The Shabbos App Controversy

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  • #614095

    Chortkov
    Participant

    YidTech have come up with a new app for smartphones (still in development), which according to them will allow a user to text another user on Shabbos, without any “bdieveds”. 100% muttar.

    The app makes sure there are no sounds, that the LED Screen Light is on 1% the entire Shabbos (and apparently moving from 1% to 100% isn’t a problem, the problem is turning it on), the screen is turned upside down (to avoid problems of ????? ????).

    To avoid problems of Kesiva, they have designed a preset keyboard with 120 Keywords plus 30 words you can customize with which you don’t write but simply select the words to become part of your sentence. Any everything is delayed reaction, and user history is deleted periodically, so as not to be permanent.

    The Shabbos App facebook page has so far 371 likes. The “Ban The Shabbos App” facebook page (incidentally named “banshabbos” #irony) has received 623 likes.

    There have been no haskomos so far, but the YidTech team claim they have been working with Rabbonim on all the Halachic points, but the rabannim are “too scared” to release their support until they see what public opinion is. (see shabbosapp . com/haskomas/)

    Point to ponder:

    a) Halachically, can you spot any problems with what they are doing?

    b) Hashkafically (which seems to be the big issue everybody is talking about), is there anything wrong with finding a way to do something ????? which until now has been ?????

    c) The motto of this group is: “Nisht shver tzu zein a yid”.

    #1061190

    oyyoyyoy
    Participant

    First!

    Just checked the website. So much has been changed since the last time i checked up on it.

    The haskomah page is a joke, a joke topped with a lame attempt for armor in case the whole world comes out against them. They try to make the gedolim look bad and make themselves look stupid.

    Now besides the halacha and hashkafa of shabbos, i just dont like them. Really rubbing me terribly the wrong way.

    #1061191

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    To avoid problems of Kesiva, they have designed a preset keyboard with 120 Keywords plus 30 words you can customize with which you don’t write but simply select the words to become part of your sentence. Any everything is delayed reaction, and user history is deleted periodically, so as not to be permanent.

    (Besides for all the other issues,) Why isn’t there a separate problem with the word showing up on the other person’s screen after you hit “send”? Unless I am mising my mark, by creating a P’sik Raisha (even if you claim it is indirect) that writing will appear elsewhere, that should be at least a D’rabbanan (even if the Kesiva is not shel kayama).

    A real “Shabbos app” might work exclusively with voice, so that no words would be created. Then I could see the question being asked (since it is well established all over shas that dibbur is not a maase).

    #1061192

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    This guy has talent. It’s a shame he didn’t post his reasoning on popa’s yct teshuvos thread.

    Gavra, so amira l’akum is okay?

    He was busted on the battery issue, but is being just as stupid about the kesiva issue, being mattir the assur and assering the muttar to make it seem as if he’s accomplishing something.

    #1061193

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant
    #1061194

    ari-free
    Participant

    I was under the assumption this could be a solution for medical and military personnel to minimize actual melacha when sakana is not so clear cut. Instead, it sounds like it will be used by a bunch of silly kids.

    #1061195

    squeak
    Participant

    There is no controversy over the shabbos app. There is only the old familiar controversy of Reform trying to infiltrate and fix the Orthodox.

    #1061196

    Joseph
    Participant

    I was sure this was a gag all along. And am still convinced as such. The website creater is clearly not serious about this joke. I’m surprised so many folks fell for it.

    #1061197

    Chortkov
    Participant

    GAW – (Besides for all the other issues,) Why isn’t there a separate problem with the word showing up on the other person’s screen after you hit “send”? Unless I am mising my mark, by creating a P’sik Raisha (even if you claim it is indirect) that writing will appear elsewhere, that should be at least a D’rabbanan (even if the Kesiva is not shel kayama).

    They have a box where they claim anyone can write their halachic queries and they will respond. I did so last week (the name was “Questioner” if anybody wants to see it), and I asked about the Kesiva:

    There are two possible problems of Ksiva; on screen and on hard drive. Both of those are potential problems, as they themselves point out. Both those problems present themselves even with their app, both on your own screen and on the recipient’s screen.

    The response I got was hardly worth copying down (ill try post it tomorrow!):

    We fixed both. For starters, we modified the message input from our previous keypad to a new wordpad. On the new wordpad a user can pick from pre-made word blocks and create a sentence. There are 120 included words and 30 words that a user can add (before Shabbos). With the new wordpad there is no problem at all of Kosev, as the user is never creating a word.

