Questions about how Judaism interacts with technological innovations.

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9
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3answers
205 views

Beracha upon seeing a friend on a webcam

The Shulchan Aruch (OC 225:1) rules: שולחן ערוך אורח חיים הלכות ברכת הפירות סימן רכה הרואה את חבירו לאחר שלשים יום, אומר: שהחיינו, ואחר י"ב חדש מברך: מחיה מתים, והוא שחביב עליו הרבה ושמח ...
9
votes
2answers
401 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?
9
votes
1answer
638 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
176 views

If three men pre-arranged to sit down and eat together over a video-chat, is there any reason they shouldn't have a zimun?

I learned that if two groups were eating in two different rooms but even one person could see someone in the other room, then they could have one zimun (I thought this was in Masechet Brachot, but I ...
9
votes
2answers
695 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
947 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
163 views

are bionic abilities legal for shabbos

Today the world is high in technology; many medical fields are experiencing breakthroughs in artificial limbs and what not. What are the legalities of these in Jewish law? For example, a pace maker ...
9
votes
1answer
266 views

Scheduling a USPS Pickup for Shabbos

So it turns out that the USPS has a feature where you can ask them to come and pickup a package. So you go online to their site, enter your information, choose a date for the pickup, and tell them ...
8
votes
7answers
699 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, ...
8
votes
2answers
202 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?
8
votes
1answer
159 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
282 views

Dropping a phone siddur or chumash

If you have a siddur or chumash on your phone and you drop it, do you kiss it if... the siddur is not open the siddur is open, but shem hashem is not showing the siddur is open and shem Hashem is ...
8
votes
1answer
278 views

Shaking a no-battery flashlight on Shabbos

What is the problem with shaking one of the no battery/shaking flashlights which is on on shabbos?
8
votes
1answer
330 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
246 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 ...
8
votes
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
356 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, ...
7
votes
3answers
288 views

Parashas Shavua calculation

I'm writing a site where the user would be able to see the calendar with jewish-civil translation of dates, and also which parasas shavua falls on which Shabbos. I'd like to know what is the formula ...
7
votes
2answers
406 views

Fulltext search across sources: Gemara, Zohars, Rishonim and Aharonim

I know about Hebrewbooks.org for searching for sources in books, but the problem is you have to get to let's say every Masechta to look for a phrase. Is there a program (doesn't have to be free) that ...
7
votes
4answers
456 views

Will rabbis allow brainy Shabbat driving?

Saw this news story a few days ago about a car being driven with just thought, using a special cap with sensors. http://www.jpost.com/Sci-Tech/Article.aspx?id=215704 To me this still seems entirely ...
7
votes
3answers
323 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
411 views

Does Robot = Golem?

Would an anthropomorphic robot who could communicate with and do the bidding of humans qualify Halachicaly as a Golem? Would new rulings have to be devised for their status?
7
votes
3answers
409 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
218 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?
7
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3answers
251 views

Is watching via webcam valid for cholov yisroel?

Would milk be considered cholov yisroel if someone was watching via webcam?
7
votes
1answer
794 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?
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Electric Appliances and Mikva

Do electric appliances need to be dunked (toveled) in a mikva? Obviously, if the parts that touch the food are removable (e.g. an electric mixer's bowl and blade, or a blender's carafe, or the ...
7
votes
1answer
79 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?
7
votes
3answers
397 views

Website for tzuras hadaf

A couple years ago, I chanced upon a site for creating a tzuras hadaf layout on the Gemara. The website used a custom markup (using tags) to create the layout, and it was a community project that ...
7
votes
2answers
503 views

Is it actually forbidden to push a wheelchair outside of an eruv on Shabbat?

I have heard opinions varying wildly on the subject and am trying to make sense of them halachically. Is it illegal on Shabbat to push someone in a wheelchair, let's say, from their home to synagogue ...
7
votes
2answers
447 views

How does Shabbos/Yom Tov mode on a stove work?

Star-K certifies the shabbos mode on some modern stoves. (Oh how I pine for the day of simple rheostats on electric stoves, and pilot lights on gas stoves! Those were the days...) Our GE gas stove ...
7
votes
2answers
256 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
166 views

Robot as a competent proxy?

Would those who hold that a minor can serve as an agent in Jewish law (for a d'var r'shus - discretionary act, not a mitzva) hold similarly for a sufficiently intelligent and self-aware robot? The ...
7
votes
1answer
284 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
302 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
467 views

Solar Powered Wrist-Watch on Shabbos

Is one allowed to go out with a solar powered watch on Shabbos (where they know the watch is in a situation where they will surely benefit from the power produced through the sun?) What could be the ...
7
votes
1answer
171 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
212 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
218 views

Does closing a browser with His name count as a sin? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Hashems name on device Is it permissible to erase the name of G-d from an E-reader? What are the practical limits of shaimos in the common era? Forgive me if I get ...
7
votes
2answers
567 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
106 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
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it okay to drive a car on the Sabbath?

The Five Books of Moses mention not stoking a fire on the Sabbath, if I remember correctly. By starting a car, I'd think I am stoking a fire. Is this okay to do for a Jew? Why or why not?
6
votes
3answers
226 views

electronic Olam Haba

When Moshisch comes (Biezras Hashem) will there be technology like, computers, cars, electricity, etc?
6
votes
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
101 views

התראה by phone?

Can warning for a capital crime be accomplished by telephone? Hello? Are you aware that it is currently שבת where you are? Yes. I am aware of the punishment and prepared to do it anyway. Are ...
6
votes
1answer
368 views

Do Orthodox synagogues have audio induction loops? Can they use them on Shabbat?

Let's assume we follow Rabbi Moshe Feinstein's ruling that hearing aids are permitted on Shabbat, but microphones are not. What about installing an audio induction loop in the synagogue? It would ...
6
votes
1answer
351 views

How does “shabbat speech-reinforcement” work?

How does the technology for shabas-compliant voice amplification referred to on this architecture firm's website work? Is it different technically from a regular microphone setup or is the distinction ...
6
votes
1answer
80 views

Water from hydroelectric plant for netilat yadayim?

The Shulchan Aruch OC 160:2 rules that water with which one has done "melachah," is disqualified from netilat yadayim. Does this include water which has flowed downstream from a hydroelectric plant?
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
71 views

Using an electric hand dryer after netilas yadayim

Is there any issue with using an electric hand dryer to dry your hands after netilas yadayim either for a seudah or to remove ruach rah?