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College Examines Intersection of Jewish Religious Law and Technology

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JCT students at a hackathon

Jerusalem College of Technology students at a May 2019 hackathon.

Credit: Michael Erenburg

The Jerusalem College of Technology has launched the Torah and Technology Research Center which will tackle ethical and halachic (Jewish religious law) issues presented by modern technology.

The research center will pioneer a unique collaboration between halachic experts and faculty members from JCT's computer science, engineering, and health sciences departments to address questions that arise in the intersection of Torah and technology.

For example, the question of whether or not one can ride in an autopilot vehicle (as some of the issues with actively driving a regular car would then not be relevant) could be addressed by the research center.

"Despite rapid technological development and growth, there is currently no centralized, scholarly body equipped to deal with all of the halachic implications and questions that have arisen as a result. Our new center fills that void," says Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Rimon, head of JCT's yeshiva and Jewish studies programs. The research center will facilitate "an unprecedented meeting of the minds across halacha and science," he says.

The research center will serve as a centralized authority for the international Jewish community, as well as facilitating the development of technologies adapted to meet halachic requirements for Shabbat, among other areas. The center will also disseminate scholarly material and host international symposia that will bring experts from around the world to JCT to discuss recent innovations and developments in halacha and technology.

From The Jerusalem Post
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