Top London Charedi rabbi wants to embrace technology ‘in a kosher way’
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Top London Charedi rabbi wants to embrace technology ‘in a kosher way’

Dayan Israel Jacob Lichtenstein urges European counterparts to harness tech at a Rabbinical Council of Europe gathering in Vienna

Dayan Israel Jacob Lichtenstein speaking at the Rabbinical Council of Europe gathering in Vienna.
Dayan Israel Jacob Lichtenstein speaking at the Rabbinical Council of Europe gathering in Vienna.

A senior Charedi rabbi in London has told his European counterparts that technology could and should be embraced – but “in a kosher way”.

Dayan Israel Jacob Lichtenstein, head of the Federation of Synagogues in London, was speaking at a Rabbinical Council of Europe gathering in the Austrian capital of Vienna, at the invitation of the Chief Rabbi, Hagaon Harav Aryeh Folger and the Rav of the Sephardi community, Rabbi Yitzchak Niazov.

Lichtenstein said: “Technology is evolving, and is now a basic requirement for living in the world, in terms of commerce and more which requires us to evolve as well. Technology, if approached under halachic guidance, can be used in a ‘kosher’ way.”

His comments reflect recent breakthroughs, with scientists are using technology to preserve traditional ways of life. Earlier this year, Israeli non-profit organisation Zomet launched its “Shabbat keyboard,” following its “electric Shabbat candles”.

The keyboard “operates on the principle of gramma, or indirect action. The buttons are on-off switches and a special mechanism cycles through all the buttons every few seconds. If it “discovers” that the status of one of the buttons has changed, such as a function key, the desired action will occur.

Other matters discussed by the rabbis included ways to stop and investigate false conversions, and the building of dozens of new mikveh baths across Europe.

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