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Can I leave my computer on downloading over Shabbos?

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See also judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/10358. –  msh210 Sep 28 '11 at 16:20
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2 Answers 2

It is generally permitted to begin a task on erev Shabbos which will not be completed until after Shabbos has begun when it will be completed by itself. (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 252:1

One would be required to have the sound off and I believe contemporary poskim would require the monitor to be off as well.

One should note, however that there are restrictions about what one can, and what one should, be doing on erev Shabbos that I haven't addressed.

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re: monitor and sound, is this only if you are in the same place as the computer? what if it is at work? why should it be any different than leaving the lights on at your house when you go away? –  Jeremy Apr 26 '10 at 15:31
    
My comment was more geared at a home computer, but I'm not certain that it wouldn't apply to a work computer as well. I'll try to look up the relevant halachos later. There is an issue specifically with tasks begun before Shabbos that will make noise. Leaving the monitor on is more like the lights, but it would be forbidden to read the messages so it would certainly be more appropriate to turn it off and it is possible that there is basis to require it. –  Yirmeyahu Apr 26 '10 at 16:08
    
@Yirmeyahu why would it be forbidden to read the messages? –  Daniel Apr 24 '13 at 21:31
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Your question relates to the concept of Shvitat Kelim, resting equipment. Must our equipment rest on Shabbat or Yom Tov? Chazal decided the answer is NO.

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Your answer would be more valuable to the community if you brought a source for this decision of Chazal. –  Double AA Jan 2 '12 at 23:34
    
Welcome to the site, David Kra; I hope you stick around and enjoy it. –  msh210 Jan 2 '12 at 23:42
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But the Rabbanim do forbid vessels that make a sound on shabbat. –  Menachem Feb 1 '12 at 4:53
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