Questions about how Judaism interacts with technological innovations.

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Scheduling Email for 3AM and Gneivas Daas

Is is permitted to schedule an email for the wee hours of the night, like 3AM, to give the impression that you were working late? Is it significantly well known that there are services like ...
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0answers
12 views

Answering a chazan via phone, skype, or web conferencing [duplicate]

Follow up to this M.Y. answer: The answer quotes Kitzur Shulchan Aruch which says, near the end that even an iron partition does not separate Jews from their father in heaven. I assume that using ...
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1answer
49 views

Is there an online source for trope occurrences?

As a Torah reader, I like to find nuances and inherent meanings in trope (cantillation) nuances and "unusual" occurrences in the Torah. For example I'm looking for all the places that have two ...
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0answers
20 views

Has cryonics been treated in Rabbinic literature? [duplicate]

Has it been treated by rabbinic literature? If yes, what does it say about cryonics?
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1answer
40 views

Can one wear Yaktrax on Shabbat?

Yaktrax is an ice traction "device" that you slip onto the bottom of your shoe. Can one wear this on Shabbat? Possible concerns: boneh - "building". Wearing the device involves stretching a band ...
3
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2answers
70 views

Can one kasher anodized metal?

Anodized metal is metal with an increase in the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface of metal parts. Is there any issue kashering it, or is it basically like metal with a layer of rust ...
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2answers
1k views

Pirating software that has already been bought

Say, for instance, that I've previously bought a set of DVDs (for example, the workout program P90x, which contains several DVDs in a set), and that I am currently in a different country and have not ...
3
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0answers
56 views

The Mekor Baruch's intructions of making gold from copper

Rav Epstein in his Mekor Baruch 3:19:6 brings a story about him and a maggid. The maggid was looking for a certain sefer which instructs one how to make gold from copper. The Mekor Baruch(who had the ...
10
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1answer
82 views

Can an ultrasound be relied upon?

I have read reports of the accuracy of gender prediction from an ultrasound with numbers ranging from 90-98%. There is a halacha (Y.D. 194:11) that if a fetus sticks its hand [or possibly any limb] ...
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2answers
134 views

Netilas Yadayim with automatic sinks

It seems there is precedent to allow for netilas yadayim when you don't have a cup, by turning the sink on and off for each rivi'is per hand. By employing this method you satisfy the requirement of ...
6
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3answers
103 views

Comprehensive map/list of active Orthodox synagogues in the U.S

Does anyone know of a map or list of all the active Orthodox shuls in the U.S.? When I was looking for which residencies to apply to it was my limiting factor and sometimes it was hard to find out ...
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0answers
41 views

Looking for information about going to Mikvah with an IUD [closed]

I am interested in going to a Mikvah for the first time. I have an intrauterine device (aka IUD, a form of birth control) and get very little or sometimes no bleeding. I don't now how to determine ...
7
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1answer
80 views

Studying Torah while lying on a bed?

I often watch Shiurim and use Mi Yodeya while lying (sometimes sitting) on my bed. What are the parameters for one's position while studying Torah? Am I doing something wrong?
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2answers
35 views

Hydroponics – Allowed on Seventh Year?

Would hydroponics be allowed in Israel on the seventh year, when there are additional restrictions on farming the land?
5
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0answers
68 views

Are there any contemporary “Gedolim” that prohibit the use of davening from a smart phone?

It took me a long time to upgrade my technology, but I admit that lately, I have been using my smart phone during davening. My rav doesn't object, but some of my friends told me that it's prohibited ...
4
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0answers
48 views

Is it better not to wear a watch on Shabbat?

I know it is permissible to wear a watch on Shabbat, and I have already perused this question about the particulars of what kinds of watch features are and are not permitted (ignoring the issue of ...
1
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1answer
43 views

Does this count as Tzedakah?

