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The Israeli Rabbinate is considering granting smicha (rabbinic ordination) to Google. Now, assuming he gets accepted, what if Rabbi Google's answer is to look at Mi Yodeya?

Mi Yodeya's policy states clearly:

Q: Does Mi Yodeya offer personal guidance in response to practical questions about Jewish law or attitudes, as a rabbi would?

A: It does not!

And we mean it!

So if Rabbi Google gives me a psak from Mi Yodeya, can i follow it?


This question is Purim Torah and is not intended to be taken completely seriously. See the Purim Torah policy.

  • Should this be on Meta? – Double AA Mar 9 '16 at 16:06
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    @DoubleAA It could be a more halachic Purim Torah, but i could also see it fitting on meta. – Scimonster Mar 9 '16 at 16:14
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    @DoubleAA This is about implementing Judaism in the context of Mi Yodeya existing. If it were a real question, it'd be on main, tagged stackexchange. – Isaac Moses Mar 9 '16 at 16:21
  • Who knows...?​​ – Adám Mar 10 '16 at 12:53
23

I would say that Google could not become a "Rabbi" because lo bashamayim hi and Google is in the Cloud (like a malach and not a Rabbi). If we don't take a psak from a direct bas kol then how can we accept a psak from someone who is eavesdropping from The Cloud.

12

No, you should not follow such a ruling.

Google runs a query against its database when you do a search, and what it finds is a Mi Yodeya question. Thus, the Google performs a query of a question, or in Hebrew השואל מן השואל, which is forbidden (Baba Maysa 29 amud 2). So you can't rely on the result for practical halacha.

11

Oh, c'mon, why don't you just ask the rabbi yourself? I did, and it showed me that the website you speak of has a prominent kosher certification that's so frum, it has an Aramaic word in the middle!

Screen Shot of Mi Yodeya homepage, with an O-cmon sticker on it, including the URL http://is.gd/ocmon

Rabbi Google (certified by the Israeli Rabbinate) and the authorities behind that certification (certified by the clearly-kosher Hebrew lettering that you can see with your own eyes) clearly agree that you can rely on what you learn this way. That constitutes not just a majority, but a unanimity.

And don't challenge this unanimity by saying that Mi Yodeya disagrees. Unlike the experts cited above, that site is clearly untrustworthy. It tells you itself that it "makes no guarantee of validity"! Ignore it, and go ahead and listen when Rabbi Google cites rulings from Mi Yodeya.

4

While I appreciate the wisdom of Sabba Hillel, Chazal tell us that we may only learn from a rebbe if "he is like an Angle of the Lord of [web]Hosts," which clearly means that having the perspective of a Google-server is the preferred state of being for a rabbi.

Additionally, Chazal tell us that one should adopt as a rabbi "HaSho'el halachos bichol makom vehu oneh" - that one can ask shailos of in any location, something only possible with cloud-based Google.

Kol lehavi mai? Afilu Bibeit hakisei. Thus it is appropriate to bring your smartphone into the bathroom.

  • That would apply to blog posts (here on Earth) but not in Shamaim (the Cloud) – sabbahillel Mar 9 '16 at 18:31
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    Did you mean "Angle" [sic] or Angel? – sabbahillel Mar 9 '16 at 18:33
  • @sabbahillel It's Purim Torah, does it matter? I'm tempted to leave it with the typo... – Isaac Kotlicky Mar 10 '16 at 13:18
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    In that case, leave the typo but expand to use that pun in a joke as well. – sabbahillel Mar 10 '16 at 14:53
  • @sabbahillel corrected and expanded... – Isaac Kotlicky Mar 10 '16 at 15:23
1

Yes the psak will be good following the mishna "מטמאך לא טימאוני ואתה טימאתני" כלים פרק ח משנה ד

ח,ד קדירה שהיא נתונה בתנור--השרץ בתנור, הקדירה טהורה: שאין כלי חרס מטמא כלים. היה בה משקה טופח--נטמא, וטימאה: הרי זה אומר, מטמאיך לא טימאוני, ואתה טימאתני.

ג-----גאון ו----ועניו ג-----גדול ל-----לעולם

1

If Google were ordained as a rabbi, that does not imply it would be a posek. Advise from a rabbi is distinct from psak from a posek. Advice one weights and considers oneself, it is not a prescription. One is free to follow or decline advise, whereas one must obey a prescription. The source states: "We generally require that candidates for Smicha answer more than seventy percent of the questions properly". That implies that somewhere between 0% and 30% of the advice is expected to be wrong. With so much leeway for error, you better not rely fully and bas your conduct completely on one such advice.

Not psak, just generally good advice, no more no less.

  • Not only that but I doubt google reaches 70% correct (though Mi Yodeah might) – sabbahillel Mar 10 '16 at 11:27
  • In other words, not yadin yadin, but yore yore. – Gilgamesh Mar 10 '16 at 11:33
  • Hmm, if Mi Yodeya starts regularly achieving greater than some percentage (what's the cutoff for a posek, 90?), then can we start relying on it for p'sak? – Mike Supports Monica Mar 10 '16 at 13:10

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