Questions tagged [technology]

Questions about how Judaism interacts with technological innovations.

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5
votes
0answers
78 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
440 views

How do soldiers in the IDF obey Deuteronomy 23:13?

The mitvah talks about ensuring every soldiers have a spade to cover their excrement. The mitvah seems to be pretty obsolete because by now we have toilets all over the place. So, how it's done? Do ...
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 @...
21
votes
2answers
435 views

Can an ultrasound be relied upon?

I have read reports of the accuracy of gender prediction from an ultrasound with numbers ranging from 90-98%. There is a halacha (Y.D. 194:11) that if a fetus sticks its hand [or possibly any limb] ...
6
votes
9answers
2k views

Digital Synagogue displays? [closed]

Why do Synagogues use or not use them? Bonus: What are some of the companies that make these digital wall displays for synagogues? How much do they cost? Does anyone know where I can find info ...
1
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0answers
79 views

Wikileaks in Halacha

Could one make the argument that it is assur to read documents and other info made available through websites such as Wikileaks on the basis of it being assur to derive benefit from something that is ...
2
votes
1answer
226 views

Am I allowed to interrupt someone in the middle of Shmoneh Esreh if my question is related to davening?

My friend and I are in the middle of davening Shmoneh Esreh. Rather than talk, I text him, "I don't remember if today is Rosh Hodesh. Do we say 'Ya'aleh V'yavo?'" Can I interrupt my friend for this ...
14
votes
2answers
679 views

Cryonics in Judaism

I was recently reading an article about cryogenics, there are around 200 bodies frozen in cryogenics labs around the world, and in the article they said that in the near future they may be able to ...
0
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2answers
146 views

Can email be used on Sabbath? [closed]

Why did I receive email from this site on a holiday such as Succoth when we are not allowed to use any electronics?
22
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4answers
2k views

Can I cause a Melacha to happen in a place where Shabbat has already started?

Can I cause a Melacha to happen in a place where Shabbat has already started? For example, if I live in New York, could I send a fax (causing the machine to print a document) to Israel on Friday ...
10
votes
6answers
403 views

Technological innovations and halacha

A generally accepted halachic principle is that the Torah was not given to angels. As such, halacha is only applied within normal human capabilities. A classic example is that one is not required to ...
1
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0answers
81 views

Kol Ishah through filters

According to the opinions that one may not listen to a woman's recording: I've been playing around with some music recording programs, particularly the functions that modulate the voice and apply ...
6
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3answers
347 views

T'chum shabas maps?

There are many better or worse maintained maps of eruvei chatzeros available to the public, which are a boon to travellers to a new place interested in where they can move things outdoors during ...
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
4answers
390 views

Computer Support for Nekudos [closed]

Can it hurt to include Nekudos (vowel marks) when typing Hebrew? Do all systems that support Hebrew lettering automatically support Nekudos? If not, do they at least degrade gracefully?
-1
votes
2answers
153 views

Chassidic aversion to dual-sided implement-wearing

Disclaimer: This may sound like purim-torah-in-jest, but since Mi Yodeya has pasken'ed that only Adar Sheni is elegible for such, I (despite my personal minhag) post this question in all seriousness. ...
11
votes
7answers
1k views

A letter prohibiting television?

I don't have the book myself, but I believe it is called To Touch Kindle a Soul, on chinuch. It contains, in the endnotes a reference to a letter written by Rav Moshe Feinstein zt'l, Rav Shach zt'l, ...
11
votes
2answers
410 views

Scheduling a USPS Pickup for Shabbos

So it turns out that the USPS has a feature where you can ask them to come and pickup a package. So you go online to their site, enter your information, choose a date for the pickup, and tell them ...
9
votes
4answers
361 views

Amen for Recorded Brochos

Many times I listen to recorded Shiurim (lectures) where the speaker says a Brocho (usually Shehakol on a drink). Should one answer Amen to such Brochos?
3
votes
3answers
587 views

Mitzva to hear Megillah Esther

My question has two parts: (1) I believe it is a mitzvah to hear the entirety of Megillat Esther twice on Purim, both at maariv and also at some point during the daytime. Is that correct? (2) would ...
11
votes
1answer
509 views

Opening an umbrella indoors

Is there anything wrong with opening up an umbrella indoors according to Jewish tradition? I have met many people who view it as bad luck or possibly rude. On the other hand we are commanded not to ...
16
votes
2answers
340 views

Netilas Yadayim with automatic sinks

It seems there is precedent to allow for netilas yadayim when you don't have a cup, by turning the sink on and off for each rivi'is per hand. By employing this method you satisfy the requirement of ...
3
votes
1answer
161 views

Are there any fonts that allow for the name of Hashem to be typed the way it is in Sephardi siddurim?

I'd like to be able to typeset various tefilos on my computer, so I'd like to be able to type the name of Hashem the way it appears in Sephardi siddurim, like this: Are there any fonts that allow for ...
4
votes
2answers
228 views

Can one wear Yaktrax on Shabbat?

Yaktrax is an ice traction "device" that you slip onto the bottom of your shoe. Can one wear this on Shabbat? Possible concerns: boneh - "building". Wearing the device involves stretching a band onto ...
4
votes
0answers
255 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
143 views

Does a dam invalidate all water downstream of its river for mikveh?

