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Questions tagged [technology]

Questions about how Judaism interacts with technological innovations.

69 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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13
votes
1answer
122 views

Can a “brain controlled” prosthetic be used on Shabbat?

New prosthetics are controlled by brain waves which seem to make the prosthetic an extension of the body in an "organic" way, in that we control all of our own limbs through the same brain waves and ...
8
votes
0answers
86 views

What is the status of professional video game players?

A friend remarked to me that playing video games professionally today is the equivalent of professional gamblers in the times of the talmud, specifically in that both are not involved in "Yishuvo shel ...
8
votes
0answers
213 views

Changeable page number sign for shul

In the shul (synagogue) I went to growing up, and in other shuls I've been to, they had a device for displaying the current page number. It was a wall-mounted box with three windows, behind each of ...
8
votes
0answers
85 views

Spam texts to run up a person's bill

Many cell phone plans allot a person a certain number of texts each month and charge for every text over that limit. This is for both texts sent and received. Now, phone calls can be denied, but ...
6
votes
0answers
106 views

Is it bad for one to let bits of one's personal life become known online?

Isaac Moses wrote: Over the years, Gershon Gold has demonstrated great research skills, often coming up with on-point sources for interesting Halachic questions very quickly. He has also been an ...
6
votes
0answers
146 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
108 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
168 views

Different Smart/Sport Watches on Shabbat

I looked at some of the other smartwatch threads, and being that they were older, they don't cover the following two cases: Hybrid Smartwatches Sports watches First the assumptions / definitions I ...
6
votes
1answer
199 views

Moving with magnets: what's the status in halacha?

If I move something on Shabbos with the force of a magnet, is that considered Halachicly like I move it with my hands (גופו), with my force (כוחו), indirect (גרמא), or have I done nothing? This is ...
6
votes
1answer
77 views

Are you responsible for damage your driverless car causes?

Driverless cars are in the process of becoming a reality and it is a matter of time before they are a mainstream product. These car are pre-programmed to make certain decisions in the case of imminent ...
5
votes
0answers
86 views

A widow using her deceased husbands semen to conceive?

If a husband has some of his semen frozen/saved and then dies, what halachic and hashkafic issues have to be addressed when deciding if his widow is allowed to/can/should use that semen to become ...
5
votes
0answers
77 views

May one install a web cam to check in on an elderly parent?

With a friend, I discussed the idea of installing a web cam to check in on an elderly parent who lives in her apartment alone and is serviced by a Gentile aid. The children are concerned that the aid ...
5
votes
0answers
394 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
251 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
208 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
57 views

How to make a personal siddur/birchon/bentsher as a wedding present

I'm looking for a convenient software that allows me to create and design a personal siddur/birchon/bentcher to give as a wedding present. In particular, I would like to have a convenient way to ...
4
votes
0answers
73 views

Is grinder biohacking permissible?

Grinder biohacking involves implanting DIY cybernetics or chemicals into one’s own body which ostensibly give one superhuman abilities. For example, some companies sell implantable NFC/RFID chips to ...
4
votes
0answers
168 views

Investing in cryptocurrency. Is there an issue?

Is there a problem with investing in a digital currency and letting it sit on Shabbat and holidays? It's fairly volatile and can increase or decrease greatly in value. So I'm wondering if these ...
4
votes
0answers
59 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
252 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
137 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
39 views

Can you buy chametz during Pesach that will be delivered after Pesach?

As an example, during Hol Hamo'ed Pesach, could you buy chametz online knowing that it will arrive after Pesach? My assumption is that it would be OK, as the buyer doesn't actually own the product ...
3
votes
0answers
43 views

Stainless steel valid knife that wasn't used for 3 days

The Simlah Chadasha (Siman 18) writes that if a knife with a Chazaka was held unused for three days - and one then slaughtered with it (without checking if it is smooth) and then lost it, that knife ...
3
votes
0answers
106 views

Would somebody be yotze the Megillah reading by watching it LIVE STREAMING while following from a Kosher Megillah?

