Questions about how Judaism interacts with technological innovations.

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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
77 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
84 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?
19
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3answers
728 views

Can I cause a Melacha to happen in a place where Shabbat has already started?

Can I cause a Melacha to happen in a place where Shabbat has already started? For example, if I live in New York, could I send a fax (causing the machine to print a document) to Israel on Friday ...
3
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1answer
89 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 ...
6
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3answers
606 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 ...
5
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1answer
331 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?
2
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0answers
40 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 ...
8
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1answer
255 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 "...
9
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2answers
804 views

Voice-activated electronics on Shabbat

Does using a voice-activated device constitute a melacha? For example, Siri on an iphone or, a even a voice-activated light-switch. Does it make a difference if the computer doesn't take direct ...
7
votes
2answers
283 views

What is the best online English translation of Tanach?

I am aware of a number of partial or complete English translations of Tana"ch online, but I am wondering if there are any I am unaware of, especially that fulfill the following criteria: Precision ...
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2answers
72 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?
3
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2answers
153 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
48 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 ...
11
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2answers
212 views

Binding answers for Halachic questions

I recall learning that one is not allowed to "venue shop" by asking a series of rabbis for a practical halachic ruling and following the opinion you like. I was taught that one should ask and be bound ...
1
vote
1answer
146 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 ...
21
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3answers
703 views

Is ad-blocker software permissible?

Kalashnikover_Rebbe at hashkafah.com asks: Isn't blocking ads stealing??? The people put them on the sites for a reason.... He elaborates: On one hand the argument can be made that [forum ...
5
votes
1answer
109 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
858 views

Deleting files containing G-d's Name / taking the host device into the bathroom

Is there any issue regarding deleting electronic files with G-d's Name in them? Also, is there any issue with taking such a device into the bathroom?
10
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1answer
287 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 ...
0
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1answer
86 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
390 views

Is Listening to a Torah Tape considered Talmud Torah?

It says in the Baal HaTanya's Hilchos Talmud Torah that one fulfills his obligation to learn Torah only if he says the words. Moreover, a Chavrusa fulfills his obligation only because Shomeya Keoneh. ...
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4answers
677 views

Is it permissible to use an escalator on Shabbos?

Escalators: Are they allowed to be used on Shabbos or not? (and the reasons behind it)
13
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3answers
792 views

Brewing fresh coffee for Shabbos with a time clock

May one prepare coffee ingredients in a brewer such as this one on Friday and set the timer to brew the coffee for 8:00 Shabbos morning?
2
votes
2answers
140 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, ...
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0answers
100 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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1answer
65 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 ...
7
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3answers
449 views

Can you leave video chat on over Shabbos?

Basically: Can you leave your computer with video chat on (to another person) on over shabbos? And what if there's also audio? For example a relative in the hospital, relatives that in a far away ...
0
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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 ...
0
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0answers
59 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
116 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
188 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 ...
6
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3answers
117 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 ...
6
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1answer
138 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 ...
13
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4answers
687 views

Typing on Chol Hamoed

Is typing allowed on Chol Hamoed? Does it make a difference if whatever is typed will be printed afterwards?
2
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0answers
90 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 ...
2
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0answers
165 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
97 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
votes
1answer
43 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?
4
votes
1answer
123 views

What Have Modern Posqim said about Nuclear Weapons?

I'm looking to find teshuvot from modern posqim that discuss the permissability of possessing and using nuclear weapons.
2
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0answers
58 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
votes
1answer
314 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 ...
0
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1answer
74 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?
3
votes
0answers
58 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. (...
4
votes
3answers
643 views

Looking for daf yomi app recommendations

Are there any good daf yomi apps? I saw the video for the artscroll app but it doesn't seem to be out yet. Any recommendations?
5
votes
6answers
444 views

Jewish Android Apps [closed]

Does anyone have a suggestion of any useful Jewish Android Apps currently available?
3
votes
2answers
281 views

Sources on the Halachic status of creating three parent child

See here for the background. The basic idea is that the DNA is taken from the mother and father, but rather than traditional IVF, the nucleus is implanted in a donor egg. So there is no male donor ...
4
votes
2answers
159 views

What does an olive press look like?

Mishna, Maasros 1:7:: הַשֶּׁמֶן, מִשֶּׁיֵּרֵד לָעוּקָה. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיָּרַד, נוֹטֵל מִן הֶעָקָל וּמִבֵּין הַמָּמָל וּמִבֵּין הַפַּצִּים, וְנוֹתֵן לַחֲמִטָּה וְלַתַּמְחוּי, אֲבָל לֹא יִתֵּן ...