Questions about how Judaism interacts with technological innovations.

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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 ...
5
votes
2answers
205 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
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.)
2
votes
0answers
59 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
278 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?
7
votes
0answers
218 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
166 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
804 views

Self-winding wristwatches on Shabbos

Can self-winding wristwatches be used on Shabbos?
10
votes
1answer
282 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
393 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
227 views

electronic Olam Haba

When Moshisch comes (Biezras Hashem) will there be technology like, computers, cars, electricity, etc?
10
votes
4answers
2k 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
886 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
4answers
456 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
855 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
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
3answers
643 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
346 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
866 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
362 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?
11
votes
3answers
514 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?)
9
votes
3answers
206 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
299 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
283 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
259 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
80 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
158 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
167 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
214 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 ...
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
254 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
368 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
199 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 ...
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. ...
7
votes
2answers
503 views

Is it actually forbidden to push a wheelchair outside of an eruv on Shabbat?

I have heard opinions varying wildly on the subject and am trying to make sense of them halachically. Is it illegal on Shabbat to push someone in a wheelchair, let's say, from their home to synagogue ...
3
votes
1answer
98 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
148 views

Could the 'air conditioner' shown here be run during shabbat?

I saw this DIY video, and was wondering if such a fan could be run before shabbat started and left running as shown? The video on this page (Ignore the article): ...
3
votes
1answer
129 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
288 views

Parashas Shavua calculation

I'm writing a site where the user would be able to see the calendar with jewish-civil translation of dates, and also which parasas shavua falls on which Shabbos. I'd like to know what is the formula ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

If a pig was genetically modified to chew its cud, would it be kosher?

If they were to genetically modify a pig to chew its cud, would it be kosher?
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)?
9
votes
2answers
176 views

If three men pre-arranged to sit down and eat together over a video-chat, is there any reason they shouldn't have a zimun?

I learned that if two groups were eating in two different rooms but even one person could see someone in the other room, then they could have one zimun (I thought this was in Masechet Brachot, but I ...
6
votes
1answer
101 views

התראה by phone?

Can warning for a capital crime be accomplished by telephone? Hello? Are you aware that it is currently שבת where you are? Yes. I am aware of the punishment and prepared to do it anyway. Are ...
3
votes
2answers
240 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]
2
votes
1answer
77 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?
7
votes
2answers
411 views

Does Robot = Golem?

Would an anthropomorphic robot who could communicate with and do the bidding of humans qualify Halachicaly as a Golem? Would new rulings have to be devised for their status?
6
votes
1answer
351 views

How does “shabbat speech-reinforcement” work?

How does the technology for shabas-compliant voice amplification referred to on this architecture firm's website work? Is it different technically from a regular microphone setup or is the distinction ...