Questions about how Judaism interacts with technological innovations.

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18
votes
6answers
2k views

Is using a Kindle on Shabbat permitted?

A Kindle is an e-book reader that uses "e-ink" rather than an LCD screen. It has physical controls to turn pages. (This question is not about the newer ones with touch screens.) If left unused it ...
4
votes
2answers
120 views

Can you use electricity on Yom Tov

Yom Tov is slightly different than Shabbat. For example, on Shabbat one cannot cook, but one can cook on Yom Tov provided that it is from an existing flame. My question is this... Let's say I have ...
7
votes
6answers
371 views

Jewish Android Apps

Does anyone have a suggestion of any useful Jewish Android Apps currently available?
8
votes
3answers
274 views

Watching TV on weekdays (not on shabbat)

Is it generally allowed to watch TV at my home (I am male and living alone)? I wrote "generally," meaning watching on a regular weekday (i.e. not Shabbat or Holiday) and just watching normal programs, ...
3
votes
1answer
322 views

Is one permitted to watch tv or movies with immodest women?

Is a man permitted to watch tv or movies that feature immodestly dressed women? Assuming one will not have improper thoughts, is it prohibited to look at an immodestly dressed woman on a screen? Are ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

Search program for seforim in Chrome OS

A friend of mine is using a Chromebook. While we're trying to figure out other solutions for him, I'm trying to figure out what we can do in Chrome OS. One thing he'd like to do is use a program like ...
2
votes
1answer
152 views

Making up a synagogue calendar manually is tedious work. Which software can do the calculations automatically?

Lots of synagogues print up a customized calendar every year. (Sample.) Such a calendar includes shul-specific information (e.g. service times and maybe a weekly class or two) and general information ...
6
votes
1answer
53 views

Easy/pretty way to typeset Hebrew with Te'amim

I'm setting out to create a bentsher and am looking for the right software for the job. First, it is important to me that I have the ability to add Te'amim to biblical passages (e.g. kiddush). ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Measurements for the Bais HaMikdash

Since everything is computerized now, when the Bais HaMikdash is rebuilt, will we use the computer to rebuild? I.E., the measurements for the offerings, the entire rebuilding, etc.?
7
votes
1answer
264 views

List of all the Seforim Software

I'd like to compile a list of all the computer programs out there that people can use for learning/reading seforim with. There are many of them now a days (and perhaps were some in the past that are ...
11
votes
2answers
552 views

Is there any issue with using aerosols on Shabbos?

I've heard from many people that you shouldn't use aerosols (such as air fresheners, disinfectants or deodorants) on shabbos, usually citing some vague reason of changing the form from liquid to gas, ...
9
votes
1answer
204 views

Is it acceptable to use software which incidentally blocks ads?

A question on this site on whether ad-blocking software is permissible suggests that the answer is that it probably, but not definitely, is acceptable. I don't use ad-blocking software myself, but I ...
8
votes
7answers
563 views

A letter prohibiting television?

I don't have the book myself, but I believe it is called To Touch Kindle a Soul, on chinuch. It contains, in the endnotes a reference to a letter written by Rav Moshe Feinstein zt'l, Rav Shach zt'l, ...
4
votes
0answers
89 views

Sous-vide cooking for Shabbat

Sous-vide is a method of cooking food slowly, at a precisely-controlled temperature. This article in the New York Times reports that this method is becoming more and more accessible to and widespread ...
13
votes
5answers
547 views

“Silk-Screened” Sifrei Torah

What are the halachic issues with Silk-screened sifrei torah? I am interested in a summary of concise halakhic rulings of multiple authorities on the prohibition or permissibility of HaRav Yitzchak ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

Operating Cameras on Shabbat

Would it be permissible to take a picture with a film camera operated mechanically? If not what would be the melacha involved?
4
votes
1answer
289 views

Sh'kiya alarm app (iOS)

Since the time-change, I have been rather off in calculating when I should say minchah. Is there an app which has an alarm for sh'kiya (or secular sundown timing if they differ) which is available for ...
4
votes
1answer
66 views

Apple Watch on Shabbat

Tech experts: Is there any way in which the Apple Watch could be used by shomrei Shabbat with limited functionality? Note: this question does not seek to ascertain whether the full gamut of features ...
15
votes
1answer
510 views

Can I make a mikvah using artificial rain?

