Questions about how Judaism interacts with technological innovations.

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6
votes
2answers
332 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
87 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). ...
6
votes
1answer
104 views

Buying New Electronics During the 9 Days

Is one allowed to buy new electronic devices during the nine days (e.g. cellphone, laptop)?
6
votes
3answers
526 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 ...
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. ...
6
votes
2answers
279 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. ...
6
votes
0answers
214 views

Prosthetic limbs in halacha

What is the status of prosthetic limbs in halacha in terms of being considered part of the body? Is it considered: As if I were born with it? As a living piece of flesh, but not a piece of me? ...
5
votes
6answers
443 views

Jewish Android Apps [closed]

Does anyone have a suggestion of any useful Jewish Android Apps currently available?
5
votes
8answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
500 views

Does anyone know where one can buy a hebrewbooks harddrive?

I am looking to purchase a hebrewbooks hard drive (It may very well come handy here!). Does anyone know where can I buy it online? (eichlers, etc.)
5
votes
3answers
167 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
211 views

Source for not having picture taken

Is there any source, halachic or otherwise, for an aversion to having one's picture taken?
5
votes
3answers
282 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?
5
votes
9answers
448 views

Suggestions for Kosher iPhone apps

I'm an iPhone app developer with mostly Jewish & Israeli iPhone apps and I'm open to new suggestions or ideas for new apps that can be useful for Jewish people. Anyone here had a case that he ...
5
votes
2answers
163 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?
5
votes
1answer
369 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
88 views

Computer hacking in halacha

This question regarding legal complexity versus simplicity in modern law got me talking about the relatively simple structure of Jewish tort law. It also had me wondering: What sort of categorization ...
5
votes
2answers
105 views

Recommendation for a digital Torah codex for software developers

Could someone recommend a source for a machine-readable Hebrew with English Torah codex that may be used in software development projects? By "machine readable," I mean of a format that may be ...
5
votes
2answers
844 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
310 views

Is it forbidden to use a sand timer on shabbos?

Everyone I know seems to say that using a sand timer (hourglass) on shabbos is forbidden. The question is why? Is it because of sifting? Is there some other melacha involved? Is it actually forbidden? ...
5
votes
1answer
108 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
231 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
73 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
88 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. ...
5
votes
0answers
75 views

Are there any contemporary “Gedolim” that prohibit the use of davening from a smart phone?

It took me a long time to upgrade my technology, but I admit that lately, I have been using my smart phone during davening. My rav doesn't object, but some of my friends told me that it's prohibited ...
5
votes
0answers
94 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
97 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
138 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
169 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
2answers
264 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
315 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
508 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
267 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
470 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
1answer
90 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
2answers
103 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
2answers
87 views

T'chum shabas maps?

There are many better or worse maintained maps of eruvei chatzeros available to the public, which are a boon to travellers to a new place interested in where they can move things outdoors during ...
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
631 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
202 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
310 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
2answers
153 views

What does an olive press look like?

Mishna, Maasros 1:7:: הַשֶּׁמֶן, מִשֶּׁיֵּרֵד לָעוּקָה. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיָּרַד, נוֹטֵל מִן הֶעָקָל וּמִבֵּין הַמָּמָל וּמִבֵּין הַפַּצִּים, וְנוֹתֵן לַחֲמִטָּה וְלַתַּמְחוּי, אֲבָל לֹא יִתֵּן ...
4
votes
1answer
349 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
120 views

What Have Modern Posqim said about Nuclear Weapons?

I'm looking to find teshuvot from modern posqim that discuss the permissability of possessing and using nuclear weapons.
4
votes
1answer
86 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
39 views

Has there ever been an expert system (i.e. computer program) developed for answering simple halachic queries?

As a computer programmer and student of the Torah, I've conceptualized the idea of codifying halacha - quite literally - in an expert system, allowing one to submit halachic queries and receive ...
4
votes
0answers
51 views

Is it better not to wear a watch on Shabbat?

I know it is permissible to wear a watch on Shabbat, and I have already perused this question about the particulars of what kinds of watch features are and are not permitted (ignoring the issue of ...
4
votes
0answers
299 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
0answers
104 views

Slide Rule on Shabbos/Yom Tov

May a slide rule (mechanical device before calculators) can be used on Shabbos for Gemara calculations?
3
votes
2answers
139 views

Is an on-call doctor allowed to read non-emergency text messages on Shabbat?

My shul has a few doctors who carry their cell phones with them. When their phones buzz (B"H, they are smart enough to put the phones on vibrate mode while davening.) with a text message, they, of ...