Questions about how Judaism interacts with technological innovations.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

23
votes
4answers
1k 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: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/11/us-science-meat-f-...
13
votes
1answer
223 views

Milk-free cheese: Is it kosher? Parve?

So according to this article, scientists have created cheese by inserting DNA blueprints into a yeast. Essentially, the milk proteins are being created outside of any animal, through genetic ...
3
votes
1answer
44 views

Would there be any maaser derabbanan on hydroponically grown plants?

Related: What bracha should be made on hydroponics/aeroponics? This question was originally mentioned by Rabbi Eliyahu Fink in his Daf Yomi shiur (Shabbat 128). He was talking about tevel d'rabanan -...
11
votes
2answers
400 views

Smart thermostat on Shabbos - what should one do?

I read an article recently regarding a person who went to a hotel and realized after Shabbos began that all the rooms were controlled by smart thermostats. A smart thermostat detects when one is in ...
3
votes
1answer
188 views

What bracha should be made on hydroponics/aeroponics?

Hydroponics is a method of growing food (mainly vegetables) with their roots in water, not soil. Aeroponics is when it is grown in air, with the roots being sprayed. What bracha should be made on ...
29
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
136 views

Measurements for the Bais HaMikdash — can we do it with a computer?

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.?
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?
0
votes
1answer
193 views

Can an 'AGA' oven be koshered?

Can an 'AGA oven' be koshered? Here are Wikipedia and video explanations of what an AGA oven is. Here's an excerpt from the Wikipedia page: The AGA cooker is a heat storage stove and cooker, ...
8
votes
2answers
315 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?
19
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
117 views

Electric Menorah

Are electric menorahs good for lighting on Chanukah? To remove some of the more obvious issues, let's assume that: It runs on batteries It's an incandescent bulb There are separate physical ...
1
vote
2answers
359 views

Why can't we drink wine that was made by a non Jew but by machine

Why can't we drink wine that was made by a non-Jew but was made from beginning to end by machine? Needless to say that according to the Gemara that it is only yayin nesech if the non Jew makes an ...
9
votes
3answers
391 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, ...
4
votes
1answer
529 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
44 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
229 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
91 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). ...
11
votes
2answers
702 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, ...
4
votes
0answers
336 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
722 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
77 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
316 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
493 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
574 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
146 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
240 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
440 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?
2
votes
0answers
19 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
167 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
268 views
5
votes
3answers
172 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
141 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
930 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
69 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
93 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?
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 ...
10
votes
4answers
822 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
95 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
342 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
199 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 (...
5
votes
1answer
93 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
311 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
117 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
232 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
104 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 ...
34
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
178 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
283 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?
3
votes
0answers
111 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 ...