What’s (Shabbos) App?

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16 Responses

  1. brooklyn refugee sheygitz says:

    Rabbi Adlerstein – to pick up a point I raised on Rabbi Gordimer’s post about community.
    Just how are the users of this app any different than most Orthodox Jews in the United States of America who refuse to even consider moving to E”Y to fulfill what is by chaz’ls definition a mitzvah on the level of limud hatorah and shabbat and equal to all others combined?
    Do you think that some guy who has heard “hock” about how mitzvas yeshuv haaretz is only a mitzvah kiyumis or that according to the quote in the tosafos from Rabbeinu CHayim (which some poskim are of the view is a scribal error…) one is not obligated to go there because of supposed dangers on the way or all other sorts of “chakiras” and “lomdus” about this is really going to be able to parse this and somehow see how shabbat is different?
    Really???

    [Yup. For better or worse, said yeshivishe hocker has heard (as did his father and grandfather) that it is “accepted,” that it is the normative halachic position, that yishuv Eretz Yisrael is a mitzvah kiyumis, at best, and that there are excellent excuses for not fulfilling it. (Don’t shoot me. I’m only the messenger.) He has heard OTOH innumerable shiurim on the fine points of hilchos Shabbos, which his rabbeim took very, very seriously.]

  2. dr. bill says:

    Green buildings, embedded technologies, etc. will raise issues that will have to be dealt with creatively. The responses given by RSZA and RMF ztl to R. Rosen’s question about security cameras published in Techumin decades ago, is a good example. Cases of need, like a Shabbos scooter, represent an area that has received considerable attention. I realize that 1) defining a case of need, 2) delimiting uvdin de’hol or 3) Ramban’s aseh of shimirat Shabbat, etc. is hardly trivial. (God help us if to some (hopefully not many) violating the spirit of Shabbos has become an addiction.)

    Independent of the impact of the three areas above and specifically relating to grama, there have been major disagreements among both poskim and talmudists, that create difficulties in designing a widely acceptable case of grama. With apologies to halakhists for over-simplification a grama device 1) involves an unnatural / unusual / unexpected time delay, 2) contains a non-deterministic component and 3) creates the desired result differently. Reading the basis for the app is hardly convincing. And btw, I strongly believe such devices have, can and will have to be built in various circumstances. This, however, appears to be a less than convincing design for a wholly unnecessary application.

  3. Nachum says:

    All true, but I think you’re missing a very important detail here. No one felt a need to text on their smartphones before about five years ago. Now it has become such a pressing “need” or “desire” that it *must* be accommodated. Why?

    This is, of course, part and parcel with many other aspects of modern life and halakhah today, and I don’t think I have to spell them out. We’ve lost the will to simply say “No. Forbidden. And not good for you besides.”

  4. David says:

    I don’t know which one of their inaccuracies to correct firs.

  5. A yid says:

    Im pretty sure that is satire. I especially liked their solution to mimtzo cheftzecha.

  6. Dr. E says:

    Unfortunately the app was not developed by Tzomet for doctors and Hatzala volunteers.

  7. Nachum says:

    Dr. E: They don’t need it.

  8. David Lapin says:

    Apart from the direct Halachik problems, Melacha at the core of its essence, means “technological activity.” Early in the evolution of electricity the Chazon Ish brilliantly introduced the element of Boneh in the closing of any circuit to put an end to the debate about whether or not activating electricity was hav’orah – the debate became irrelevant, use of technology was off limits. The value of the gift of Shabbas is higher now than ever before. In an era when people are paying thousands of dollars to “detox” from technology we have been doing it weekly for millennia. Other spiritual disciplines are now advocating a day of meditation – or a day free from technology. With all the wonders of technology, today we understand how its indiscriminate usage destroys depth of thinking, depth of being and depth of relationship. Habitual texting is now classified by many as an addiction. Why “in heaven’s name” would anyone want to destroy our haven, a sanctuary in time, when we can disconnect from technology to reconnect with ourselves?

  9. brooklyn refugee sheygitz says:

    then there is a serious problem with the yeshivish educational system. There’s too much access to other information and today’s youth can see right through the “hock” and the hair splitting and probably start out much more cynical than the father and grandfather.
    also circusmtances change. kids come here and see things with their own eyes. some just won;t accept the cognitive dissonace – some, like teh Satmar Rebbe’s great-grandson, will stay religious but go on anothe path
    Others will just say – if my rebbe lied to me or didn;t give me all the information about X then maybe they are hiding something about Y – and thus is born half-shabbos and the shabbos app.

  10. Shua Cohen says:

    I really can’t believe that anybody is taking this “Shabbos App” seriously. I watched the YouTube video…it’s an hilarious satire in the same genre as the Xtranormal Text-to-Movie animated frum satires that were produced by YouTubers in past years (like “Yeshiva Guy Says Over a Vort,” and “Conversation About Modern Orthodox Judaism”), with their cute little bears conversing in hilarious computer-generated yeshiva-speak voices. Yaakov Menken is 100% correct (in his essay, above), but he really needn’t have gone so far to meticulously discredit what is, on its face, a satire. And I certainly don’t agree with R. Menken that it’s malicious in intent. For anyone with a self-deprecating sense of humor, as satire, it’s dead-on. It remains to be seen how many frum-world naifs are taken in by it, and actually send money through KickStarter.

  11. Yaakov Menken says:

    Shua, I did all that research precisely because anashim chashuvim have taken this very seriously and spoken out against it. I am quite convinced, now, that it is entirely, 100% baseless, and it was important to share that — in my opinion!

  12. Michael K. says:

    Nachum, one hundred years ago, no one felt that having a refrigerator in the home was a pressing “need” but ask yourself if you could do without it now.

    Times change and technology evolves. In less than a hundred years we will be hard pressed to find a printing press to make our siddurim, chumashim and machzorim. It will likely be impractical to daven without a tablet or eReader. It’s not up to you to decide what the device is for or how important it is, only if it halachically permissible.

  13. Brooklyn Refugee Sheygitz says:

    Rabbi Menken – if these “anashim chashuvim” really spoke out against this because they took it seriously as an app (i.e. not speaking out against the satire; rather against the chilul shabbat and the app) then I think they (along with probably many other “anashim chashuvim”) have really lost touch with the concept expressed by chazal as “pook chazee mai ama daber”. are they so out of touch with today’s younger generation???

  14. Yaakov Menken says:

    Brooklyn, it’s not about the younger generation. It’s about the technology. If one isn’t an engineer, it sounds feasible that one could do the things they claim and thus Rabbonim were speaking out against the app. I am saying that this is much ado about nothing; please see my post.

  15. Steve Brizel says:

    R Adlerstein sums the issue very well-The halacha of Grama was never meant outside of the medical context to render Shabbos a Yom Chol. It takes ignorance in Hilcos Shabbos on a grand scale to peddle the so called “Shabbos App” as a means of keeping Shabbos.

  16. Steve Brizel says:

    For those interested see the annexed interview with one of the heads of Tzomet http://www.srugim.co.il/. The notion that Grama was meant for anyone other in the IDF or the medical world should be viewed as beyond the halachic pale.

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