5

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 would be an issur d'oraisa of casiva (כתיבה)? Perhaps there is a svara to say that since this a "derech" of writing nowadays that it gets the consideration that the Torah gave to a normal writing?

However, in reality there is no substance to this "writing" and no tangible thing to hold on to; it's simply how the computer screen is interpreting data. How can the malacha of casiva be extended to this?

3

No, not a Melacha DeOraysa. It's not permanent, and in fact requires constant active application of electricity to maintain. If you were to pull the plug, it would instantly disappear. As such, it would at most be an Issur DeRabbannan.

Please see these questions for more information:

(Note: A Kindle or e-Reader uses different technology which is more permanent.)

  • What if you save the document? – andrewmh20 Jul 17 '14 at 1:40
  • @andrewmh20 Good question. Probably addressed in the links in my answer, as those deal with devices that don't require electricity to maintain an image. – Shmuel Jul 17 '14 at 2:35

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