37

No. There is no problem with programming in Judaism. As far as mimicking G-d's creation, we do that all the time: all craftsmen create things. In fact, we are commanded to mimic G-d in certain ways: Leviticus 19:2 from Mechon Mamre. -קְדֹשִׁים תִּהְיוּ: כִּי קָדוֹשׁ, אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם. -Ye shall be holy; for I the LORD your God am holy. And thanks ...


34

A good question, let me outline the situation in Israel: 20 years ago everyone used the same 2G Nokias, Sonys, etc. Some 15 years ago, with the latest developments in phone technology, namely SMS, cameras and Internet access a bold decision was made by religious (and political) leaders to make a clear distinction between "us "and they" - as expressed in ...


20

In Lma'an Yishme'u #267 (page 2) Rabbi Chaim Hillel Raskin says that it is a Halachic obligation to quiet or turn off a cell phone before starting to Daven. If he did not, and his cell phone rings, he is allowed to quiet or turn off the phone to ensure that no one will be disturbed further. Although he doesn't specifically address a situation where it hasn'...


15

While some (including R' Vosner) are stringent, it is generally understood that to operate such cameras as well as walk past them is perfectly permitted. The difference between surveillance cameras and filming a function is that when filming for security purposes, you don't actually want anyone (other than intruders) to be filmed, hence, it is considered a '...


15

The English term for this tool is an entrenching tool. Here it is described as standard issue gear for a paratrooper in the IDF. As far as I know, it is pretty standard, when required, for soldiers in most any modern army. I suppose we could speculate if the Torah requires a soldier to carry one even if it isn't technically needed (just in case ...) or if ...


15

It is a Mitzva to desecrate Shabbat to save lives (OC 328:2), even if it is only doubtful if a life is in danger (329:3), and one should even do this Mitzva with alacrity (329:1). The Shulchan Arukh writes (328:15): אמדוהו (פירוש התבוננו במחלתו ושיערו) הרופאים שצריך גרוגרת אחת ורצו עשרה והביאו לו כל אחד גרוגרת כולם פטורים ויש להם שכר טוב מאת ה' אפילו ...


13

Since no one has listed a summary of concise rulings, I will list R. Bleich's conclusion from his Survey of Recent Halakhic Periodical Literature. I have inserted the sources that he mentioned throughout the survey in brackets. The silk screen method is certainly subject to challenge on the basis of its inherent incompatibility with a number of ...


13

In the Talmud, it is stated that if you lose something that you know cannot be returned to you (e.g., if a river overflows or if it had no identifiers), even though you know it's yours, you lose all hope of getting it back and therefore, it's as good as gone. If I find something like that, I could safely assume that the owner lost hope of getting it back ...


12

I asked my local Orthodox rabbi: the (Chareidi) morah d'asrah of a mid-sized Orthodox shul in a North American city of about three million people. He prefers that I not specify his name here. He told me: It's crucial not to let your character do anything in the game that smacks of idolatry, such as praying to the virtual "gods" in the game. Playing the game ...


11

The March 20, 2013 issue of Mishpacha magazine contains the following anecdote in an interview of the singer Avrohom Fried, regarding the events preceding the production of his first album, "No Jew Will be Left Behind," in 1981: [He] kept his plan quiet. But he wrote a letter to the [Lubavitcher] Rebbe explaining his idea, and the Rebbe wrote back ...


11

The laws of Shabbat apply only to Jews, so someone who isn't Jewish is doing no wrong whatsoever when they watch TV on Friday night. For Jews, as pointed out in the comments, there is a difference between turning on a television and watching it. Turning on the TV directly activates a flow of electricity, which mainstream halachic opinion (certainly as I ...


11

Wikipedia has an extensive list of the Torah database software programs currently available. Any PDF (e.g. from HebrewBooks.org) opened in Safari on the iPhone can be saved to the program iBooks and read even when not connected to the Internet. Likewise, on any non-mobile computer, it can be saved to the hard drive and read later in Adobe Acrobat Reader. ...


11

The Sefer Yerushas Pleita (Siman 16) brings from a sefer called Matta Yerushalayim that quotes in the name of the Chasam Sofer that it was common for people to set up a fire on Erev Shabbos in a way that would burn along a path until shabbos morning where it would reach the stove that had a coffee pot sitting on top and it would cook it. Based off this the ...


11

Certainly not. Hatam Sofer was opposed to certain innovations and changes that were being proposed for Judaism in his time and place. He responded with a catchy phrase -- "the Torah prohibits the new", which is a play on words -- the Torah prohibits the new year's grain crop until the second day of Passover. If you study his responsa in more detail, a far ...


