Halachah Musings

Superheroes in Jewish Thought and Law III

by R. Gil Student (Continued from here) V. Shape Changing Some superheroes have the ability to alter their appearance, change their actual physical shape. Can someone with such power change his shape on Shabbos? One concern is coloring. You are not allowed to change something’s color on Shabbos, including that of a person. Putting on lipstick, generally speaking, is a ...

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Superheroes in Jewish Thought and Law II

by R. Gil Student (Continued from here) III. Super Murder As a thought experiment, I was wondering what Jewish law would say about specific super powers. For example, if a Jedi or Sith kills someone with a force choke, is he liable for execution? On the one hand, he directly caused a death and should be punished. On the other, ...

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Superheroes in Jewish Thought and Law I

by R. Gil Student Superheroes represent the dreams of the oppressed. Those who are weak and insecure imagine what they would do if they were actually more powerful. Like the neglected orphan Harry Potter who discovers he is the a powerful wizard, the nerdy Peter Parker who gains super powers expresses the deepest dreams of the bullied. The lesson of ...

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Combat Exoskeletons on Shabbos

by R. Gil Student I. Bionic Men Reports, albeit somewhat dubious, are circulating regarding Russian development of combat exoskeletons that can mechanically increase the strength and endurance of soldiers. Worn like body armor, these artificial extensions of the body are expected, within five years, to receive direction through brain waves. When a soldier thinks about moving his arm or leg, ...

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Will The Kosher Switch Bring Mashiach?

by R. Gil Student Because of renewed publicity about this product, I am reposting this essay from four years ago. Not long after this was published, R. Yehoshua Neuwirth wrote that he did not approve this product and R. Nachum Rabinovich communicated the same. Other rabbis who were supposedly supporters also claimed they were misrepresented. As technology changes, the proper ...

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