35

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 ...


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 ...


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 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

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 ...


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 ...


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

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

No sources so please CYLOR but: The voicemail goes to a central server at your provider. When you dial in to retrieve your messages you are not accessing a message store on your phone rather you are dialing into a VM service. Since this server/service is maintained for both Jewish and Non-Jewish customers it would be permitted to have benefit from it even ...


8

When you purchase a DVD like you are describing, there is a 'terms of use' agreement, a 'terms and conditions' of sale and multiple copyrights (often in compliance with different jurisdictions around the globe). They all must be agreed to in order to purchase the product legally. There are also follow up warnings of those agreements and conditions that come ...


8

I don't have enough rep to comment above, but I'm the creator of quantifiedcantillation.nl, and since I saw a few referrals from this question I thought I'd stop by. It looks like my site should be able to answer all of your questions. (Thanks, @Double-AA!) For the etnakhta question, if you go to the settings (small cog icon in the lower left) you can limit ...


8

The use of DNA testing has been hotly debated in a number of cases, e.g., proving parenting to obtain child support, checking if a person died to permit his wife to remarry, preventing inheritance, etc. Poskim are not in unanimous agreement but generally not inclined to use DNA testing, e.g., because of lack of 100% reliability (with the grave consequences ...


8

The Chesek Shlomo(which is Rabbi Shlomo Hakohen) can be found in the back of the Shulchan Aruch (Melachim) (Kovetz Mefarshim) which has many meforshim on each siman. Here is the text you are looking for:


7

The answer to Can one run a surveillance Camera on Shabbos? quotes Dose of Halacha as saying, with regards to being photographed by a surveillance camera: R’ Moshe Feinstein (in a letter to R’ Yisroel Rozen of the Tzomet Institute) wrote that as the data is not being permanently recorded, it is at worst a derabanan. Although the cameras operate for ...


7

Rav Moshe in IG"M O.C.(2) siman 108 and O.C.(4) siman 126 notes that "some experts" say that the sound produced by a microphone is not the actual person's voice magnified, rather it's a new sound. However, he says it seems to still be mutar, m'ikar hadin since you only hear the microphone as a direct result of the person lainig. However, since it is not ...


7

In Rabbi Eider's Halachos of Shabbos page 322 footnote 657, he quotes a list of Rabbis who say this is assur. In order of his quoting them: Rav Y. Henkin in Euros Yisroel page 122. Tzitz Eliezer chelek 2 siman 6 & 7. Chelek three siman 18. Chelek 7 siman 16. Minchas Yitzchok chelek 4 siman 26. He mentions as well that according to some opinions ...


7

This question is dealt with by Dose of Halacha: R’ Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg (Seridei Aish 1:46) writes that the acharonim are lenient regarding plastic and such utensils may be kashered through hagalah (placing in boiling water). R’ Eliezer Waldenberg (Tzitz Eliezer 4:6:3) compares plastic utensils to stone ones and permits kashering through hagalah. R’ ...


7

No, you may not use the internet. Yes, you have to repay the neighbor, especially if the neighbor is charged for the amount of data used. If the neighbor has an unlimited plan, you may still have to pay, although determining an actual monetary amount may be tricky. Very simple analogy to explain this: If I lock my door, and you pick the lock and break in, ...


7

Apple’s default alarm behavior on iOS is to have the alarm go off indefinitely, so if one wants to use the iPhone or iPad alarm on Shabbat, one has to use a third-party app like this one that shuts the alarm off by itself. The only other thing I can think of to do with an iOS device on Shabbat is play media (like music) on a playlist, which would of course ...


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