Questions tagged [technology]

Questions about how Judaism interacts with technological innovations.

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7
votes
2answers
283 views

Source for not having picture taken

Is there any source, halachic or otherwise, for an aversion to having one's picture taken?
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Is one allowed to audio/ video record someone without their knowledge or consent?

In American law, when it comes to recording a telephone call, 38 states allow "one party consent" - namely, as long as one person is ok with recording the call (i.e., you) the other party doesn't ...
6
votes
1answer
386 views

Use of an automatic toilet on Shabbos?

Can one use on Shabbos an automatic toilet with an electric sensor that triggers the flushing mechanism when you are done? For example in a hotel lobby, or a public building. Assume there is no other ...
0
votes
0answers
78 views

Talking to Alexa on Shabbos [duplicate]

What prohibition would talking to a virtual assistant like Alexa, Siri or Google on Shabbos fall under? "Alexa, turn on the lights" "Alexa, play Zemiros"
3
votes
0answers
44 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 ...
35
votes
5answers
2k views

While playing a computer game, may I “worship” one of the game's “gods” to help me win?

I sometimes play a certain computer role-playing game (RPG). In this game, my character (whom I might name after myself but who does not otherwise resemble me) fights mythological creatures and ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

General Halachic approach to smartphones [closed]

There seem to be so many dangers to owning "smartphones," for both children and adults. Access to violent, explicit, manipulative images, video, text, etc. The technology itself is designed to be ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Jawbone UP on Shabbat

I recently received a new gadget: The Jawbone UP band. Look it up on Google, but the basic idea is it is a bracelet you wear 24/7 that measures all kind of things while you move around. Should it be ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Does laser printing “erase”?

Is there any halachical problem with laser printing of divre tora/sheimos? Because the image of the to-be-printed page appears on the drum, and transferring the toner on the paper hence "erases" ...
3
votes
2answers
55 views

Does one need to stop the Amidah if a projection of Avodah Zarah appears?

What I'm describing is a somewhat unusual situation, but this can occur. A group of us daven mincha in a conference room where mizrach (east) has a giant computer monitor. The company focuses on ...
4
votes
1answer
205 views

Can a smartphone count as a sefer for stacking purposes?

Considering that, these days, you can have quite a bit of Torah on cellphones (indeed, on my iPhone I have all of Tanach, Siddur, Halachic works, Jastrow dictionary, etc.), is it possible to make an ...
2
votes
0answers
33 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
15 views

Is a teleconference wedding halachically valid? [duplicate]

Suppose that a couple goes into a conference room and sets up a web cam. The edei kiddushin (witnesses) watch the declaration via Skype, etc. (Offhand, I don't think a chuppa is an absolute ...
5
votes
3answers
114 views

(How) have cheap electronics changed the definitions of “muktzeh machmas chisaron kis”?

Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasa says a radio is muktzeh machamas chisaron kis. -- I'm allowed to pick up and move a hammer if it's in my way on Shabbos, but not something expensive and delicate like a ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

Would it be mutar to be implanted with a microchip and leave it in over shabbos?

A few years ago a swedish company started implanting employees with rice-sized microchips in the backs of their hands. An american company followed suit. the chips can open doors, grant access to work ...
47
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

Did any Rabbi discuss for the Zohar prediction around 1840?

The Zohar 1:117a says: וּבְשִׁית מְאָה שְׁנִין לִשְׁתִיתָאָה יִתְפַּתְּחוּן תַּרְעֵי דְחָכְמְתָא לְעֵילָא וּמַבּוּעֵי דְחָכְמְתָא לְתַתָּא In the six hundredth year to the sixth millennium, ...
1
vote
2answers
478 views

Does Jewish law forbid Internet usage?

The Ichud HaKehillos LeTohar HaMachane anti-Internet rally is coming up in a few weeks, on May 20, 2012. What do contemporary halakhic authorities say about the permissibility or prohibition of using ...
10
votes
1answer
152 views

Where can I get the data base for Masoret Hashas?

I really interested about the connections between masechtot, I mean like how many times does Masechet Brachot quote Masechet Shabat for example. So, for this I need all the data of the Masoret Hashas,...
4
votes
4answers
341 views

Electric Menorah

Are electric menorahs good for lighting on Chanukah? To remove some of the more obvious issues, let's assume that: It runs on batteries It's an incandescent bulb There are separate physical switches ...
4
votes
1answer
527 views

Using the Coravin Wine Preserver on shabbat

There is a new device called the coravin which allows one to insert a needle into a cork of a wine bottle and the wine flows through the needle by using argon gas (protects quality of wine) and by ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Is there a cell-service “blocker” for shuls?

I've read that many shuls have "cell phone lockers" to encourage people who come for praying to store their phones prior to entering the shul. It's a great idea, but, many shuls don't have this, or ...
1
vote
1answer
313 views

CPAP on Shabbat

What is the halacha for using a CPAP machine for sleep apnea, that must be used daily, on Shabbat? A CPAP machine for sleep disorders obviously would be switched on before retiring to bed and off ...
8
votes
2answers
136 views

Using an electric hand dryer after netilas yadayim

Is there any issue with using an electric hand dryer to dry your hands after netilas yadayim either for a seudah or to remove ruach rah?
3
votes
0answers
107 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
2k views

Looking for a good English-to-Hebrew translation software [closed]

I'm looking for a translation software, or website, that accurately translates entire sentences and paragraphs from English to Hebrew, without grammar mistakes or funny language usage. Anyone know of ...
11
votes
2answers
365 views

Binding answers for Halachic questions

I recall learning that one is not allowed to "venue shop" by asking a series of rabbis for a practical halachic ruling and following the opinion you like. I was taught that one should ask and be bound ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

Can a robot do Bedikat Chametz?

