Questions tagged [internet]

Questions related to use of the Internet or resources available on it.

59
votes
12answers
7k views

Why is it necessary to ask a Rabbi?

In various places on this site, including the FAQ, we have the following disclaimer: Like Wikipedia, this site makes no guarantee of validity, and does not offer professional (particularly rabbinic)...
45
votes
7answers
3k views

May I use my neighbor's Wi-Fi without asking permission?

My neighbor has never set up password protection on his wireless router. If I wanted, I could wirelessly connect to his high-speed Internet service. May I use his Internet service without asking him ...
30
votes
5answers
1k views

When blogging/emailing/etc., do I use “God” or “G-d”?

Is there a religious problem with typing out the name: "G-o-d"?
29
votes
1answer
1k views

Is a Jew allowed to participate on Christianity.SE?

I was browsing meta.Christianity.SE recently when I noticed a question with a rather obvious (and good) answer that had not been posted. I was about to go ahead and answer it when I realized there ...
26
votes
2answers
534 views

Is unmasking an anonymous author addressed by Halacha?

If an individual writes a document for public consumption anonymously or pseudonymously and either explicitly or presumably desires to remain anonymous, is there a Halachic issue with publicly ...
25
votes
13answers
1k views

What are the most essential Jewish websites? [closed]

What websites are essential bookmarks on a Jew's internet browser? I am thinking broadly of resources like a place to get online texts or a particularly good blog etc... Please include links as well ...
24
votes
3answers
926 views

Is ad-blocker software permissible?

Kalashnikover_Rebbe at hashkafah.com asks: Isn't blocking ads stealing??? The people put them on the sites for a reason.... He elaborates: On one hand the argument can be made that [forum XYZ] ...
20
votes
14answers
2k views

Reliable Ask-a-Rabbi Websites

There are some times on this site where questioners will be directed to "ask their Rabbi." While it's always optimal to have such people discuss the question with their own Rabbi (and such action ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

Can an ecommerce website remain open on Shabbat?

This question is more general and doesn't apply specifically to ecommerce sites even though the discussion mentions them a little. Specifically, we know we can't do business on Shabbat. So what is ...
20
votes
1answer
721 views

How should we respond to objectionable content in a public forum?

The blessing and curse of sites like StackExchange is that everything happens in public. Sometimes someone will post something objectionable and it isn't possible to take the person aside for a ...
19
votes
6answers
602 views

Is it considered stealing to look at mi.yodeya while at work?

More generally, doing personal things like phone calls, emails, etc. while on company time. How far does the "everybody does it" rationale go? I believe there is some category in halakha that accounts ...
18
votes
12answers
7k views

Is there a short Daf Yomi shiur online in English?

There is a short, 10-minute daf yomi shiur in Hebrew here : and I was wondering if there is anything comparable in English. I'm looking for a Daf Yomi shiur online that is significantly shorter than ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

How can you quit a habit of visiting inappropriate websites?

The Torah teaches that, if you're an unmarried man, watching pornography is harmful to your soul. See, for example, this article by Chabad rabbi Tzvi Freeman. (If you're married and need to watch ...
17
votes
2answers
432 views

How can someone, halachically, do teshuva when s/he has offended an anonymous person on the internet?

Ramba"m among others, state that Yom Kippur does not atone for sins committed between a person and his neighbor until a person personally asks the other for forgiveness. Mi Yodeya is an example of ...
16
votes
3answers
14k views

Is this really in the Talmud?

I've seen this before on anti-semetic sites - is it really in the Talmud? Extracts from the Jewish text the Talmud "Just the Jews are humans, the non-Jews are no humans, but cattle" ...
16
votes
2answers
461 views

Computer working on Shabbos

Can I leave my computer on downloading over Shabbos?
16
votes
3answers
659 views

Is a contract over Chat/IM/SMS “written” or “oral”?

Halakhically, is a business transaction conducted over Chat/IM/SMS a "written" or "oral" contract? Chat is oral-style communication in a textual medium. Does the fact that it's actually written over-...
16
votes
2answers
340 views

Is participating on a Teacher rating site a violation of Lashon Hara?

There are websites out there (e.g. RateMyProfessors) where students can post information about teachers they had. Is reading the "reviews" on the site, or writing such a "review", a violation of ...
15
votes
11answers
3k views

Where can I buy inexpensive seforim online?

Where can I buy seforim online for inexpensive prices? I mean real seforim.....not digital ones. I'm willing to buy seforim either new or second-hand.
15
votes
3answers
852 views

What's a good website for asking questions about Jewish life and learning and getting crowd-sourced answers?

What's a good website for asking questions about Jewish life and learning and getting crowd-sourced answers?
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Is the material permitted to learn on Tisha B'av available online?

From Aish.com: Other prohibitions include...Learning Torah, since this is a joyful activity. It is permitted to learn texts relevant to Tisha B'Av and mourning -- e.g. the Book of Lamentations, ...
15
votes
6answers
386 views

Online tool for minyan management?

If I'm running a small minyan that sometimes has a quorum and sometimes doesn't, and I'd like to only hold the minyan when I know we'll have ten, is there an online tool to help me manage this?
15
votes
3answers
560 views

Loshon Hara against an Online Identity

Does the prohibition of Loshon Hara apply when the target is an online name or identity, where the person behind it is anonymous, such as an anonymous user on this forum ?
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Creating a crowd-sourced database of non-dairy OU-D products

Several questions/answers on this site have pointed out that the OU-D hechsher does not always mean that the product is actually dairy. (But that it is, in reality, "OU-DE" [dairy equipment]. See here ...
14
votes
1answer
419 views

Mi Yodeya and Teaching Non-Jews

There is an established halachic principle that we do not explicitly teach Torah to non-Jews. Though the exact parameters of this law is debated, the principle issur itself isn't. According to some ...
13
votes
4answers
6k views

Where can I get the free Hebrew text of the Siddur or Benching?

