Monday, August 29, 2005

Shomer Shabbat Godcasting?

The podcast phenomenon has been picked up by religious broadcasters and institutions: sermons are a natural for audio-blogging and mini-player listening. "Godcasting" they call it, apparently. But I was thinking: this could create some serious problems for Shabbat observant Jews (in Hebrew, full observance is called shomer shabbat, usually used as an adjective).

You'd have to have a recording device capable of handling 26 hours (I suppose it could just run out and turn itself off, but that might count as scheduling the extinguishing....) or voice-activated (and is that legal, if you turn it on beforehand, knowing that you'll be triggering it when you speak? Are timers legal?). You can't put it out until after havdalah, of course. Even if you pre-record it, you wouldn't want to put it up before Shabbat, since you wouldn't want to encourage Jews to break Shabbat by downloading and playing computer files, even Torah study.

Nothing too different from the "how do you videotape a bar mitzvah" problem, I suppose (you don't, if you're shomer shabbat; otherwise, you fudge)...

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