    I disagree, because whatever Koisev there was without this keypad, they still have now. When you select a word to form a sentence, all that means is deleting it from one space and rewriting it on another. The same thing is with the Hard Drive. And there is no way they can get around the other persons phone.

    I tried reasoning, and they stopped responding. (Full Shakla vetarya to follow)

    #1061198

    Sam2
    Participant

    This was clearly a hoax from the beginning. I never understood why so many fell for it.

    #1061199

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Is it a hoax just to have fun? Is it a scam to get people to invest or buy the dummy app? Are they trying to make fun of left wingers? Are they trying to make fun of right wingers?

    #1061200

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Gavra, so amira l’akum is okay?

    Mheicha Teisi voice recognition is included in the gezairah of Amirah L’Akum, any more than Amirah L’Yisroel is? Source please.

    #1061201

    ivory
    Member

    It is very scary to think that people might think its legitimate and be mechallel shabbos ch”v

    #1061202

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Gavra, no, I don’t mean it’s literally amira l’akum, I just mean that it could be assur despite that it’s dibbur. I think you would need to provide a source to be mattir grama al y’dei dibbur.

    #1061203

    ivory
    Member

    We really don’t! But that is unfortunately not the point.. Many people will use if if there’s a supposed heter, and that’s the sad part!

    #1061204

    oomis
    Participant

    It’s uvda d’chol, even if somehow in some crazy way not assur (and I do not believe that to be true, l’chatchilah). Even if it could halachically be made muttar, do we REALLY need yet another way for people to disconnect from the people around them on Shabbos, be ruder than rude as they ignore people while they type away all day focusing mindlessly on their new (apparently non-electronic, but I don’t believe that, either) toy, that takes away the spirit of Shabbos?

    I can see the value of this for a doctor, having less actual chillul Shabbos to do when there is an emergency (kind of like the frei Jew who carries on the Shabbos that he is mechallel, but at least there’s an eruv, so it’s one less averia he is committing). But for the rest of us – do we REALLY need this? On SHABBOS?

    #1061205

    ivory
    Member

    my response went before the post I was responding to again

    #1061206

    IvduEsHashemBsimcha
    Participant

    I don’t think it’s a hoax. If you check the patent office website and search for them, you’ll see that the shabbos app and “nisht tzu zein a yid” are actually registered trademarks. That having been said, I still don’t think they’ll be able to work out all the halachic issues, and even if they did, as Oomis said, I wouldn’t find it to be in the spirit of Shabbos for regular people (excluding doctors or other people for whom using a phone is necessary, for whom this might help a great deal.)

    #1061207

    Poster
    Member

    are we so desperate to text on Shabbos. One day a week with a break from phones! A machaya!!

    #1061208

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Gavra, no, I don’t mean it’s literally amira l’akum, I just mean that it could be assur despite that it’s dibbur. I think you would need to provide a source to be mattir grama al y’dei dibbur.

    Aderabba, that is why I started with the point that Dibbur is not a Maase all over shas. Therefore, there is no reason to think that Grama even begins to come into play for a non-Maase!! (L’cheorah) Amriah L’Akum requires its own Gezairah for a reason.

    P.S. This specifically comes up by Shabbos, where a Melacha is required. Elsewhere (such as Adam HaMazik), “Kocho” is enough to be a mechayiv, and I would argue (first thought) that if you command your robot to break someone’s car, that would be Adam HaMazik (vs. Memono).

    (Of course there is a semi-serious issue of Mizto Chefticha V’daber Davar, but there are ways around that as well, as is well documented elsewhere in poskim).

    #1061209

    ivory
    Member

    It’s not a matter of opinion. It’s a matter if its halachically acceptable or not.

    #1061210

    Aha rabbunim are to afraid to voice there opinion right…

    #1061211

    DaMoshe
    Participant

    Honestly, I don’t know enough about the details of Hilchos Shabbos to argue with them. I just know that my Rav told me it’s a bunch of garbage. I seem to recall reading an RCA statement on it, although I can’t find it now. It rejected the app.

    I only hope that it never gets released. I think that anyone who actually uses it most likely wasn’t really keeping Shabbos beforehand either.

    #1061212

    GG boy
    Participant

    The whole attraction of the Shabbos Project was the idea of a day to focus on family and friends WITHOUT the distractions of technology. A pity that some of us in the frum world never appreciated that aspect!

    We all need appreciation for mitzvos, even if we’ve been keeping them all our lives. That’s what today’s baalei teshuva can teach us.

