Questions about how Judaism interacts with technological innovations.

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1
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1answer
96 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
146 views

Does halacha require me to install ad-blocker software?

There are so many Internet banner ads out there that contain immodest content. Say I own a personal computer and I use it every day for Facebook, email, and Web surfing. Does Jewish law require me to ...
5
votes
3answers
245 views

Would time travel be assur/mutar?

Inspired by this question which the author states is not a question of issur/heter. Assuming time travel is possible (to the future or past) is there any reason it should be assur?
2
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0answers
89 views

To know in advance when one is a niddah

The gemoro and shulchan aruch has much to say about 'vestos', way to find out in advance when one will be a niddah, which rarely work today. There are modern methods which do work: does one have to ...
35
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7answers
2k views

May I use my neighbor's Wi-Fi without asking permission?

My neighbor has never set up password protection on his wireless router. If I wanted, I could wirelessly connect to his high-speed Internet service. May I use his Internet service without asking him ...
1
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2answers
108 views

Is there a way to find proximate words?

I am looking to see if certain words in the tanach are used in proximity to other words. Other than looking a word up in my Even-Shoshan and reading through each instance and seeing if the other word ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

Slaughtering with a machine

May one slaughter kosher animals with a machine? I don't mean to ask this question about restraining animals, what I want to know is if one may use a machine to actually make the cut, to actually ...
-4
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2answers
116 views

Would whole brain emulation be compatible with Judaism?

Many people theorize that in principle, the brain could be uploaded to a computer which would then contain the person's consciousness. Would a successful demonstration of this be compatible with ...
15
votes
5answers
399 views

Overhead projector on Shabbos?

A discussion came up with some guests over shabbos. One asked if one could use an overhead projector on Shabbos if it was turned on from before, i.e. could one put a new plastic sheet on it or not? In ...
4
votes
1answer
174 views

Fitness Tracker On Shabbat

First I want to assure everyone that I asked this question to a proper halakhic authority and will proceed with my actions based on his answer. I am asking it here as well because I think it is an ...
16
votes
1answer
164 views

Attending a Siyum virtually

If one attends a Siyum virtually, whether by phone, Skype, or some other means of mass communication, can one partake of the Se'udath Mitzvah (relevant to allow eating meat during the 9 Days for ...
1
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0answers
47 views

Can a digital signature be used to finalize a kinyan?

That is, can a code generated by a computer act as a legally binding signature for a contractual agreement in halacha? If so, is this true even if the code is not certified by a trusted authorized ...
6
votes
3answers
279 views

Are there any tanakh search engines? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where is there a good online source to check how often a word appears in Tanach? I'm looking to find instances where music, and musical instruments, is mentioned in ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

Solar analog watch be worn on Shabbos where in the dark the second stops?

Can a solar charge watch that the second hand stops moving in the dark after 30 minutes to save power and resumes operation when brought back in the light, be worn on Shaboss?
5
votes
9answers
399 views

Suggestions for Kosher iPhone apps

I'm an iPhone app developer with mostly Jewish & Israeli iPhone apps and I'm open to new suggestions or ideas for new apps that can be useful for Jewish people. Anyone here had a case that he ...
5
votes
2answers
433 views

Does anyone know where one can buy a hebrewbooks harddrive?

I am looking to purchase a hebrewbooks hard drive (It may very well come handy here!). Does anyone know where can I buy it online? (eichlers, etc.)
4
votes
2answers
94 views

Is a head-mounted lamp better than a candle for bedikas chometz?

A LED or Xenon lamp attached to the head (link shows example) seems to be ideal for bedikas chometz and superior to a candle? Do contemporary poskim offer a view?
1
vote
1answer
113 views

What Bracha do we say on bread baked with evaporated mei peiros?

If one bakes bread made out of flour and pure fruit juice, it becomes pas haba bekisnin and the bracha is (at times) mezonos. What if one distilled fruit juice (to produce water) and baked bread out ...
12
votes
3answers
640 views

Am I allowed to view a Kotel Cam on Shabbos?

If there is a camera in Israel that is operating on Shabbos, am I (a person living in America, where Shabbos only starts 6 or 7 hours later) allowed to view such a camera? I suppose the same could be ...
1
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3answers
120 views

Why wasn't the Torah given to klal Yisroel as a DVD?

The obvious answer is that they didn't have DVDs back in Moshe Rabeinu's time. But still, Hashem could have created them back then. My question, "Why wasn't the Torah given as a DVD?", is really ...
6
votes
0answers
183 views

Prosthetic limbs in halacha

What is the status of prosthetic limbs in halacha in terms of being considered part of the body? Is it considered: As if I were born with it? As a living piece of flesh, but not a piece of me? ...
3
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0answers
94 views

Is wine from a Miracle Machine subject to Stam Yenam?

This article describes a kickstarter for a machine to make wine quickly out of grape juice concentrates. My question is twofold: Is such wine subject to stam yenam? Is it even Borei pri hagafen?
3
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0answers
38 views

plastic utensil absorption and kashering

Does a plastic utensil swallow up taste and excrete it out like metal,or is it like glass. Also can plastic be kashered if it became treif? What are the sources that discuss this?
2
votes
1answer
80 views

May one set posts for Shabbos?

