Questions about how Judaism interacts with technological innovations.

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5
votes
2answers
250 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. ...
5
votes
0answers
61 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
81 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
119 views

What are the practical limits of shaimos in the common era? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Hashems name on device I've tried to always be careful in regard to shaimos, but I'm still having difficulty understanding how it maps out in the age of the computer. ...
4
votes
2answers
158 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
290 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
2answers
184 views

Source for not having picture taken

Is there any source, halachic or otherwise, for an aversion to having one's picture taken?
4
votes
2answers
94 views

Is a head-mounted lamp better than a candle for bedikas chometz?

A LED or Xenon lamp attached to the head (link shows example) seems to be ideal for bedikas chometz and superior to a candle? Do contemporary poskim offer a view?
4
votes
1answer
70 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
676 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
537 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?
4
votes
2answers
175 views

How do Shabbos mode scooters work?

Related to a question about shabbos and yom tov mode stoves I wonder about shabbos mode powered scooters. I recall seeing them advertised in the Jewish newspapers. How do they work, in terms of ...
4
votes
3answers
258 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?
4
votes
1answer
224 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.)
4
votes
1answer
74 views

Solar analog watch be worn on Shabbos where in the dark the second stops?

Can a solar charge watch that the second hand stops moving in the dark after 30 minutes to save power and resumes operation when brought back in the light, be worn on Shaboss?
4
votes
0answers
92 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
121 views

Can you use electricity on Yom Tov

Yom Tov is slightly different than Shabbat. For example, on Shabbat one cannot cook, but one can cook on Yom Tov provided that it is from an existing flame. My question is this... Let's say I have ...
4
votes
0answers
86 views

Slide Rule on Shabbos/Yom Tov

May a slide rule (mechanical device before calculators) can be used on Shabbos for Gemara calculations?
4
votes
1answer
174 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
231 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
357 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?
3
votes
1answer
181 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
205 views

Yichud in Elevator

Is there a problem of Yichud in the elevator? (especially considering there's a possibility that the elevator may get stuck) [and specifically those without cameras]
3
votes
1answer
191 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
329 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
95 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
82 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?
3
votes
1answer
501 views

Self-winding wristwatches on Shabbos

Can self-winding wristwatches be used on Shabbos?
3
votes
1answer
50 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?
3
votes
3answers
328 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.
3
votes
1answer
93 views

Looking at a Kohen's hands on Video

One is not allowed to look at a Kohen's hands while he is performing Birchas Kohanim (source: my Artscroll siddur, but it is well-known too) Would this also apply if one was looking at a video of the ...
3
votes
3answers
470 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
218 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?
3
votes
1answer
116 views

Wirelessly recharging a light-emitting diode on Shabbos

Could one use wireless recharging technology (see http://home.howstuffworks.com/question292.htm) to power a light-emitting diode (which does not have a filament that gets hot (see ...
3
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
91 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, ...
3
votes
0answers
94 views

Is wine from a Miracle Machine subject to Stam Yenam?

This article describes a kickstarter for a machine to make wine quickly out of grape juice concentrates. My question is twofold: Is such wine subject to stam yenam? Is it even Borei pri hagafen?
3
votes
0answers
38 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?
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 ...
2
votes
4answers
697 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

Slaughtering with a machine

May one slaughter kosher animals with a machine? I don't mean to ask this question about restraining animals, what I want to know is if one may use a machine to actually make the cut, to actually ...
2
votes
2answers
183 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

May one set posts for Shabbos?

Tumblr has a feature where one can, instead of posting something at the time it it written or a set time, you can add it to a "queue". It will then post a set amount of posts per day as long as there ...
2
votes
1answer
124 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
201 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
160 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
1answer
75 views

Microphone for Meggilah

Can one be Yotzeh Meggilah on Skype or webcast or through a microphone or telephone is there a difference between each? Does a Hearing Aid disqualify a person from being Yotzeh the Laining?
2
votes
0answers
53 views

Why does this app require me to agree not to use it on Shabbat?

I downloaded a Shabbat Alert app for my iPad, because i needed an alarm that would shut off after a few minutes. It worked fine (except that my iPad was muted), and it seemed to be quite halachic. In ...
2
votes
0answers
18 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
46 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 ...