I found out there's an app that gives money to charity depending on how much you run. You can choose between dozens of organizations that help stop hunger, help the homeless, cure cancer, provide ...
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0answers
40 views

Nest Thermostat and shabbat [duplicate]

I'd like to know if a Nest Thermostat would be allowed by halacha? They say it programs itself and it realizes when you come home, so when you come home on shabbat, the machine will detect it, and it ...
2
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0answers
65 views

Television on Shabbos

Let's take as a given that it is forbidden to turn a television on or off or otherwise use electricity on Shabbat. Let's also ignore the whole issue of watching TV in the first place. We can also ...
2
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1answer
76 views

Is there a prayer I should say before taking off in a plane?

On Monday, I am going to take a flight. I know I should say the Shehecheyanu when I land, but is there a blessing I should say when I take off?
2
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1answer
74 views

Is there an Android Tikkun App that has sound?

During the "pre smart phone days" (Yes, that DID exist), I used Trope trainer to practice some of my laining and to train my kids and some Bar Mitzvah boys. I recently downloaded the "Tikkun Korim" ...
4
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1answer
289 views

Is it forbidden to use a sand timer on shabbos?

Everyone I know seems to say that using a sand timer (hourglass) on shabbos is forbidden. The question is why? Is it because of sifting? Is there some other melacha involved? Is it actually forbidden? ...
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0answers
32 views

Equal volume when doing birkat kohanim with a microphone

I attended a musical davening this week, and to accommodate the large crowd, the chazzan wore a microphone. The kohanim however did not. The result of this was that the chazzan's voice ended up much ...
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1answer
232 views

Is shaving with this kosher?

Is shaving with this laser shaver kosher? I don't keep a beard and not looking forward to keeping one at all but I don't use razors etc, only electric shaver etc. This "razor" uses a laser for ...
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0answers
46 views

What halachic principles are involved in starting the IRobot on Shabbos? [closed]

What halachic principles are involved in starting the IRobot on Shabbos? Can it be turned on anytime or just at night. Is it like security cameras in the way its okay to walk by them if you don't want ...
3
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2answers
89 views

Determining the status of bedika cloths via digital media

Determining the colours on a bedika cloth is a wisdom that has been passed on from generation to generation. Preferably a bedika cloth is checked by the light of the sun ('white light'). I've have ...
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2answers
126 views

Is an on-call doctor allowed to read non-emergency text messages on Shabbat?

My shul has a few doctors who carry their cell phones with them. When their phones buzz (B"H, they are smart enough to put the phones on vibrate mode while davening.) with a text message, they, of ...
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0answers
42 views

Large scale hydroponics and Shmita

The gemara in Nedarim 59 (among many other places) discusses the concept of shmita produce and plants grown from them retaining their status when the original "seed" isn't destroyed when planted. In ...
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2answers
64 views

Depilatories- creams or “shaving powders” on Shabbos

Is it permissible to use Depilatories (creams or "shaving powders" which chemically dissolve hair) on Shabbos? and if not- why?
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1answer
64 views

I am looking for the Torat Emet program to list verses for names

I am looking for a direct link to the Torat Emet program that helps you find verses for your hebrew name. I am looking for more verses for my name to use during the shmona esrei. I saw a mention of ...
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0answers
25 views

Is a person who hears Kedusha via Skype required to stand and join in?

Someone in location A is learning via Skype with a person in Bet Midrash B. Person B asks A to wait while he joins his minyan saying Kedusha. Does person A have to also stand and say Kedusha? Does it ...
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0answers
90 views

Using the Coravin on shabbat

There is a new device called the coravin which allows one to insert a needle into a cork of a wine bottle and the wine flows through the needle by using argon gas (protects quality of wine) and by ...
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0answers
32 views

Is one allowed to use a nasal filter or gas mask on Shabbat or Yom Tov?

These are products that are used to protect from chemicals/pollen/dust allergy or pet hair. A water filter I see would be mussar if the water is basically clean as was already asked here: Using water ...
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0answers
54 views

Can one carry a GPS operated timed device across a time zone on Shabbat?