Where can I get the text of the siddur/prayer book (or at least benching/grace, mincha/afternoon prayer, and/or ma'ariv/evening prayer) in a free computer friendly format? I'd like to be able to make ...
13
votes
1answer
284 views

Can I trust a random internet user?

Does the halacha of עד אחד נאמן באיסורין (a single witness is trusted in matters of prohibition) apply to a random internet users? If someone presents themselves as being a practicing Jew, can I take ...
13
votes
1answer
132 views

Where can I find an online Jewish community?

I've newly created an account on this site as someone who's "lurked" or obtained information here before and found the quality of communication excellent. I moved to Montana from Los Angeles as a ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Is downloading pirated music stealing?

Either way, it should be frowned upon as not a nice thing to do, but would it actually be assur?
12
votes
3answers
295 views

embarassing an anonymous person online

There is a prohibition to embarass other people (Sanhedrin 99a). Does this apply also to anonymous online people despite that nobody knows their identity and therefore they should not feel embarassed ...
12
votes
2answers
429 views

Is it halachically permissible to click on contextual ads with no intention of buying?

Contextual ads are those ads you see when you do a search on Google. The advertisers only pay if someone actually clicks on their ad. It seems "pashut" to me that clicking an ad if you know you're not ...
11
votes
3answers
765 views

Rabbi Avigdor Miller's Shiurim

Where can I find Rabbi Avigdor Miller's Shiurim online to download for free?
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Do you have to close your blog / website on shabbos?

Do you have to close your blog on shabbos?
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Deliveries on Shabbos

This is a two-part question: What do you do if while you are at home during Shabbos, someone knocks at your door, and when you open it a delivery person (UPS/FedEx/USPS/DHL etc.) hands you a package ...
11
votes
3answers
510 views

A computer file that I emailed you has a virus. Am I responsible?

My rav frequently discusses contemporary halachic questions. He quotes a general rule from the Gemarrah (I assume it's from Baba Kama or one of the "Baba's") that a person who causes damages is always ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

A site to search Kosher Symbols by characteristics?

Several years ago, I found a website that let me search and sort Kosher symbols by look and other characteristics. It seemed like each symbol was tagged with its distinctive features. This was very ...
11
votes
2answers
373 views

Facebook in the bathroom

While it's certainly very crude, if not plain gross, it's not all that uncommon for people to use social media sites like Facebook while in the bathroom. Many Posekim forbid speaking in the bathroom, ...
11
votes
1answer
219 views

Is there a problem 'wearing' a virtual Saint Lucia hat?

Is there any prohibition, perhaps related to lo teileichu b'hukat hagoyim, in "wearing" a virtual hat which celebrates Saint Lucia day? Related
10
votes
8answers
1k views

Where is there a good online source to check how often a word appears in Tanach?

Where is there a good online source where you can check how often a word appears in Tanach?
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Where can I buy a Yeshivish fedora online?

In most Yeshivish circles (and Chabad Hasidim), a black snap-brim fedora is worn. Usually it is a Borsalino, but not always. Could someone recommend a place online where I could get one or one like it ...
10
votes
1answer
547 views

Peer-to-Peer Lending Websites

There are websites (such as Prosper.com or LendingClub.com) which allow laypeople to lend money to borrowers with interest. For example, a typical listing posted by a potential borrower is one in ...
10
votes
1answer
387 views

Electronic communication immediately before wedding

Is it permissible to chat with your future spouse during the week before the wedding when you are not supposed to see each other face to face? Are any, all, or none of the following permissible: Text ...
10
votes
2answers
196 views

If three men pre-arranged to sit down and eat together over a video-chat, is there any reason they shouldn't have a zimun?

I learned that if two groups were eating in two different rooms but even one person could see someone in the other room, then they could have one zimun (I thought this was in Masechet Brachot, but I ...
10
votes
1answer
775 views

Is it mutar to participate in an online religion-related community that is largely made up of Christians?

There exist online communities on secular websites, to discuss religion-related topics such as the bible, that largely consist of Christians and their contributions. Some of those Christians use the ...
10
votes
4answers
397 views

Shehecheyanu on new website

If one launches a new website, can he recite Shehecheyanu? Or perhaps Hatov Ve-Hametiv, if others derive benefit from it?
10
votes
1answer
317 views

Is it acceptable to use software which incidentally blocks ads?

A question on this site on whether ad-blocking software is permissible suggests that the answer is that it probably, but not definitely, is acceptable. I don't use ad-blocking software myself, but I ...
10
votes
1answer
195 views

Selling Hametz on Ebay

Can I sell my chametz via eBAY? I have no expectation that I want to buy it back. I would pack it and ship it before Pesach, so it's definitely not in my posession during Pesach. Is this problematic ...
9
votes
2answers
268 views

Lashon Harah for anonymous to'eles

Necessary background: Lashon Harah (slander) is prohibited, unless it is for a to'eles (constructive purpose). Can I say Lashon Harah that would be available to everyone, would be beneficial for some ...
9
votes
1answer
324 views

Can a minyan meet online?

My question is twofold: Can a person present via webcam (with sound enabled), but not present physically, count towards a minyan (see this example)? If not, can that person still receive the ...
8
votes
12answers
641 views

Best Sites for Reading/Listening to Great Divrei Torah

What are some good sites for Divrei Torah, and what are the strengths of each?