Science in Halacha

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    I have to write an article in school called Science In Halacha which is an article in science that effects halacha. Does anybody have any ideas what I should write about?


    shabbos elevator

    anon for this

    How about shabbos pens? These are felt-tip pens filled with temporary ink, intended for use by medical professionals on shabbos. Because the ink is temporary, using them on shabbos violates a d’rabbanan and not a d’oraisa. (Depending on the writing surface & exposure to light, records must be copied after shabbos is over).


    Yes, Rabbi Halperin is a great resource

    I am sure that if you e-mail them, that will provide you with ideas and expertise ( they said at Otis elevators inc. that no one understand the elevator like Rabbi Halperin – since Otis himself)




    This is a great topic that you can have lots of fun with.

    There is a huge range of halachos that has science at it core. Just a few examples:

    – The reason for the amount of time which one is required to wait between eating meat and milk.

    – Why using electricity is forbidden on Shabbos.

    – The halachic validity of hearing brachos or shofar either transmitted or amplified by electronic means.

    – How one’s latitude affects the length of bain hashmoshos and the zmanei tefila.

    – Why altering the size of a gas stove’s flame isn’t the same as raising or lowering the temperature of an electric stove on Yom Tov.

    – Organ donation (controversial).

    – Brain death and what’s considered death lehalacha (controversial, related to the above topic).

    – Why the vesain tal u’mutar begins at a different date than it did in the nineteenth century.

    – Chazaka in halocha vs. actuarial odds in different situations.

    – (many more issues – the above is just an off-the-cuff sampling)


    “Why the vesain tal u’mutar begins at a different date than it did in the nineteenth century.”

    ICOT: That’s a calendar issue. The secular year has a leap year every 4 years, with the exception of every 100 years (i.e. 1800, 1900) which is not a leap year, with the exception of every 400 years (1600, 2000, 2400) which is a leap year. So every time a leap year is skipped on the 100th year, the date vesain tal u’mutar begins changes by a day.

    I guess you might consider calendar issues a “scientific” matter in a certain sense.



    It’s much more complex than that.

    I didn’t mean the 1899 date vs. the 1901 date, but rather the greater accuracy that we have nowadays vs. about 100 years ago.

    Your (voluntary) homework assignment is to look up the factors used in determining when we change, and how and why we are more accurate today than in years past. Have fun!

    (Google is allowed)

    Dr. Pepper

    Here’s one that I found interesting:

    If one were to go to outer space, how would one determine what day of the week it is?



    2-a surveillance camera on shabbos


    You did not specify your age and scholastic level

    This would be too advanced for a HS kid

    but how abut aniskis in fish? would be agreat starting point


    I think chizz is higly UNORIGINAL since everyone uses those ideas on the other hand a shabbos pen is a good idea I just need more information and the calender idea from kasha I don’t understand the issue and where do I get the halachos about outer space?


    >>>a shabbos pen is a good idea I just need more information<<<

    Try this link DR Abraham is a world class Talmid Chachom a Talmid of R Shlomo Zalmen ZT”L


    shabbos in outer space reb shlomo zalman ztl [ teshuvos in the bach of shulchan shlomo on yom tov] paskens that it has the din of someone lost in a midbar who is mechuyav to keep shabbos all 7 days [if he lost count] O”C 344


    Dr. Pepper

    Your question reminded me of the following joke (copied from another site):

    The first 3-man space shuttle came splashing down from the moon and the ship the U.S.S. Seagull picked up the capsule…

    The first man who got out of the capsule was Protestant. His minister asked him, “How was it, my son?” The Protestant astronaut answered with a big healthy smile, “It was truly a great experience to see the sun rise and set from space.”

    The second man was Catholic, and when he emerged from the capsule his priest blessed him and asked him, “How was it?” He replied, “It was fabulous, Father! Imagine, taking a trip around the world in an hour and a half.”

    The third man was Jewish and with great effort left the space ship. He was still huffing and puffing as his Rabbi came up to him and asked, “Nu, what happened? The other two astronauts came out composed and refreshed – and you, nu?”

    The Jewish astronaut answered, breathing heavily…

    “Every 90 minutes… shacharit, mincha, ma’ariv… shacharit, mincha, ma’ariv…”


    I thought all of the ideas posted here we pretty good.

    A better response to someone who took the time to come up with a suggestion and post it – even if it’s one you already thought of and/or was already used – might be:

    – “thank you, but that one’s already been done”.

    – “thank you”.

    – <<nothing>>


    You can deal with Nishtane Hatevah has been applied in different circumstances as a response to sakanas in inyonei kashrus. I dealt with the sakana of drinking water after eating fish- maybe there is a scientific reason for this.


    The calendar is always a good topic, If you Look up “365 Days of Astronomy” from last fall I did a podcast with my Rabbi on the Jewish calendar, and on last march 15 on the Julian Calendar which was the predecessor to the modern civil calendar.

    On a silly note my favorite one was always “How to build a Mikva on Mars”. would take some actual research.

    As for the day of the week in space it is my understanding the Ilan Ramon asked about this and was told to keep Florida or Houston time (I forgot which). Of course that only works when you are in Earth orbit, if you were to say travel to Mars things get a lot more complex.


    I think anything medical would be interesting (ie wether you can use a pigs valve as a replacement, organ donation, diabetes…)


    i was telling my roomate about the mikva on mars thing and we were talking about sci-fi and how ppl were hoping by year 2000 we’d be able to set up oxygen-dependent living capsules on the moon with deliveries from earth every so often…

    so i said to her, even if they could do that i wouldn’t live there; i don’t know who would.

    she said, one thing’s for sure!

    i said, what?

    “it would be chabad!”


    sorry bentzion I didnt know that I was dealing with MR original you just asked for an Idea I didnt know you need it to be original and you asked for any Idea do you know what any means


    i’m sure he didn’t mean to insult you chizz! he was just commenting.


    emoticon613 I know and I didnt mean to insult him either i was just commenting


    Another interesting topic is Stem Cell Research and halacha (sorry if someone else already mentioned that). here is an interesting article on that topic:


    g73 you dont have to be sorry if someone mentioned it


    Thanks everybody for these ideas still want to hear more


    • Cooking with a microwave. Since cooking in direct sunlight is Muttar because it is not Derech Bishul, although cooking by something heated from the sun is Assur. So is a microwave the new Derech or is it too similar to other methods and therefore has a Din of Tolda Dechama or is it Muttar?
    • Is it Doresh El Hameisim to communicate with a spirit through white noise?
    • Would one put on Teffilin on an artificial but fully integrated arm?
    • Is pressing buttons on an electronic device Assur on Shabbos? Is any closing of a circut considered Nolad, Tikkun Manne, Makka Bepatish, or Binyan; or only turning on the device?

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