    #1061213

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Unfortunatly you are all missing the real issue here, If the App is real or not it doesnt matter, The issue is people are not enjoying Shabbos for whatever reason

    There was a great blog post by a west cost Rabbi, About rebooting shabbos

    It said for many people the following is great and inspiring. Go to Shul Friday night, Eat a dinner with the same foods each weeks singings the same Zmerios and the Parsha Dvar Torah

    Go to Sleep, Go to Shul in the morning and come home and make Kiddush, have a meal with Chulent Sing More Zemiroth and Dvar torahs, go to sleep and either go to a friend, Park (Or some people are just stuck in their homes, they live in areas without eruvs or their friends live too far away) Daven Mincha, Have Shalosh Seudot and the daven Maariv and maybe have a Melava Malka.

    Maybe you think this is great and awesome, but what if for example you were stuck in the house and couldnt leave, your only connection with your friends was your phone. What if you did not like the traditional Shabbos foods or Zemiroth. What if your shabbos entailed the kids fighting the whole time for the right to sit next to Mommy and throwing food around and screamed the whole time.

    #1061214

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I once heard a Shiur by Rabbi Moshe Meir Weiss

    Friday Night Men go to Shul, Daven and Shmooze with Friends. Women Stuck at home with Kids

    Saturday Morning : Men go to Shul, Daven, Have a Kiddush and Schoomze with friends. Women Stuck at home with kids

    Sat Afternoin Man has a Chavrusa with a friend. Woman stuck at home with kids

    Men go to Mincha, Shalosh Seudoth , Shmooze with friends, Women Stuck at home with kids

    Rabbi Moshe Meir Weiss is no reform or YCT Rabbi , and even he said this

    #1061215

    Letakein Girl
    Participant

    I heard a rabbi speak on this topic. He said that there is an issue of lsiva, cuz the pixels on the screen are changing.

    #1061216

    Sam2
    Participant

    GAW: If you call a cow and it comes to you that’s a D’Oraisa of M’chamer. That seems like a very apt (see what I did there?) precedent for talking to a phone.

    #1061217

    Letakein Girl
    Participant

    I meant k’siva, not lsiva.

    #1061218

    writersoul
    Member

    zdad: Don’t see the connection- you mean, at least they’ll be able to text?

    I thought this was a joke for a very, very long time, and I’m still hoping that it is. Just read what they have up under the haskamos- hyperbolic (and factually incorrect) comparisons of themselves to the Rambam (and the exposers of child molesters- I mean, SERIOUSLY), extremely misleading juxtaposition to and conflation with the Sabbath Mode oven setting that makes it seem as though R Moshe Heinemann endorses the Shabbos App, and using adjectives such as “pig-headed” to describe rabbonim- really not much to make people take them too seriously.

    #1061219

    ivory
    Member

    I haven’t seen the site but am hoping its a joke and whoever started it is laughing his head off how seriously it’s being taken

    #1061220

    Joseph
    Participant

    It’s definitely a gag. I can’t believe some people still think they were serious.

    #1061221

    oomis
    Participant

    What if you did not like the traditional Shabbos foods or Zemiroth. What if your shabbos entailed the kids fighting the whole time for the right to sit next to Mommy and throwing food around and screamed the whole time.”

    Good question. And this type of shtuss app would help – HOW? Could the parent just take him/herself away and ignore the kids while using this app? They might as well read a book or go for a walk, both of which at least are unquestionably muttar on Shabbos.

    Trying to excite someone about Shabbos is a whole different idea from giving that person something that will further take away the spirit and spirituality of Shabbos. I think that there has to be a much better solution than this one, which is not a solution for anyone, much less disenfranchised Yidden.

    #1061222

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I am not trying to defend anything, just trying to understand it and I belive if we try to understand it , we will have better results. You catch more bees with honey than vinegar.

    Some people if we ban things they will stop and others they dont care what the Rabbanim say, you need to convience them otherwise

    #1061223

    ivory
    Member

    This isn’t a ban. This is an attempt to give a heter to something that is absolutely assur.

    #1061224

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    ZD, what does anything you wrote have anything to do with the Chillul Shabbos App?

    #1061225

    Sam2
    Participant

    DY: If you assume that Gramas actually work (like R’ Neuwirth did) it’s not at all completely clear that this is Assur. Now, almost no one assumes like he did, because we say anything made to work Al Y’dei Grama can’t be called a Grama. This is just a slightly more extreme application of the Shabbos Switch (or it would be, if it existed; since it doesn’t, it’s irrelevant).

    #1061226

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    He retracted in the Shabbos Switch.