I read somewhere, that if you set a timer before Shabbat, you are not allowed to adjust the timer or clock on Shabbat to reset the time that something goes on. So, let's say that you live in ...
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2answers
118 views

Surrogate mother

If a fetus has been formed in a mother and then deposited in a surrogate mother, who is considered the mother? In other words, does the mother's 'seed' make her the mother? The story of Yosef and ...
1
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1answer
59 views

When 2 witnesses are required to verify something, can one or both of them witness this using Skype?

Examples of when you need 2 witnesses testifying an event: groom's "purchase" / acceptance of the terms of the ketuvah witnessing kiddushin (groom giving bride a ring) If two witnesses watch this ...
1
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1answer
101 views

T-Fal Thermo Spot Heat Indicator Cookware on Yom Tov & Shabbos

T-Fal has a cookware set known as "T-Fal Thermo Spot Heat Indicator Cookware". These pots have a special technology which indicates when the pan is ready for use. May one use such a pot on Yom Tov to ...
6
votes
1answer
121 views

Automated Cooking Machine Programmed

I realize in most situations to have a factory line be "cooked by a Jew" an observant Jew would have to turn the oven on, stove on, or something along those lines. This morning I saw this article ...
2
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0answers
85 views

Can a smartphone count as a sefer for stacking purposes?

Considering that, these days, you can have quite a bit of Torah on cellphones (indeed, on my iPhone I have all of Tanach, Siddur, Halachic works, Jastrow dictionary, etc.), is it possible to make an ...
1
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1answer
126 views

Solar Power on Shabbos

What's the deal with using solar power on Shabbos? Cooking is permitted, but what of the following cases: 1) Heating water (Dud-Shemesh style) 2) Solar-powered watches 3) Solar-powered toys What ...
2
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0answers
140 views

What technology did King Solomon have?

I'm looking for sourced statements of modern technology possessed by King Solomon. So far I have seen: An answer here quotes the idea that King Solomon had a flying carpet of sorts. The Ben ...
5
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1answer
86 views

Computer hacking in halacha

This question regarding legal complexity versus simplicity in modern law got me talking about the relatively simple structure of Jewish tort law. It also had me wondering: What sort of categorization ...
0
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1answer
33 views

Would hydroponically grown beans be considered kitniyot?

As I understand it, beans were included as kitniyot because they grew in the ground next to wheat. However, if you grew the beans hydroponically, would they still be classified as kitniyot?
2
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0answers
56 views

Is it permissible to bring back extinct species?

Is it allowed according to halacha to bring back extinct species? The technology is on its way, and i have seen some discussion in non-Jewish contexts about the ethics of it, and how we might be ...
7
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0answers
213 views

“Siri, sing to me” - Kol Isha?

As i say in this Purim Torah answer, we can't use smartphones because "The vaad found out that Siri's not a guy". (From the song Hang Up the Payphone by A.K.A Pella.) However, that inspired a ...
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1answer
72 views

Would humans with kosher-signs be kosher?

If I genetically engineer a human to have split feet and to have a second stomach so they can chew their cud, can I eat them?
2
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0answers
54 views

Is one allowed to carry an object through an opposite force on Shabbos?

Say one had a strong magnetic force attached to his shoe in a way that was not considered carrying. Would he be able to point his shoe in a Reshus Harabim and move something with opposite magnetic ...
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0answers
50 views

Why do the laws of kevod seforim apply to physical seforim but not digital?

I may have some trouble asking this question. I understand that the laws of kavod seforim (respecting holy texts; i.e., not bringing a book of Torah into the bathroom) do not apply to tapes, etc. ...
12
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1answer
527 views

Could stones cut with a high powered laser be used to build the Beit Hamikdash?

If Solomon's builders had access to lasers powerful enough to cut through stone, could he have used that instead of the Shamir? Stones for an altar or for the Beit Hamikdash were not allowed to be ...
2
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2answers
135 views

Is a library book with an embedded RFID tag a problem on Shabbos?

RFID tags have very many uses in identifying different objects via radio waves. Recently, libraries have started using them to help keep track of books. I would imagine that the tags, in themselves, ...