Questions about how Judaism interacts with technological innovations.

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If one watches television on Friday night, will one go to hell?

If one watches television on Friday night, will one go to hell?
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Would the internet be considered muktzeh due to Nolad (a new thing)

There is a category of muktzeh on shabbat called Nolad. Nolad means literally, something that is born on shabbat. It is interpreted in the modern era, as meaning anything which you did not have ...
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342 views

Does the principle of Hadash Asur Min Hatorah apply to technological new things?

According to the Hatam Sofer, does this principle apply to technological novelties? This principle means that "New Is Forbidden By The Torah".
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136 views

Why wasn't the Torah given to klal Yisroel as a DVD?

The obvious answer is that they didn't have DVDs back in Moshe Rabeinu's time. But still, Hashem could have created them back then. My question, "Why wasn't the Torah given as a DVD?", is really ...
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313 views

Why can't we drink wine that was made by a non Jew but by machine

Why can't we drink wine that was made by a non-Jew but was made from beginning to end by machine? Needless to say that according to the Gemara that it is only yayin nesech if the non Jew makes an ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
118 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 ...
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1answer
126 views

Solar Power on Shabbos

What's the deal with using solar power on Shabbos? Cooking is permitted, but what of the following cases: 1) Heating water (Dud-Shemesh style) 2) Solar-powered watches 3) Solar-powered toys What ...
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1answer
103 views

Am I allowed to interrupt someone in the middle of Shmoneh Esreh if my question is related to davening?

My friend and I are in the middle of davening Shmoneh Esreh. Rather than talk, I text him, "I don't remember if today is Rosh Hodesh. Do we say 'Ya'aleh V'yavo?'" Can I interrupt my friend for this ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
59 views

When 2 witnesses are required to verify something, can one or both of them witness this using Skype?

Examples of when you need 2 witnesses testifying an event: groom's "purchase" / acceptance of the terms of the ketuvah witnessing kiddushin (groom giving bride a ring) If two witnesses watch this ...
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1answer
101 views

T-Fal Thermo Spot Heat Indicator Cookware on Yom Tov & Shabbos

T-Fal has a cookware set known as "T-Fal Thermo Spot Heat Indicator Cookware". These pots have a special technology which indicates when the pan is ready for use. May one use such a pot on Yom Tov to ...
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1answer
110 views

Answering a virtual kaddish?

If you hear someone saying kaddish virtually (such as at a virtual siyum, or a streamed ceremony), should you answer amen? Note that this is talking about when listening live. Does it make a ...
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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?
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20 views

Has cryonics been treated in Rabbinic literature? [duplicate]

Has it been treated by rabbinic literature? If yes, what does it say about cryonics?
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1answer
40 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 ...
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46 views

What halachic principles are involved in starting the IRobot on Shabbos? [closed]

What halachic principles are involved in starting the IRobot on Shabbos? Can it be turned on anytime or just at night. Is it like security cameras in the way its okay to walk by them if you don't want ...
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42 views

Large scale hydroponics and Shmita

The gemara in Nedarim 59 (among many other places) discusses the concept of shmita produce and plants grown from them retaining their status when the original "seed" isn't destroyed when planted. In ...
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Using the Coravin on shabbat

There is a new device called the coravin which allows one to insert a needle into a cork of a wine bottle and the wine flows through the needle by using argon gas (protects quality of wine) and by ...
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Why do the laws of kevod seforim apply to physical seforim but not digital?

I may have some trouble asking this question. I understand that the laws of kavod seforim (respecting holy texts; i.e., not bringing a book of Torah into the bathroom) do not apply to tapes, etc. ...
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Search program for seforim in Chrome OS

A friend of mine is using a Chromebook. While we're trying to figure out other solutions for him, I'm trying to figure out what we can do in Chrome OS. One thing he'd like to do is use a program like ...
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Can a digital signature be used to finalize a kinyan?

That is, can a code generated by a computer act as a legally binding signature for a contractual agreement in halacha? If so, is this true even if the code is not certified by a trusted authorized ...
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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 ...
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1answer
43 views

Does this count as Tzedakah?

I found out there's an app that gives money to charity depending on how much you run. You can choose between dozens of organizations that help stop hunger, help the homeless, cure cancer, provide ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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1answer
188 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 ...
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64 views

Depilatories- creams or “shaving powders” on Shabbos

Is it permissible to use Depilatories (creams or "shaving powders" which chemically dissolve hair) on Shabbos? and if not- why?
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63 views

I am looking for the Torat Emet program to list verses for names

I am looking for a direct link to the Torat Emet program that helps you find verses for your hebrew name. I am looking for more verses for my name to use during the shmona esrei. I saw a mention of ...
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33 views

Would hydroponically grown beans be considered kitniyot?

As I understand it, beans were included as kitniyot because they grew in the ground next to wheat. However, if you grew the beans hydroponically, would they still be classified as kitniyot?
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72 views

Would humans with kosher-signs be kosher?

If I genetically engineer a human to have split feet and to have a second stomach so they can chew their cud, can I eat them?
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1answer
93 views

Can I get a digital copy of the Journal of Halacha?

I was reading a sefer which cited the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society #35. Can I get a digital copy of this Journal?
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Answering a chazan via phone, skype, or web conferencing [duplicate]

Follow up to this M.Y. answer: The answer quotes Kitzur Shulchan Aruch which says, near the end that even an iron partition does not separate Jews from their father in heaven. I assume that using ...
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35 views

Is there an online source for trope occurrences?

As a Torah reader, I like to find nuances and inherent meanings in trope (cantillation) nuances and "unusual" occurrences in the Torah. For example I'm looking for all the places that have two ...
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40 views

Nest Thermostat and shabbat [duplicate]

I'd like to know if a Nest Thermostat would be allowed by halacha? They say it programs itself and it realizes when you come home, so when you come home on shabbat, the machine will detect it, and it ...
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25 views

Is a person who hears Kedusha via Skype required to stand and join in?

Someone in location A is learning via Skype with a person in Bet Midrash B. Person B asks A to wait while he joins his minyan saying Kedusha. Does person A have to also stand and say Kedusha? Does it ...
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31 views

Is one allowed to use a nasal filter or gas mask on Shabbat or Yom Tov?

These are products that are used to protect from chemicals/pollen/dust allergy or pet hair. A water filter I see would be mussar if the water is basically clean as was already asked here: Using water ...
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54 views

Can one carry a GPS operated timed device across a time zone on Shabbat?

I read somewhere, that if you set a timer before Shabbat, you are not allowed to adjust the timer or clock on Shabbat to reset the time that something goes on. So, let's say that you live in ...
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204 views

Nespresso Machine Tevilas Keili alternatives

I recently acquired a new Nespresso coffee machine that will most probably be damaged if immersed. (The warranty will be void if immersed). Are there any alternatives to Tevila? I've heard you can ...
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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 ...
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1answer
94 views

Will editing genome of embryo having Jewish parents diminish Jewish status of later child? [closed]

There's a dreadful genetic illness known as Tay-Sachs requiring two carriers to activate the fatal effects in a child. Probably, in reaction to the 20th century eugenics movement and its terrible ...
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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 ...
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Would whole brain emulation be compatible with Judaism?

Many people theorize that in principle, the brain could be uploaded to a computer which would then contain the person's consciousness. Would a successful demonstration of this be compatible with ...
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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 ...