Questions about how Judaism interacts with technological innovations.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

12
votes
1answer
116 views

Can an ultrasound be relied upon?

I have read reports of the accuracy of gender prediction from an ultrasound with numbers ranging from 90-98%. There is a halacha (Y.D. 194:11) that if a fetus sticks its hand [or possibly any limb] ...
9
votes
1answer
300 views

Scheduling a USPS Pickup for Shabbos

So it turns out that the USPS has a feature where you can ask them to come and pickup a package. So you go online to their site, enter your information, choose a date for the pickup, and tell them ...
2
votes
1answer
109 views

Can meat grown from living cells be kosher? Is it eiver min hachai?

Earlier questions such as In vitro meat — further questions dealt with meat grown from stem cells of slaughtered animals. This question is specifically about meat grown from stem cells taken from live ...
2
votes
1answer
92 views

Scheduling Email for 3AM and Gneivas Daas

Is is permitted to schedule an email for the wee hours of the night, like 3AM, to give the impression that you were working late? Is it significantly well known that there are services like ...
2
votes
1answer
63 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
50 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
69 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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
92 views

Chassidic aversion to dual-sided implement-wearing

Disclaimer: This may sound like purim-torah-in-jest, but since Mi Yodeya has pasken'ed that only Adar Sheni is elegible for such, I (despite my personal minhag) post this question in all seriousness. ...
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
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 ...
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
300 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
0answers
61 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 ...
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
109 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
105 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
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
50 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
67 views

Television on Shabbos

Let's take as a given that it is forbidden to turn a television on or off or otherwise use electricity on Shabbat. Let's also ignore the whole issue of watching TV in the first place. We can also ...
2
votes
0answers
37 views

Equal volume when doing birkat kohanim with a microphone

I attended a musical davening this week, and to accommodate the large crowd, the chazzan wore a microphone. The kohanim however did not. The result of this was that the chazzan's voice ended up much ...
2
votes
0answers
87 views

Can a smartphone count as a sefer for stacking purposes?

Considering that, these days, you can have quite a bit of Torah on cellphones (indeed, on my iPhone I have all of Tanach, Siddur, Halachic works, Jastrow dictionary, etc.), is it possible to make an ...
2
votes
0answers
158 views

What technology did King Solomon have?

I'm looking for sourced statements of modern technology possessed by King Solomon. So far I have seen: An answer here quotes the idea that King Solomon had a flying carpet of sorts. The Ben ...
2
votes
0answers
57 views

Is it permissible to bring back extinct species?

Is it allowed according to halacha to bring back extinct species? The technology is on its way, and i have seen some discussion in non-Jewish contexts about the ethics of it, and how we might be ...
2
votes
0answers
67 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
120 views

What modern-day hygiene products are prohibited on Yom Kippur?

What, if any, modern-day hygiene products are prohibited "oils" on Yom Kippur? Are deodorants and perfumes in this category? What about medical ointments?
2
votes
0answers
258 views

May a Jew own/operate a blog open to comments?

In light of recent events I would like to know if a Jew may own and operate a blog or website which is open to comments if it is found that comments can often contain lashon hara, rechilus or motzei ...
2
votes
0answers
129 views

May I vote Stack Exchange answers up or down during Chol Hamoed?

Stack Exchange websites, such as Mi Yodeya, include a "voting" feature. They let me click an "up arrow" icon to indicate that a post is useful, or a "down arrow" icon to indicate that it's not useful. ...
2
votes
0answers
172 views

Can a healthy person use a shabbos elevator?

Can a person who has no health issues make use of a shabbos elevator?
1
vote
0answers
46 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
95 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

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. ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
58 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
32 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
57 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
210 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 ...