Why did I receive email from this site on a holiday such as Succoth when we are not allowed to use any electronics?

  • Your title is quite broad, encompassing all technology and too broad to be meaningful. The body of the question seems to refer to e-mail in particular. It too would be better rephrased, since we don't know who sent you the e-mail. As it stands it is a question about the sender; not about Judaism.
    – mevaqesh
    Oct 19, 2016 at 0:17
  • 2
    Questions about the site, but not about Judaism, should be asked on meta.judaism.stackexchange.com.
    – mevaqesh
    Oct 19, 2016 at 0:17
  • I've edited the title to match the body, because otherwise this would get closed as either too broad or unclear. jani, if you intended something different, you can edit further. Welcome to the site. Oct 19, 2016 at 0:21
  • @MonicaCellio The title asks "Can" and is unclear on its own, while the body asks "Why" and probably belongs on Meta. I recommend closure until jani bergida edits this so that the title and body agree on a clear question about Judaism, or on a clear question about Mi Yodeya, which can be migrated to Mi Yodeya Meta.
    – Isaac Moses
    Oct 19, 2016 at 17:53

2 Answers 2


A Jew is forbidden to send (or use a computer to read) email on Shabbat. Further, asking a gentile to send you something specifically on Shabbat is forbidden; you can't ask someone to do for you what you can't do yourself.

However, if the action was taken on Shabbat but you didn't specifically ask for it to occur on Shabbat, that's fine. See this parallel case about physical mail, and this one about automated bidding in an online auction that will conclude on Shabbat. I presume that you did not ask the sender to send this email to you on Shabbat (or in this case Yom Tov).

Further, this is all about specific, intentional actions. The email you received is likely to have not been of that type -- either it was an entirely automated message, like the weekly newsletter, or it was a message triggered by some state on the site (like inbox messages, a bounty about to expire, or a top-new-user notice). An automated process cannot form the intent to act specifically on Shabbat/Yom Tov.

Many Jewish organizations that have automated email take steps to avoid it being sent on Shabbat out of concern for the appearance that sending it entailed a Shabbat violation. While Mi Yodeya is a site about Judaism, neither it nor Stack Exchange, our host, is a Jewish institution. It is not surprising that automated email from a non-Jewish organization is sometimes sent when melacha is forbidden.


The server is not shut down so the email may have been sent before Yom Tov but not delivered just as snail mail put in the postal box before Yom Tov may be delivered on Yom Tov. Another possibility is that someone in a timezone where Yom Tov was already over sent the email.

Your responsibility is to not use the computer on Yom Tov or Shabbos. What other people do is up to them.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .