Questions about how Judaism interacts with technological innovations.

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19
votes
1answer
254 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
votes
1answer
475 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
votes
0answers
87 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
831 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
203 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
784 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
193 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
99 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
243 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
votes
1answer
120 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
votes
3answers
466 views

Escalator on Shabbos

Escalators: Are they allowed to be used on Shabbos or not? (and the reasons behind it)
8
votes
1answer
200 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
353 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
votes
0answers
77 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
votes
3answers
433 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
votes
2answers
92 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, ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

Personal Air Purifiers and Shabbath

What implications might there be for a personal air purifier on Shabbath? Would it be the same as wearing a watch, even a self-winding watch, which according to most is Mutar on Shabbath? Or is it a ...
6
votes
2answers
202 views

Embryo adoption and status as a Jew

My wife and I we are Gentile, and we will adopt a (frozen) embryo, probably in Israel. If the ovocyte of the embryo comes from a Jewish woman, and later my wife gives birth to this baby, can the ...
3
votes
1answer
220 views

Which rabbis forbade cars 100 years ago?

"Venishmartem Meod Lenafshoseichem" I heard that there were Rabbonim about 100 years ago who forbade cars, saying that they were dangerous. Does anyone know who they were?
7
votes
2answers
331 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
435 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
211 views

May I play a computer game which includes Greek mythological creatures?

I sometimes play a computer role-playing game (RPG) in which my character fights creatures and retrieves treasure. But some of the creatures are derived from Greek mythology. Is it still permissible ...
23
votes
3answers
734 views

While playing a computer game, may I “worship” one of the game's “gods” to help me win?

I sometimes play a certain computer role-playing game (RPG). In this game, my character (whom I might name after myself but who does not otherwise resemble me) fights mythological creatures and ...
8
votes
1answer
142 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 ...
5
votes
8answers
790 views

Digital Synagogue displays?

Why do Synagogues use or not use them? Bonus: What are some of the companies that make these digital wall displays for synagogues? How much do they cost? Does anyone know where I can find info ...
7
votes
3answers
310 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
86 views

Jewish-themed Open Source projects

I am a programmer and would like to begin contributing to an Open Source code base. What projects related to Judaism are under active development?
4
votes
1answer
209 views

Artificial non Kosher food

According to Vayikra we have: ז וְאֶת-הַחֲזִיר כִּי-מַפְרִיס פַּרְסָה הוּא, וְשֹׁסַע שֶׁסַע פַּרְסָה, וְהוּא, גֵּרָה לֹא-יִגָּר; טָמֵא הוּא, לָכֶם.‏ 7 And the swine, because he parteth ...
0
votes
1answer
145 views

why was technology withheld for so long from man

Why did God withhold the discovery of modern technology from man until recently? what is the reason for this and why does this reason not apply in our era? (according to the shaar bitachon ch.3 God ...
1
vote
2answers
242 views

Electronic sliding doors on shabbat

What can a person who is staying at a hotel which has only electronic sliding doors that open when one walks near them do to avoid any issue on shabbat? Wait for someone else to enter and ...
3
votes
2answers
234 views

P'sak halacha by AI?

How good does artificial intelligence need to be before we can turn to a robot for piskei halacha? The accepted reason that even the most knowledgeable people need to ask legal advice from poskim is ...
13
votes
7answers
228 views

Zmanim accuracy before digital clocks?

How was time measured for the purpose of Zmanim before we had accurate clocks like we do today? Was it possible to accurately determine Chatzos (at night) or the different watches of the night? I know ...
2
votes
0answers
241 views

May a Jew own/operate a blog open to comments?

In light of recent events I would like to know if a Jew may own and operate a blog or website which is open to comments if it is found that comments can often contain lashon hara, rechilus or motzei ...
2
votes
0answers
123 views

Am I allowed to wear my Pebble Watch on Shabbat? [duplicate]

The Pebble is a smart watch that connects to a smart-phone via Bluetooth and can deliver messages to your wrist. Am I allowed to wear it on Shabbat if I disconnect it from my phone? Think of it, then, ...
2
votes
0answers
141 views

Can a healthy person use a shabbos elevator?

Can a person who has no health issues make use of a shabbos elevator?
12
votes
1answer
465 views

Is programming against Judaism?

I just recently learned about this site when I saw Judaism was one of the stack overflow topics. I have been Jewish all my life and two years ago I started programming. I was wondering if there ...
1
vote
2answers
251 views

Would the internet be considered muktzeh due to Nolad (a new thing)

There is a category of muktzeh on shabbat called Nolad. Nolad means literally, something that is born on shabbat. It is interpreted in the modern era, as meaning anything which you did not have ...
0
votes
0answers
144 views

May I let my web browser save my browsing session during Chol Hamoed?

To save electricity, I like to shut down my computer every night. First, I quit my Web browser. My Web browser is set up so that, when I quit, it automatically saves my session: a list of open tabs ...
1
vote
0answers
111 views

May I vote Stack Exchange answers up or down during Chol Hamoed?

Stack Exchange websites, such as Mi Yodeya, include a "voting" feature. They let me click an "up arrow" icon to indicate that a post is useful, or a "down arrow" icon to indicate that it's not useful. ...
17
votes
5answers
537 views

Why do music tapes and CDs warn about playing on Shabbos?

I have seen written on almost every music CD and Cassette Tape that I have in my house the line: Please do not play on Shabbos and Yom Tov I've always wondered if this is really necessary. Does ...
7
votes
2answers
346 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
1k 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?
5
votes
2answers
252 views

Are robo-calls permitted?

A robo-call is an automated phone call that does not involve a human caller. The majority of these are uninvited solicitations (either for money or votes), and these are the ones I'm asking about. ...
4
votes
3answers
265 views

Does amirah L'akum apply to robots?

Can you ask/instruct a robot on shabbos to perform melacha on your behalf? Would this fall under the same category as amirah l'akum?
19
votes
3answers
479 views

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 afternoon, before it is Shabbat for me, but after Shabbat has started there?
1
vote
1answer
98 views

Are preservatives called a “davar ha'mamid”

At the end of YD Siman 87 we find the dinim of "mamid". Over there it's speaking about cheese made in the skin of the kevah of a nevilah of treifah. The Rema explains that because it is an issur for ...
6
votes
3answers
2k 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
2answers
340 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
49 views

Best practices for long-distance Nihum Aveilim and Kavod HaMeith

What are some best practices for people who learn from afar of the passing of an individual (not immediate family) and who want show their respects to the deceased and the surviving family? If they ...