One of the requirements for a mikveh is that a body of water may not be artificially redirected or rechanneled. Does that mean, for example, that an entire river downstream of a dam, either for ...
10
votes
2answers
248 views

Jewish Minecraft instructions?

My 8 year old son wants to build a mizbeyach or a simple beit hamikdash structure on Minecraft. I know nothing about Minecraft and he is not great at it, though he uses it a lot. Does anyone know how ...
6
votes
3answers
336 views

Acceptable to receive transplant of organs grown inside pigs?

If scientists could grow human organs inside of pigs, would it be halachically acceptable to receive a transplant of such an organ? A recent article in National Public Radio about US and British ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Can DNA be used as evidence to prove that someone is Jewish? [duplicate]

Apparently, there were a number of child Holocaust survivors who were separated from their parents and never found them. They were adopted and raised by Non-Jewish families. As they became adults, ...
2
votes
3answers
116 views

Seeking additional information about the “seasonal drift” problem of the Judaic calendar

During my shul's annual *Tikun Leil Shavuot", I plan to give a short lecture about the "seasonal drift" affect of the Judaic calendar. See this Mi Yodeya answer for additional info. I could use some ...
4
votes
2answers
144 views

Scheduling Email for 3AM and Gneivas Daas

Is is permitted to schedule an email for the wee hours of the night, like 3AM, to give the impression that you were working late? Is it significantly well known that there are services like ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Can you double wrap chametz food in the oven before Pesach? [duplicate]

I am going largely by hearsay on this... Two reliable rabbis have told me that if you want to heat kosher food in a non-kosher oven, you can double wrap the food in foil and heat it in the oven, and ...
3
votes
0answers
96 views

What halachic principles are involved in starting the iRobot on Shabbos with a timer? [closed]

What halachic principles are involved in starting the iRobot on Shabbos with a timer? Can it be turned on anytime or just at night? Is it like security cameras in that it is OK to walk by them if ...
15
votes
3answers
643 views

“Siri, sing to me” - Kol Isha?

As i say in this Purim Torah answer, we can't use smartphones because "The vaad found out that Siri's not a guy". (From the song Hang Up the Payphone by A.K.A Pella.) However, that inspired a Siri-...
5
votes
0answers
409 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
255 views

Is there an Android Tikkun App that has sound?

During the "pre smart phone days" (Yes, that DID exist), I used Trope trainer to practice some of my laining and to train my kids and some Bar Mitzvah boys. I recently downloaded the "Tikkun Korim" ...
4
votes
0answers
60 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
930 views

DNA and Jewish Law

Why isn't DNA seen as a valid source of Halachic decision making? Is it because it's too small for the naked eye? A margin of error problem? What? Normally, physical evidence is plenty of information ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

Can a public road include an underground area below it to qualify as a Reshut Harabim?

On Shabbat, one may not carry in a Reshut Harabim. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 81:2 says that there is an opinion that a road not having at least 600,000 people passing by it daily would not be considered ...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

Peru Urevu Halacha question [duplicate]

If a jewish male donates sperm to a jewish couple who cannot have children for whatever purpose. By donating sperm does the donor fulfill the mitzvah of Peru Eruvu? If the answer is yes, then the ...
2
votes
2answers
657 views

Electronic sliding doors on shabbat

What can a person who is staying at a hotel which has only electronic sliding doors that open when one walks near them do to avoid any issue on shabbat? Wait for someone else to enter and "piggyback"?...
1
vote
1answer
146 views

Is there an online source for trope occurrences?

As a Torah reader, I like to find nuances and inherent meanings in trope (cantillation) nuances and "unusual" occurrences in the Torah. For example I'm looking for all the places that have two ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Has cryonics been treated in Rabbinic literature? [duplicate]

Has it been treated by rabbinic literature? If yes, what does it say about cryonics?
1
vote
1answer
230 views

May I let my web browser save my browsing session during Chol Hamoed?

To save electricity, I like to shut down my computer every night. First, I quit my Web browser. My Web browser is set up so that, when I quit, it automatically saves my session: a list of open tabs ...
5
votes
1answer
350 views

Typing on Shabbos

If one would type on a computer on Shabbos, would he be ovar an issur d'oraisa in regards to the malacha of writing? (The other malachos involved aside for a moment.) Is there any room to say this ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Pirating software that has already been bought

Say, for instance, that I've previously bought a set of DVDs (for example, the workout program P90x, which contains several DVDs in a set), and that I am currently in a different country and have not ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Fitness Tracker On Shabbat

First I want to assure everyone that I asked this question to a proper halakhic authority and will proceed with my actions based on his answer. I am asking it here as well because I think it is an ...
-2
votes
1answer
91 views

Copyright issues in apps

Are there be any Halachik issues with regard to using someone else's logo, twitter avatar or the like as part of an app? If it would be okay, would that only be if I don't make any money from the app?...
5
votes
3answers
638 views

Pirating software

I have heard from numerous people that there are opinions within Orthodox halacha that permit using pirated computer software. I have never seen this sourced or printed anywhere but only things like "...
3
votes
2answers
283 views

Determining the status of bedika cloths via digital media

Determining the colours on a bedika cloth is a wisdom that has been passed on from generation to generation. Preferably a bedika cloth is checked by the light of the sun ('white light'). I've have ...