If I have a mikva which needs filling, and there is no rain, can I use the following mechanism - I have a Mikva in a closed room. On top of this Mikva, there is a cooling system (let's say that this ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

Microwave oven and goy (me) cooking [duplicate]

Is cooking kosher food by a Goy - in this case me (doing giyur) in a microwave oven making the oven unsuitable for use by a Jew? I asked one rabbi who said there is no halakhic issue. I live in a ...
2
votes
0answers
52 views

Why does this app require me to agree not to use it on Shabbat?

I downloaded a Shabbat Alert app for my iPad, because i needed an alarm that would shut off after a few minutes. It worked fine (except that my iPad was muted), and it seemed to be quite halachic. In ...
10
votes
4answers
195 views

Online tool for minyan management?

If I'm running a small minyan that sometimes has a quorum and sometimes doesn't, and I'd like to only hold the minyan when I know we'll have ten, is there an online tool to help me manage this?
9
votes
2answers
273 views

Do photocopies of torah need to be put in shaimos?

Do photocopied sheets (such as chumash or gemara) need to be put in sheimos or can they be thrown straight into the garbage?
10
votes
1answer
184 views

How do soldiers in the IDF obey Deuteronomy 23:13?

The mitvah talks about ensuring every soldiers have a spade to cover their excrement. The mitvah seems to be pretty obsolete because by now we have toilets all over the place. So, how it's done? Do ...
2
votes
0answers
18 views

Listening to a Jewish broadcaster in the US after Shabbat ends in Israel [duplicate]

Many baseball games (for example) take place Saturday afternoon in the US. This generally corresponds to beginning (or mostly taking place) after Shabbat ends in Israel. If the broadcaster of one of ...
15
votes
2answers
892 views

What halachic issues are involved in turning off a mobile phone while praying the quiet Amidah?

A person realises during his quiet Amidah, that he has not turned off his mobile phone. He is worried lest it ring while he is praying. On the other hand, turning it off will interfere with his ...
10
votes
1answer
148 views

Cell Phone Jammers in Halacha

I could not imagine cell phone jammers would be מותר, but perhaps my gut-feeling is wrong... Either way, I would be interested in knowing how they fit into halacha, and what the reasons behind ...
7
votes
3answers
220 views
5
votes
3answers
140 views

my cellphone is off on Shabbat but the voicemail still takes a message

I don't use my cell on Shabbat, it is turned off but calls still go to my Voicemail. Is this permissible? I don't have the option of turning voicemail off only for Shabbat. It seems it is either set ...
6
votes
1answer
130 views

Software for organizing a “thing” gemach

I'd like to organize a baby clothes gemach in my area and I was wondering if there was any software that people have used to do this, or if this was a piece of software I'd have to write on my own. ...
5
votes
2answers
638 views

Why should A Capella music be allowed during Sefirah/Three Weeks?

Background: I'm not sure how I feel about: a)the custom to refrain from listening to recorded music during Sefirah or b)the assumption that recorded a cappella music is not considered instrumental ...
2
votes
0answers
46 views

Are there digitized Sefer Torahs?

I have heard that it is common these days for digitized images to be made when a Sefer Torah is written, though we don't have any such images at the shul I attend. Having yet to find a tikkun that ...
5
votes
2answers
61 views

Remote control lighting of stove?

In our home, the non-Jewish housekeeper has strict instructions that only a member of the family is permitted to turn on the stove or oven before she cooks. Not being a rabbi, my understanding is ...
0
votes
1answer
83 views

Can I get a digital copy of the Journal of Halacha?

