Questions about how Judaism interacts with technological innovations.

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9
votes
4answers
177 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?
5
votes
2answers
231 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. ...
3
votes
3answers
243 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?
16
votes
3answers
402 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
92 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
290 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
46 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
105 views

Can an 'AGA' oven be koshered?

Can an 'AGA' oven be koshered? Here are encyclopedia and video explanations of what an AGA oven is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGA_cooker http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxRp9b1yFGA
4
votes
2answers
177 views

Source for not having picture taken

Is there any source, halachic or otherwise, for an aversion to having one's picture taken?
3
votes
1answer
188 views

Removing facial hair by laser treatment (for a man)

May a man remove his facial hair with a laser treatment? (that is the hairs that are normally ossur to remove by way of a razor.)
-1
votes
2answers
545 views
3
votes
0answers
74 views

Referencing Iron before the Iron Age [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why does the Torah mention iron when the Torah was given in the Bronze age? A guest brought up this question at the shabbos table, and no one had an answer. In D'Varim ...
2
votes
0answers
53 views

Downloading Torah in the bathroom [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Hashems name on device I know this sounds a little ridiculous, but this has actually happened to me. Let's say you are using a smartphone to download a lengthy Devar ...
8
votes
1answer
244 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?
4
votes
2answers
505 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?
7
votes
0answers
145 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
3answers
156 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
412 views

Self-winding wristwatches on Shabbos

Can self-winding wristwatches be used on Shabbos?
10
votes
1answer
211 views

Electronic communication immediately before wedding

Is it permissible to chat with your future spouse during the week before the wedding when you are not supposed to see each other face to face? Are any, all, or none of the following permissible: ...
1
vote
1answer
334 views

Does Jewish law forbid Internet usage?

The Ichud HaKehillos LeTohar HaMachane anti-Internet rally is coming up in a few weeks, on May 20, 2012. What do contemporary halakhic authorities say about the permissibility or prohibition of using ...
7
votes
6answers
377 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, ...
6
votes
3answers
189 views

electronic Olam Haba

When Moshisch comes (Biezras Hashem) will there be technology like, computers, cars, electricity, etc?
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Who determines the kosher status of “new” foods?

Who determines the kosher status for "new" processed foods (e.g. Jell-O)? A few orthodox rabbis' approval? General consensus by the Jewish religious community? Certain kosher standards organizations? ...
12
votes
1answer
559 views

Food in bathroom

Is one allowed to take food into the bathroom? I heard that the prohibiton is only on the type of bathroom used years ago.
7
votes
5answers
373 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
798 views

Can a live video feed remove the prohibition of Yichud?

I was wondering if and how a public videostream could affect a potential yichud situation. For example, may a single guy and girl be secluded if they set up a continuously broadcasting camera and ...
5
votes
1answer
64 views

Birkot HaTorah and Typing

Shulhan Aruch (Orah Haim 47:3) as well as Yalkut Yosef (47:14) write that before one writes down words of Torah, he must recite Birkot HaTorah (because people that write sometimes voice their ...
5
votes
1answer
487 views

Hashems name on device

Is there any issue regarding deleting electronic files with Hashem's Name, and also is there any issue taking such a device into the bathroom.
-3
votes
3answers
506 views

Is Sex Outside Marriage Still a Sin After the Invention of Paternity Tests?

I asked something like this. The reasoning if I can remember: You should not sell your daughter as prostitute. Rambam said that all sex outside marriage is prostitution. Therefore sex outside ...
7
votes
1answer
174 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
234 views

How can I slow-cook dairy if my slow-cooker is meat?

I have a (meat) slow-cooker and very occasionally want to be able to slow-cook dairy foods. Is it possible to adapt my existing appliance for this purpose? The slow-cooker consists of a glazed clay ...
10
votes
2answers
508 views

Why is it ok to use tap water/toilets on Shabbos? Considering the source of the water pressure

Why is it ok to use tap water/toilets on Shabbos? Considering the source of the water pressure. The water pressure that enables the water to flow out of the tap has to come from somewhere. It is ...
3
votes
4answers
355 views

Computer Support for Nekudos [closed]

Can it hurt to include Nekudos (vowel marks) when typing Hebrew? Do all systems that support Hebrew lettering automatically support Nekudos? If not, do they at least degrade gracefully?
10
votes
3answers
353 views

Glow sticks on Shabbos

May one activate a glow stick on Shabbos? (In other words, is there a prohibition on activating the chemical reaction which produces the light in a glow stick?)
8
votes
3answers
174 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
269 views

Technological innovations and halacha

A generally accepted halachic principle is that the Torah was not given to angels. As such, halacha is only applied within normal human capabilities. A classic example is that one is not required to ...
6
votes
2answers
213 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. ...
6
votes
1answer
178 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
223 views

Opening an umbrella indoors

Is there anything wrong with opening up an umbrella indoors according to Jewish tradition? I have met many people who view it as bad luck or possibly rude. On the other hand we are commanded not to ...
6
votes
1answer
63 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?
5
votes
2answers
128 views

Is glow in the dark Jewelry muktzeh?

Is a glow in the dark necklace or bracelet muktzeh? Would any action I needed to take matter if I was already wearing it before Shabbat started?
4
votes
2answers
155 views

What does “aerosol” have to do with spitting in the wind, or winnowing?

In this answer over here it is explained, that a "question" comes up with aerosol cans, based on a gemora which asks if spitting in the wind counts as winnowing. Now, the spitting in the wind case ...
7
votes
2answers
287 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
478 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, ...
11
votes
2answers
195 views

Rabbinic Responses to Landline Telephones

Recently the use of cellphones and smartphones has met with a lot of criticism in some communities. I'd be interested to see if landline telephones encountered any similar opposition when they were ...
8
votes
2answers
342 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
584 views

Looking for a good English-to-Hebrew translation software

I'm looking for a translation software, or website, that accurately translates entire sentences and paragraphs from English to Hebrew, without grammar mistakes or funny language usage. Anyone know of ...
10
votes
1answer
202 views

May one reheat food on top of a crock-pot or urn on Shabbos?

According to my understanding cooked or baked food that is currently cold, may be placed on top of a pot that is on a blech on Shabbos to warm up. What about putting cooked or baked foods on top of ...
6
votes
1answer
265 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 ...