Inspired by this video, I'm curious if a robot can do bedikat chametz for you. The video shows a rhumba with a spoon and candle roaming around the house cleaning the floor. (Granted, the spoon and ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

Can someone wearing a cochlear implant fulfill the mitzvah of hearing the Shofar?

Someone who hears via use of a cochlear implant is considered a pike'ach and not a cheresh, halachically. See this MY question for details. My question focuses more on the actual workings of the ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Walking by an Automatic Door on Shabbos

Is one allowed to walk by an automatic door on Shabbos, if he/she has no benefit of the door opening (i.e. not walking in)? How does this case compare/contrast to the walking by an automatic light on ...
7
votes
1answer
410 views

Prosthetic limbs in halacha

What is the status of prosthetic limbs in halacha in terms of being considered part of the body? Is it considered: As if I were born with it? As a living piece of flesh, but not a piece of me? ...
-1
votes
1answer
113 views

How did Abraham perform brit milah?

Abraham (around 1800 BC) performed circumcision. At that period, what tool must he have used to do that? Also, Genesis 18:7-8 says he cooked a calf. What tool must he have used to kill the calf at ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there any issue with using aerosols on Shabbos?

I've heard from many people that you shouldn't use aerosols (such as air fresheners, disinfectants or deodorants) on shabbos, usually citing some vague reason of changing the form from liquid to gas, ...
0
votes
0answers
44 views

Composite materials in Halacha

I know about two composite materials -- particle board and composite leather. Each is made of small bits of the original mixed with filler/binder. In halacha, there are times when wood and leather are ...
4
votes
1answer
61 views

If one is noder hana’ah from a smartphone, what is included?

Let’s say someone says he is noder hana’ah from a smartphone. What is included in the Neder? I assume that using the physical object (ex. as a paperweight) would be out. I assume that using the ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Why should A Capella music be allowed during Sefirah/Three Weeks?

Background: I'm not sure how I feel about: a)the custom to refrain from listening to recorded music during Sefirah or b)the assumption that recorded a cappella music is not considered instrumental (...
15
votes
6answers
401 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?
3
votes
3answers
273 views

Can a robot count in a minyan?

Can a robot count in a minyan? This answer brings that a robot is not Mechuyav in Mitzvot. I'd like to know if there are sources stating any other reasons (if any).
4
votes
3answers
144 views

Halachah: What's the difference between this site and looking up a question in a book?

Per our oft-cited FAQ, and our frequent use of the disclaimer to consult one's own rabbi in matters of practical Halachah, we do not, as a matter of policy, accept questions, or provide answers, ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Unintentional closing and opening of electrical circuits on shabbat

As a non Jew, after reading Why are Shabbat loopholes a good thing? I have been pondering the above question: The Torah forbids closing/opening electrical circuits on Shabbat. - Danny Schoemann ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Can one run a surveillance Camera on Shabbos?

Is there any prohibition in having surveillance cameras operating on Shabbos? If not, why is is any different to filming a Bar-Mitzva, etc?
6
votes
1answer
204 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
101 views

Is there a “Jew” P.S. app for Android or iPhone?

I know that there are various minyan-finding sites like godaven.com They tell you the location and times of the closest shul to where you are located. Is there an app that can locate Jews who are ...
34
votes
6answers
6k views

bicycle on Shabbat?

Is riding a bicycle on Shabbat permitted within an eiruv, being ridden only on pavement (so no unintended plowing), for transportation and not exercise, and with the understanding that repairs aren't ...
4
votes
1answer
320 views

Could video be considered as a valid halachic witness in court?

My understanding is that court cases require a minimum of two witnesses to testify against someone. Could one of these witnesses be a video, or does it need to be specifically a live human? Would ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

Seeking a web site or computer program to quickly find kvi'ot

I have a fascination with various aspects of the Judaic calendar. One aspect I find fascinating is kvi'ot. A kvi'ah is a 3 letter mnemonic (in some cases, a 2-letter mnemonic is used) to indicate ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

Answering phone during Kerias Shema

There are various rules pertaining to interruptions during the recitation of Shema. As first formulated in the Mishnah (Berachos 13a), there are certain interruptions that are allowed for "honor" and ...
1
vote
2answers
41 views

Looking for a web site that displays list of specific dates that Jewish holidays occurred

I am looking for a web site that can shows some statistics such as the last time that the 1st day of Chanukah was on Friday, or even a list of when such occurrences were in the past several centuries, ...
27
votes
5answers
1k views

Does artificial meat grown in a petri dish have the halachic status of meat?

Scientists are developing means of growing artificial meat in a petri dish. Does such 'meat' have the halachic status of meat? Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/11/us-science-meat-f-...
1
vote
1answer
196 views

Does a refrigerator ice machine need to be cleaned for Pesach?

Many refrigerators have an outside ice / water dispenser. The fridge makes ice "cones" which go into a reserved plastic ice bucket that is attached to the inside of the fridge door. Ice can be ...