I was reading a sefer which cited the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society #35. Can I get a digital copy of this Journal?
1
vote
0answers
35 views

Cheshbon HaNefesh Software

I'm looking for something online or an app, really anything that is on an electronic device, that can help with cheshbon hanefesh. The ideal would be a program or app specifically set up for ...
8
votes
1answer
145 views

Referencing Iron before the Iron Age

A guest brought up this question at the shabbos table, and no one had an answer. In D'Varim 8:9 it says "...a land whose stones are iron...". The question this guest asked was: How is it that the ...
10
votes
4answers
431 views

How to learn Amidah, Shma and others?

I live 3000km from shul and take conversion classes remotely. I am learning from Koren Siddur. Because I do not ever hear how the words should be spoken, I sometimes wonder if it is a waste of time. I ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

What is the proper reaction to hearing the Shem Hameforash from some form of technology?

Related to this question the the linked questions there What is the appropriate response to hearing the Shem Hameforash through some form of technology like a recording or live stream?
2
votes
1answer
160 views

Typing on Shabbos

If one would type on a computer on Shabbos would he be ovar an issur d'oraisa in regards to the malacha of writing? (The other malachos involved aside for a moment.) Is there any room to say this ...
5
votes
0answers
61 views

Do the laws of Ribis apply to loans of virtual currency?

If a Jew lends a player in a multiplayer online game money, and he knows without a doubt that that player is Jewish, does the prohibition of ribis apply? (After all, the only thing that changed was a ...
6
votes
1answer
142 views

Can One Ride in a Self-Driving Car on Shabbat

Self-Driving Cars are cars that are driven by computers. Assuming you set your destination before Shabbat (or can otherwise direct it without performing any Melacha), can one ride in such a car on ...
7
votes
1answer
209 views

Unintentional closing and opening of electrical circuits on shabbat

As a non Jew, after reading Why are Shabbat loopholes a good thing? I have been pondering the above question: The Torah forbids closing/opening electrical circuits on Shabbat. - Danny Schoemann ...
29
votes
3answers
961 views

May one use a computer script or robot to do something specifically on Shabbos/Yom Tov?

May one run a program or machine that will operate on Shabbos, either by setting a timer to activate once Shabbos has started, or by leaving it running continually? What if the action is one that is ...
3
votes
1answer
190 views

Using a neighbor's encrypted Wi-Fi connection

This question asked whether or not one is allowed to use a neighbor's unencrypted (unlocked, without a password) Wi-Fi connection. This question touches upon a lot of different things in American law ...
6
votes
1answer
74 views

Placing a stumbling block before someone trying to take advantage of me?

CAPTCHA stands for completely automated public turing test i.e. its function is to determine whether I am a human. Some CAPTCHA images are pictures of house numbers taken from Google street view. ...
7
votes
1answer
238 views

Mission to Mars: halachic challenges

There is talk in the scientific community of a manned Mars mission: sending an elderly couple to slingshot past Mars and return to Earth as a trial mission, toward eventual other missions that will ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

Answering a virtual kaddish?

If you hear someone saying kaddish virtually (such as at a virtual siyum, or a streamed ceremony), should you answer amen? Note that this is talking about when listening live. Does it make a ...
7
votes
4answers
191 views

Amen for Recorded Brochos

Many times I listen to recorded Shiurim (lectures) where the speaker says a Brocho (usually Shehakol on a drink). Should one answer Amen to such Brochos?
1
vote
1answer
94 views

Am I allowed to interrupt someone in the middle of Shmoneh Esreh if my question is related to davening?

My friend and I are in the middle of davening Shmoneh Esreh. Rather than talk, I text him, "I don't remember if today is Rosh Hodesh. Do we say 'Ya'aleh V'yavo?'" Can I interrupt my friend for this ...
33
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it permissible to erase the name of G-d from an E-reader?

Most people seem to be lenient about shemos on digital screens in general (though Bar-Ilan does avoid displaying the Tetragrammaton.) The letters on the screen are just light, there is nothing really ...