Questions about how Judaism interacts with technological innovations.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

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
40 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
2answers
101 views

Can one wear Yaktrax on Shabbat?

Yaktrax is an ice traction "device" that you slip onto the bottom of your shoe. Can one wear this on Shabbat? Possible concerns: boneh - "building". Wearing the device involves stretching a band ...
4
votes
0answers
138 views

The Mekor Baruch's intructions of making gold from copper

Rav Epstein in his Mekor Baruch 3:19:6 brings a story about him and a maggid. The maggid was looking for a certain sefer which instructs one how to make gold from copper. The Mekor Baruch (who had the ...
4
votes
0answers
55 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
351 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
153 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
267 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 "...
3
votes
4answers
363 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
2answers
251 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
109 views

Are there any fonts that allow for the name of Hashem to be typed the way it is in Sephardi siddurim?

I'd like to be able to typeset various tefilos on my computer, so I'd like to be able to type the name of Hashem the way it appears in Sephardi siddurim, like this: Are there any fonts that allow ...
3
votes
1answer
199 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
3answers
118 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
760 views

Can DNA be used as evidence to prove that someone is Jewish?

Apparently, there were a number of child Holocaust survivors who were separated from their parents and never found them. They were adopted and raised by Non-Jewish families. As they became adults, ...
3
votes
1answer
198 views

What bracha should be made on hydroponics/aeroponics?

Hydroponics is a method of growing food (mainly vegetables) with their roots in water, not soil. Aeroponics is when it is grown in air, with the roots being sprayed. What bracha should be made on ...
3
votes
1answer
77 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
1answer
864 views

Self-winding wristwatches on Shabbos

Can self-winding wristwatches be used on Shabbos?
3
votes
3answers
532 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
102 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
2answers
188 views

Surrogate mother

If a fetus has been formed in a mother and then deposited in a surrogate mother, who is considered the mother? In other words, does the mother's 'seed' make her the mother? The story of Yosef and ...
3
votes
1answer
45 views

Would there be any maaser derabbanan on hydroponically grown plants?

Related: What bracha should be made on hydroponics/aeroponics? This question was originally mentioned by Rabbi Eliyahu Fink in his Daf Yomi shiur (Shabbat 128). He was talking about tevel d'rabanan -...
3
votes
2answers
281 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
241 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
2answers
116 views

Determining the status of bedika cloths via digital media

Determining the colours on a bedika cloth is a wisdom that has been passed on from generation to generation. Preferably a bedika cloth is checked by the light of the sun ('white light'). I've have ...
3
votes
1answer
131 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 http://oaicorp.com/...
3
votes
1answer
148 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
1answer
89 views

Cheshbon HaNefesh Software

I'm looking for something online or an app, really anything that is on an electronic device, that can help with cheshbon hanefesh. The ideal would be a program or app specifically set up for ...
3
votes
2answers
99 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
2answers
85 views

Can one kasher anodized metal?

Anodized metal is metal with an increase in the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface of metal parts. Is there any issue kashering it, or is it basically like metal with a layer of rust ...
3
votes
0answers
58 views

Is one allowed to carry an object through an opposite force on Shabbos?

Say one had a strong magnetic force attached to his shoe in a way that was not considered carrying. Would he be able to point his shoe in a Reshus Harabim and move something with opposite magnetic ...
3
votes
0answers
112 views

To know in advance when one is a niddah

The gemoro and shulchan aruch has much to say about 'vestos', way to find out in advance when one will be a niddah, which rarely work today. There are modern methods which do work: does one have to ...
3
votes
0answers
107 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
173 views

Can a healthy person use a shabbos elevator?

Can a person who has no health issues make use of a shabbos elevator?
3
votes
0answers
52 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
39 views

Hydroponics – Allowed on Seventh Year?

Would hydroponics be allowed in Israel on the seventh year, when there are additional restrictions on farming the land?
2
votes
2answers
140 views

Measurements for the Bais HaMikdash — can we do it with a computer?

Since everything is computerized now, when the Bais HaMikdash is rebuilt, will we use the computer to rebuild? I.E., the measurements for the offerings, the entire rebuilding, etc.?
2
votes
4answers
1k 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
106 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
278 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
84 views

Is there a prayer I should say before taking off in a plane?

On Monday, I am going to take a flight. I know I should say the Shehecheyanu when I land, but is there a blessing I should say when I take off?
2
votes
2answers
140 views

Is a library book with an embedded RFID tag a problem on Shabbos?

RFID tags have very many uses in identifying different objects via radio waves. Recently, libraries have started using them to help keep track of books. I would imagine that the tags, in themselves, ...
2
votes
1answer
104 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
2answers
315 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 "piggyback"...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

Is there an Android Tikkun App that has sound?

During the "pre smart phone days" (Yes, that DID exist), I used Trope trainer to practice some of my laining and to train my kids and some Bar Mitzvah boys. I recently downloaded the "Tikkun Korim" ...
2
votes
1answer
61 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?
2
votes
1answer
291 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
81 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
62 views

Looking for online German (Yekke) Torah Trope practice

As a lad, I often attended a German (Yekke) shul in my neighborhood, where they used the Yekke Torah trope. My main shul sometimes used this trope during Yom Tov readings. (I.e. - the Yekke trope is ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

Looking for information about going to Mikvah with an IUD [closed]

I am interested in going to a Mikvah for the first time. I have an intrauterine device (aka IUD, a form of birth control) and get very little or sometimes no bleeding. I don't now how to determine ...