Posts tagged ‘Torah’

Robo-Goys, Kosher Phones and Other Jewish Technological Innovations

by Patrick Aleph, July 2, 2009,

People don’t like to think very far into the future. I understand that: I can barely think about next week, let alone a decade from now.

But if the Tribe is going to survive, we need to learn to adapt. Judaism came from a pre-modern era. Now, more than ever, we need to find creative ways to use technology to bring the Tribe into the 21st Century…kicking and screaming if we have to.

So here are five technological innovations, which I feel will greatly improve Jewish life and further the Jewish People.

Twitter Minyans: I brought this up in my last article on Judaism and Marketing. It makes no sense to me that technology and prayer have not been fused together. Most of the prayers are short enough that they will work in Twitter, and we can shorten the other ones to fit in the 150 character box.

Digital Shabbos Candles: There’s nothing that requires a Shabbos candle be a physical candle (haters beware, I did look in Code of Jewish Law for this), so we can assume that a candle screen saver would work just as well for Friday night. If you want something a little more low-tech, a simple flashlight would work just as well. But remember that if you do that, you have to let the battery run out, as switching the light off is “work.”

Robot Shabbos Goys: Need a Shabbos goy but don’t want to bother the nice Christian family next door? In the future, we’ll have robots to do that for us. Even today, modern conveniences like the Roomba by iRobot take away any pressure to work on Shabbat.

Kosher iPhone: The future is here and it’s called the iPhone. iBlessing and ParveOMeter are two amazing iPhone/iTouch apps to appease the yiddishkeit desire to introduce efficiency into the Jewish lifestyle. Future apps that I would like to see include the Modeh Ani alarm clock and a call-your-mother app that sends pre-recorded voicemails to your mom, letting her know you haven’t dropped out of med school (yet)!

Insta-Conversion: Utilizing the power of the Internet, we can completely re-think how new Jews are brought into the Tribe. The general requirements are a pre-interview, some kind of Judaism 101 class, Bet Din, bris, mikvah and a public ceremony. If we break this down, we find that most of this can be done quickly and efficiently, utilizing e-technology. Pre-conversion interviews between rabbi and convert can easily be done via IM or Skype. Classes can be modeled after distance learning with e-books to read and online exams. The Bet Din can be turned into a teleconference, or again, another Skype adventure. The bris (for men) and mikvah would need to be in person, but as far as I’m concerned a public ceremony could be a mass update on your Facebook/Myspace/Twitter. We could also use webcams to broadcast this event.

Stay tuned; I am sure I’ll come up with more.

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July 2, 2009 at 6:59 pm Leave a comment

Christian? You are probably in trouble….

Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 08:40:40 PM PST


I am Jewish and gay.

And I am sick and tired of seeing homophobic asses using my bible to base their attacks on my life.

Many of them do not understand what they call the “Old Testament” yet they continue to use it to justify their hate.

When people come on DK and attempt to do so I often engage in various discussions of both Torah and Talmud law and they move on… but I thought what if I look just at the Christian bible?

This is NOT an attack on Christians.

This is, however an attack on Christians that use my Bible to base their hate of me to produce events such as


I admit I am not a Christian.

What the heck, though… they are not Jewish yet they use my Bible. So I say “No harm, no foul”


Let’s talk about Jesus and some of his views.


I looked and could not find a single thing uttered against slavery by Jesus in the entire book. Slavery was around at the time, so I’d think it would be odd if Jesus was unaware of slavery as he lived in a world and a time where and when slavery was common.

So.. what did I find on slavery?

“Those who are slaves must consider their masters worthy of all respect, so that no one will speak evil of the name of God and of our teaching. Slaves belonging to Christian masters must not despise them, for they are their brothers.” (1 Timothy 6:1-2).

Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism. (Colossians 3:22-4:1)

So slavery is OK…just don’t ummm..treat the slaves too bad?

And I like the part starting with “work at it with all….” so.. what it is saying is Mr or Ms. Slave, work as hard as you can as a slave, like a duty of some kind?

Ok….some other good ones.

Don’t call someone a fool. If you do, wear a fire-proof suit….

“But I say unto you, That whosoever shall be angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matthew 5:22).

But it is just us the gays going to hell, right? I mean…for having the sex, right? Nope. ‘fraid not. Huh?

“Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 1:7)

So all you not married heteros having sex…shame shame shame. Hell-fire awaits.

Have YOU ever been drunk or jealous? Uh oh. Doomed as Doomed can be.

Ruh roh.

“Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21).

Well, at least, thank G_D, Christians are not like ‘those other religions’ that tell people everyone else is going to Hell…er…wait…

“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18). “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16).

And last and not least.

If you are a woman and decide that you will not have children….or if you are a woman and for whatever reason you cannot have children, tough luck.

“And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety” (1 Timothy 2:15).

So….I guess I feel so much better. I mean, since some Christians use my book to tell me I am going to a place called Hell, I can use their book and tell most of them that THEY are going to hell.

November 19, 2008 at 3:29 pm 4 comments

Wonderful new website

Check out Kudos to Sarah Lefton and team for making Torah accessible and interesting!

October 22, 2008 at 4:54 pm Leave a comment