Tumblr has a feature where one can, instead of posting something at the time it it written or a set time, you can add it to a "queue". It will then post a set amount of posts per day as long as there ...
2
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1answer
124 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
470 views

Where can I find a professionally typeset pdf siddur suitable for mobile viewing?

I have used a number of siddurim apps for my smartphone/tablet and have found the text layout so abhorrent (nikkud floating all over the place, unprofessional kerning, ugly fonts etc.) that I've given ...
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votes
1answer
76 views

Will editing genome of embryo having Jewish parents diminish Jewish status of later child? [closed]

There's a dreadful genetic illness known as Tay-Sachs requiring two carriers to activate the fatal effects in a child. Probably, in reaction to the 20th century eugenics movement and its terrible ...
0
votes
0answers
142 views

Nespresso Machine Tevilas Keili alternatives

I recently acquired a new Nespresso coffee machine that will most probably be damaged if immersed. (The warranty will be void if immersed). Are there any alternatives to Tevila? I've heard you can ...
4
votes
0answers
86 views

Slide Rule on Shabbos/Yom Tov

May a slide rule (mechanical device before calculators) can be used on Shabbos for Gemara calculations?
1
vote
1answer
36 views

pidoyon haben for a baby born from egg donation?

If a non married bat Cohen donates an egg to a yisraelite couple who have a first born son from it, do they have to do a pidyon haben?
1
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1answer
43 views

If a Cohen couple gets an embryo donation do they perform pidyon?

If a Cohen couple gets an embryo donation and their first born is a boy, do they have to do pidyon or is the baby a Cohen?
19
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1answer
243 views

a wheelchair user's taking “steps” before sh'mone esre

The Shulchan Aruch, OC 94:5, writes: Suppose someone is sitting on a boat or wagon [and saying sh'mone esre (amida)]. If he can stand up when he reaches the point of bowing, he should stand, so as ...
9
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1answer
438 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?
5
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0answers
81 views

G-d's name on screen readers

People who are blind or hard-of-seeing often interact with computers using devices called "screen readers". These screen readers will read aloud the words that are written on the screen (or in the ...
4
votes
2answers
676 views

Jawbone UP on Shabbat

I recently received a new gadget: The Jawbone UP band. Look it up on Google, but the basic idea is it is a bracelet you wear 24/7 that measures all kind of things while you move around. Should it be ...
9
votes
1answer
196 views

Would a metallic prosthetic hand require immersion?

Normally, a metal utensil used to eat with, such as a fork, requires immersion before its first use if it had been owned by a gentile. If a person has a metallic prosthetic hand which he uses to eat, ...
8
votes
4answers
758 views

Walking by an Automatic Door on Shabbos

Is one allowed to walk by an automatic door on Shabbos, if he/she has no benefit of the door opening (i.e. not walking in)? How does this case compare/contrast to the walking by an automatic light on ...
2
votes
2answers
183 views

Using water filter/purification system on Shabbos

(Being asked as a theoretical question. Obviously everyone should ask their LOR.) There is a water filter (or purifier) that works in the following way: The water flows into a part where there is ...
25
votes
4answers
2k views

bicycle on Shabbat?

Is riding a bicycle on Shabbat permitted within an eiruv, being ridden only on pavement (so no unintended plowing), for transportation and not exercise, and with the understanding that repairs aren't ...
2
votes
0answers
98 views

What modern-day hygiene products are prohibited on Yom Kippur?

What, if any, modern-day hygiene products are prohibited "oils" on Yom Kippur? Are deodorants and perfumes in this category? What about medical ointments?
9
votes
2answers
231 views

Cryonics in Judaism

I was recently reading an article about cryogenics, there are around 200 bodies frozen in cryogenics labs around the world, and in the article they said that in the near future they may be able to ...
0
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1answer
112 views

Pirating software

I have heard from numorous people that there are opinions within Orthodox halacha that permit using pirated computer software. I have never seen this sourced or printed anywhere but only things like ...
15
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3answers
446 views

Escalator on Shabbos

Escalators: Are they allowed to be used on Shabbos or not? (and the reasons behind it)
7
votes
1answer
192 views

Can a minyan meet online?

My question is twofold: Can a person present via webcam (with sound enabled), but not present physically, count towards a minyan (see this example)? If not, can that person still receive the ...
18
votes
4answers
695 views

Does artificial meat grown in a petri dish have the halachic status of meat?

Scientists are developing means of growing artificial meat in a petri dish. Does such 'meat' have the halachic status of meat? Source: ...
3
votes
3answers
328 views

canned whipped cream on shabbas?

Can one use a pressure can of whipped cream on shabbas ? It is funny because on the actual can it says to ask your Rabbi if one can use it or not.
0
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0answers
76 views

Sending/reading SMS on Shabbat [duplicate]

Recently a debate of usage of cellphones on Shabbat has come up, mainly about reading and sending text messages. I was wondering what the specific reasoning is behind not allowing it on Shabbat. Any ...
10
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3answers
415 views

DNA and Jewish Law

Why isn't DNA seen as a valid source of Halachic decision making? Is it because it's too small for the naked eye? A margin of error problem? What? Normally, physical evidence is plenty of information ...
3
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2answers
91 views

Halachah: What's the difference between this site and looking up a question in a book?

Per our oft-cited FAQ, and our frequent use of the disclaimer to consult one's own rabbi in matters of practical Halachah, we do not, as a matter of policy, accept questions, or provide answers, ...