Questions about how Judaism interacts with technological innovations.

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4
votes
0answers
103 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
58 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?
1
vote
1answer
51 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?
13
votes
3answers
710 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?
9
votes
1answer
640 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
96 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
2k 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
67 views

Copyright issues in apps

Are there be any Halachik issues with regard to using someone else's logo, twitter avatar or the like as part of an app? If it would be okay, would that only be if I don't make any money from the ...
3
votes
3answers
244 views

Pirating software

I have heard from numerous 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
118 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?
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
78 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
44 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
97 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, ...
6
votes
2answers
305 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
211 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, ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
278 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
88 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
259 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
159 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
473 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.
15
votes
5answers
427 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
258 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
2answers
249 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 ...
26
votes
3answers
961 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
126 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, ...
0
votes
1answer
187 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
120 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. ...
1
vote
1answer
126 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
552 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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
113 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
139 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. ...
9
votes
1answer
268 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
275 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?
1
vote
1answer
114 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
292 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
3answers
690 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
225 views

Typing on Shabbos

If one would type on a computer on Shabbos, would he be ovar an issur d'oraisa in regards to the malacha of writing? (The other malachos involved aside for a moment.) Is there any room to say this ...
2
votes
0answers
170 views

Can a healthy person use a shabbos elevator?

Can a person who has no health issues make use of a shabbos elevator?
4
votes
3answers
308 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?
3
votes
0answers
51 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
172 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, ...
3
votes
2answers
258 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
322 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.)
12
votes
1answer
506 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 ...
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 ...