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To save electricity, I like to shut down my computer every night. First, I quit my Web browser.

My Web browser is set up so that, when I quit, it automatically saves my session: a list of open tabs and more. It stores the session on my computer's hard drive. I find this very useful.

R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach was strict about saving information to a computer's hard drive during Chol Hamoed. In "Chol Hamoed Observance in Modern Times", R' Howard Jachter explains:

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (cited in Shmirat Shabbat Kehilchata 66 note 209) [...] surprisingly forbids [...] storing information on a computer because it is a form of "building."

Let's say that my rabbi holds like R' Auerbach regarding saving on Chol Hamoed. If so, then during Chol Hamoed, may I quit my Web browser normally and let it save its session? Or must I take special steps so that it won't save its session?


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If you don't want to store anything on your harddrive you will need to do a lot more than not close your browser. – Michoel Mar 29 '13 at 0:35
The browser doesn't save the session on shutdown - it saves it constantly. If you wanted to avoid the browser saving anything you'd need to use "Private browsing mode". But the computer does quite a bit more than just save a session. – Ariel Mar 29 '13 at 1:13
Note that he also forbids typing on the computer in the first place, so it seems to be a moot point. – Shimon bM Mar 20 at 2:16

1 Answer 1

I would think that R Shlomo Zalman would probably not allow one to use a modern-day computer on chol hamoed; a computer constantly saves and re-writes information. However, if this problem is avoided and you are solely concerned about saving browsing information, shut that mode off and use incognito browsing.

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A source for your assumption would greatly improve the quality of this answer. – Danny Schoemann Mar 22 at 7:17
@DannySchoemann it seems to follow directly from what's in the question. – msh210 Mar 22 at 7:22
@msh210 Au contraire; the OP quotes RSZA as "forbids [...] storing information on a computer" which implies that one may use the computer, just not "write to disk". – Danny Schoemann Mar 22 at 7:23
@DannySchoemann most uses of a typical modern computer, if not all, store information on it. – msh210 Mar 22 at 7:30

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