aug 3 '12 at 18:39

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I wrote to the Zomet Institute, which works on techno-Halachic issues, and learned that they have checked and approved such a system, made by Mehalev, for use in a Jerusalem shul called Kehilat Yedidya. They were kind enough to provide me with a copy of the approval letter (.doc).

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Fascinating; though Zomet is considered on the lenient spectrum when it comes to shabbat electronics; I'd be curious what their rightward-drifting brethren would say. Also interesting that they don't allow one to switch the hearing aid from background-audio (M) to telecoil (T) on shabbat. Some have an "MT" setting that blends background and telecoil, and some fancy new ones can auto-switch to telecoil in the presence of a magnetic field. –  Shalom Oct 27 '11 at 14:30
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Who are the more right-wing "go-to" organizations or rabbis for this type of question? Feel free to contact Zomet directly if you want to know why they made that particular decidion about the M and T settings; they responded to my email quickly enough. –  Isaac Moses Oct 27 '11 at 14:34
    
I just emailed Star-K, we'll see what they say. Mind you, those are the folks that brought you the Sabbath mode oven; If Zomet is left wing, Star-K is probably square center. –  Shalom Oct 27 '11 at 15:03

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