    Also,as I pointed out, their “avoidance” of koseiv makes no sense, and is no different l’halacha than ordinary texting.

    Aside from the fact that there’s no way to make this muttar, these people (if serious) are halachically ignorant. I mean, battery is aish??!!

    I have to admit, though, using the name Yitz Appel was cute.

    Also, I approve of your apt pun. :

    #1061227

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I am of the opinion if the Shabbos App is true and not a hoax, the backers are trying to minimize the Chilul shabbos of those who keep “half Shabbos” as opposed to trying to get more people to text on Shabbos.

    Its like if someone is driving on shabbos and asks you directions, you are supposed to tell them the shortest route to get there in order to minize their chilul shabbos

    #1061228

    metrodriver
    Member

    Gaw: On the issue of “Amira l’akum, Sh’vus/d’rabanan”. In actual (as opposed to virtual) “Amira”, there’s a world of difference between Amira l’yisroel and Amira l’akum/ Conditioned on the status of the Yisrael. i.e.: Where one makes an early Shabbos (1 or 2 hours before it is actually Shabbos.). They are allowed to ask of another Jewish person who does not hold that Tosefes Shabbos to do a Melacha for them. (Lechatchila) But where the second party is under the same prohibition, the Amira is just as much forbidden as the actual melacha.(Task.).

    #1061229

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    ZD – agreed.

    #1061230

    ivory
    Member

    But if people who don’t text on shabos will start to use it thinking its muttar they have done more harm than good.

    #1061231

    squeak
    Participant

    It’s not a joke at all, at the very least it is a blatant attempt to mock our values and our poskim. No amount of saying “haha we/they were only kidding” excuses any of that. That doesn’t fly in the grown up world.

    I have strong evidence that convinces me the app is no joke though.

    Re ZD’s psak halacha- if someone asks you for directions on Shabbos you do not answer, shelo lichazeik oivrei aveira.

    #1061232

    Joseph
    Participant

    Without doubt they are leitizm and inexcusable mockers. But there’s no way they actually ever expected or intended to release a technical product meeting the claimed specifications.

    #1061233

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    ZD and Syag, they are clearly mocking rabbonim. I do not believe for a minute that such blatant bizayon haTorah is going hand in hand with sincerity in minimizing chillul Shabbos.

    Squeak, if I were to give directions, and add, “the reason I am giving you directions is to minimize the chillul Shabbos”, would you still call it m’sayea liydei oivrei aveirah?

    #1061234

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    ZD,

    If the intention was to minimize chillul Shabbos by those who were already texting on Shabbos, why did their initial descriptions use terms and language that was deliberately meant to mock chareidim?

    If the intention was to minimize chillul Shabbos by those who already text on Shabbos, why would they charge an outlandish fee for the app (It was originally $45, I think it is still expensive for an app, though I haven’t tracked the latest pricing scam). Those who already text would not pay to do something they have no problem doing. Only those who mistakenly believe that this sham would provide a heter would possibly buy in. Thus it is clear that their intention was to lure additional people into texting on Shabbos, if they were really selling the app. If it was ??? ????, they could have easily secured funding to make distribution free.

    The entire marketing scheme was written in way that supported this as a lechatchila, not as a way to minimize chillul Shabbos.

    These people are clearly ???????, ????? for whom there is no reason to be ?? ??? ????. In fact any one who does so is themselves suspect.

    #1061235

    squeak
    Participant

    Joseph- you’re in denial.

    DY – agree that the purpose is not to sincerely reduce chillul shabbos. I think the intent is to cool off the bathwater. Re your question, I would think its still the wrong thing to do but ayolor.

    #1061236

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    GAW: If you call a cow and it comes to you that’s a D’Oraisa of M’chamer. That seems like a very apt (see what I did there?) precedent for talking to a phone.

    Only because a melacha is being done via your dibbur, as you are chayiv in Shvisas B’hemto. The proposal would have to be voice only on both sides to fully avoid any kisevah.

    metrodriver – care to explain why that is relevant, especially as it has already been noted?

    #1061237

    Sam2
    Participant

    squeak and DY: That was a major Machlokes HaPoskim in Israel 50 years ago or so. R’ Ovadia, the Tzitz Eliezer, R’ Shlomo Zalman, and others all have T’shuvos discussing whether it’s better to get him there faster to minimize Chillul Shabbos or whether it’s better to ignore him. From what I recall, there was no clear consensus on the issue.

    #1061238

    sm29
    Participant

    Torahanytime has a good video about the issue of the Shabbos App

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