11

Although the verse in Exodus (20:22) doesn't specify the type of metal used to cut the mizbeach, the verse in Deuteronomy (27:5) writes specifically that iron is prohibited. This is similarly implied by the verse in I Kings (6:7) "When the Temple was being built it was built of complete quarried stone; hammers, chisels, or any iron utensils were not heard ...


10

R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach1 discusses the entire issue of recreated sounds in Shu"t Minchas Shlomo siman 9. His basic synopsis is that since the sound is being converted from sound waves to electrical signals and then converted back into sound waves, the sound one hears is not the original sound in any form. Therefore, he concludes that one may not fulfill ...


10

The Gemarah in Chullin 109 writes for everything that is prohibited there is a thing which is kosher and is the same.The gemara brings the שיבוטא which is a kosher fish head which tastes like pig.So from this gemara it is permitted,l.The Chida also permits this based on this gemara.


10

In a footnote in this document it states, Iggerot Moshe, Orach Chaim 4:60. Rabbi Feinstein writes that use of timers to automatically regulate machines to perform work forbidden to Jews on Shabbat is generally forbidden, with the exception of turning lights on and off. He believes that use of timers would severely disrupt the Shabbat atmosphere, ...


10

The OU uses a system where they remotely light an oven in order for the product to be Bishul Yisrael. From the OU website Rabbi Yehuda Shain has recently developed an ingenious system whereby the mashgiach can monitor the production from an off-site location. By installing a special device, it is possible to turn the oven on and off through the use ...


10

I don't know if there's such a system available at the moment but I came across a project on Kickstarter [ JPal ] that aims to automate this process. According to the developers people can create a minyan "on demand" and have users who plan on being in the area notified of the new minyan. The app tracks participants in real time and displays all the ...


10

For Israel and the USA: TAG certifies individual phones in the USA with a holographic sticker. Israel has a vaad that prints their hechsher directly on the phone (as is appropriate to their stricter standards, they don’t have a website). In short, a Kosher phone is one with limited technology and a hechsher attesting to that. In Israel, Kosher phone plans ...


9

In Tanach the word Barzel - ברזל appears 44 times. Per Wikipedia The Iron Age in the Ancient Near East is believed to have begun with the discovery of iron smelting and smithing techniques in Anatolia or the Caucasus and Balkans in the late 2nd millennium BC (c. 1300 BC) The Torah was given in the year 1313 BCE. Notwithstanding the above, even ...


9

Chacham Ovadia in Yechavei Daas 4:7 writes that seeing a woman on tv is the same as seeing an actual woman when it comes to hirur (thoughts) and there is an issur of lo tassuru achrei levavchem...however when it comes to reading shema that's a discussion which he talks about whether its mutar or not,but an issur of seeing a picture of a woman who is not ...


9

Ultimate Zmanim for iOS has that feature. With Zmanim Alarms, Ultimate Zmanim can remind you of important zmanim throughout the day. Shema, Tefila, and weekly candle lighting are all covered. (To forewarn the question, on Android, Halachic Times is an equivalent).


9

I saw this interesting answer by Rav Aviner to a similar question: Q: Is it permissible to learn Torah while laying in bed or on a couch? A: One must learn Torah in awe, fear and trembling (Berachot 22a). This idea is also found in the Mishnah Sotah (9:15) that we should learn while standing for the honor of Torah (see Megillah 21a). In truth, it is proper ...


9

Here is a YouTube video of someone's actual Minecraft model of the (first) Beit Hamikdash. If building based on that isn't enough, they provide some links in the video description. Disclaimer: I don't do Minecraft and have no idea if these links will help. Map, Skin, Interactive tour Some comments there suggest a few improvements (quartz?) which you may ...


8

JPal should solve this issue. Please check this thread on SE: Davening with a Minyan in China Details: Minyan On Demand let's you create a minyan anywhere in the world and instantly have thousands of users notified. Ideal for international business travels and anyone looking to pray with a minyan where there's no permanent minyan available.


8

OnYourWay (Uvelechtecha Baderech) contains a large number of Torah texts for free. It was originally made for the iPhone, but is now available on Android also (though its interface is a bit more difficult to use).


8

As Ephraim already mentioned, HaRav Menashe Klein discusses this in משנה הלכות חלק ב. He brings a Chazon Ish in חידושי חזו"א מקואות תנינא סי' יו"ד ס"ק י"א which talks about using condensed steam for a Mikva. The Chazon Ish says it should have the same status as melted ice and it definitely doesn't make the Mikve Pasul, even if the condensation dripped in ...


8

What obligates something for immersion is that it is a utensil for eating with or preparing food with "כלי סעודה" Anything else has no obligation. See Shulchan Yoreh Deah 120:1, Aruch HaShulchan 120:30. Example. A mohel needs to peel a orange and the only knife he has to use is his mila knife. So while yes it's a metal utensil, and yes it can be used for ...


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