On motzei shabbat, I usually watch the megillah being read from The Shul of the Seven Beggars on my computer, which, for the record had been turned on, and set up, before Shabbat following their ...
3
votes
0answers
69 views

recordings of chazanim made on Shabbos or yom tov

Someone gave me a recording of the tefilos of Yom Kippur in a well known Yeshiva. The Baal tefila is no longer alive. The recording was made by a jew placing a modern digital recorder underneath the ...
3
votes
0answers
91 views

May one say the bracha on seeing lightning, meteors, or comets if viewed through binoculars or a telescope?

O.C. 227:1 indicates saying בא"ה אמ"ה עושה מעשה בראשית on seeing זיקין (Mechaber describes this as a meteor; Mishnah Berurah surmises that this may be a comet.) The same blessing is suggested for ...
3
votes
0answers
81 views

Can you wear a narrative clip on shabbat?

A "Narrative Clip" is a brand name for a device that is simply a clip that takes a photo every 30 seconds all day long. Is it permissible to wear such a device on Shabbat?
3
votes
0answers
93 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
130 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
125 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
151 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. ...
3
votes
0answers
212 views

Can a healthy person use a shabbos elevator?

Can a person who has no health issues make use of a shabbos elevator?
3
votes
0answers
64 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
71 views

If you're not overweight, can you still use a food scale and an app to count calories during Chol Ha'moed?

Background During Chol Ha'moed, more food than usual is available. The relevant science suggests that, when there's a lot of food variety available in our homes, we're more likely to overeat. Still, ...
2
votes
0answers
90 views

Automation on Shabbos (Artificial Intelligence etc)

I know there has been plenty of halachic literature written about automation on Shabbos as far as timeswitches, eBay bids etc go, but are there any authoritative sources for halacha about artificial ...
2
votes
0answers
32 views

Facebooking in the bathroom

It is forbidden to think, speak or read words of Torah while using the bathroom as per Shulchan Aruch O:C 85:2 [based on Shabbos 40b] If a person is using the bathroom and they know that from time to ...
2
votes
0answers
49 views

Meat and milk with removable orthodontics

Is a person required to have different removable orthodontics (e.g. retainer, active plate etc.) for consuming meat and dairy?
2
votes
0answers
49 views

Can I be held responsible for actively destroying my friend's files?

In a case of sending someone a computer virus, there's room to argue that it's indirect, that they damaged themselves by opening the file (albeit unintentionally), etc. What if I go over to your ...
2
votes
0answers
79 views

Can the Chanukah candles be lit via a timer?

Let's say someone attaches a timer to a fuse / lighter that sends a spark to light the candles. Can lighting be done automatically, or must each candle be lit by human physical action, only? As @...
2
votes
0answers
64 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
97 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
103 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
92 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
167 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
276 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

Artificial Intelligence writing Divrei Torah

There have been a number of artificial intelligence machine learning systems over the last few years which have been given samples of artwork and music and have produced new creative works. I haven't ...
1
vote
0answers
20 views

May an electrolarynx be used on Shabbat and Yom Tov?

From this site: An electronic larynx (electrolarynx), is a battery operated machine that produces sound for you to create a voice. There are many different makes and types, but they are usually about ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

What modern devices are susceptible to impurity?

I'm especially interested in computing devices like laptops/smartphones and vehicles like cars and trains.
1
vote
0answers
56 views

Murder by Machine

Say that Reuven is at the batting cages. After the machine turns off, Shimon flips it back on without Reuven knowing. A ball whacks Reuven in the head. Is Shimon liable for the resulting death? What ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

Can Microwaves ever need Libun?

Very often microwaves have food splattered all over them. If the oven were to need to be Kashered would the spots that had food on them need Libun since they absorbed food directly (without a liquid ...