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36

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 ...


30

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 ...


24

Apparently, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach says that the three steps are an integral part of Shemoneh Esrei, and should be done whenever at all possible; to the extent that one should move his wheelchair the space of three steps, or ask someone to do it for him if he is unable. Interestingly, he says the same applies to a car! Source: Halichas Shlomo 8:31 ...


20

The Bar-Ilan Responsa project has an online version that allows free searches, displaying up to 150 words from each result. This is an extremely powerful program, as its textbase is "clean" and edited, as opposed to many other search programs (such as Hebrewbooks and Otzar HaChochma) which are mostly based on error-prone, OCR-derived text.


19

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'...


18

The article says that the this meat is created using stem cells from slaughtered animals: Using stem cells harvested from leftover animal material from slaughterhouses, Post nurtures them with a feed concocted of sugars, amino acids, lipids, minerals and all other nutrients they need to grow in the right way. When it comes to nullifying something ...


16

I just had a nice long chat on their website with Chaim Rosenberg, the director The Society for the Preservation of Hebrew Books. He said they are currently working on a new HebrewBooks drive, that should be available soon. So apparently, there is none available now. He was not sure if the new one would be on-site or in-stores. Based on that, I'd say it'll ...


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 ...


14

Rav Moshe Feinstein (O.C. IV 60) strongly disagreed with the use of timers. His strongest definite reason is that its usage is a disgrace to shabbos, since through their use one can run a business and circumvent shabbos. This is a Torah violation of "honoring shabbos". (Contrast this with placing a pot on the stove right before shabbos, where that is ...


13

The Shut Hor Yizchak (Hor Hachaim 157) says that not only it is OK, but the question not even starts ("he did nothing"). The example he gives is to call from Israel to the States on Motzei Shabat. In Israel it is after Shabat and in the States the Shabat is still on. He adds that it is even permissible to phone a non Jew and ask him to do work for you. I ...


13

http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/weekly_torah.php?id=680 If one cannot partake in the siyum in person, some permit him to listen to the siyum via telephone. This should only be relied upon in extraordinary situations. (Horav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach zt"l quoted in Yoma Tova L'rabanan page 70 footnote 16, see Modanei Shlomo (Moadim) page)


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 wrote to Business Halacha Institute and they answered that it is prohibited to do so. As requested, here is the conversation: Aside from the secular law ramifications (illegal in the US): I would be interested in knowing how cell phone jammers fit into halacha, and what the reasons behind forbidding [or permitting] their use would be. Also of ...


12

Maybe because early Jewish recordings were mostly cantorial style, and there was a serious concern that people would play recordings of Shabbos and Yom Tov liturgy on those days. Also, perhaps it is psychologically more disturbing to think that someone will play a recording that makes your voice speak on Shabbos.


12

I asked my local Orthodox rabbi. (FYI: he's Chareidi.) He said that ad-blocking software is permissible to use. He added that even if it's hard for webmasters to detect and work around adblockers, that's no problem for me: some things in life are hard. My rabbi said it was fine for me to post his ruling online. But he asked me not to mention his name ...


12

R. J.D. Bleich covered this topic in a recent Survey of Recent Halakhic Periodical Literature. In the article he discusses a number of possible issues that have been raised with Silk-screen Sifrei Torah, but says that most of them are not so strong. He says there is one serious objection where the burden of proof falls on the innovators to show that it is OK:...


12

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 ...


11

The Lubavitcher Rebber writes that Television is forbidden because: It is so immodest, that even non-Jews started campaigning against it. It incites people to violence. (Watching movies with people killing each other causes one to think about murder). One will not be able to tell his children to watch only "kosher" material, as they will answer back "but ...


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 wishing ...


11

The Shulchan Aruch Harav writes (based on a Yerushalmi) that if one who spits into the wind, and the wind spreads it out, he violated the Shabbos prohibition of Zora (winnowing). He adds that it may be only a Rabbinic prohibition, as it is a Melacha Sheina Tzricha Legufa. However, in Hilchos Pesach he writes that in order for one to violate Zora one must do ...


11

See our discussion and the sources brought here where it is shown that the pikuach nefesh of reviving a dead person is different than that of saving a live person in that it only overrides Torah commandments if there is a good chance (defined by some to be >50%) of success. Cyrogenics has about as low a success rate as one could imagine, so it would seem ...


11

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

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

I asked this question once when I wanted to learn a Masechta for the purpose of making a Siyum. I learned it on mp3 and made a Siyum with the approval of a prominent Rav who ran a Kiruv program for which I volunteered in DC.


10

The Torah specifically states the prohibition against prostitution, in order to prevent the land to be filled with licentiousness: ולא תזנה הארץ ומלאה הארץ זמה. Rambam seems to be deducing the underlying reason for that concern of the Torah, in his statement: For [ultimately], a father will marry his daughter and a brother his sister, [for in a ...


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