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IDF Rabbis Display Technology for Solving Problems of Jewish Law

IDF Rabbinate and Technology Conference: Technological developments which solve problems that contradict religious observance during army service
By Yoni Kempinski
First Publish: 11/3/2010, 11:05 AM / Last Update: 11/3/2010, 1:25 PM

Yoni Kempinski

The IDF Rabbinate, led by recently appointed Rabbi Rafi Peretz, held a special conference and exhibit in the IDF Tzrifin base Tuesday on Halacha and Technology in the Army.

The conference dealt with the latest technological developments that can solve problems involving mainly the desecrating of the Shabbat in order to carry out actions and assignments which aren't directly related to the overall mission of saving lives, which overrides violating the Day of Rest.

Routine security related actions are permissible on Shabbat. Other actions that are important are preferable to be carried out in a fashion which avoids the actual act which is prohibited on Shabbat. The exhibit at the conference displayed keyboards, computer displays and other items which are operated by a mechanism that enables the soldier not to be directly connected to the result of his action, such as moving a mouse and turning on a switch.
 
Speaking with Israel National News TV, IDF Chief Rabbi Peretz stated that as the recent head of a pre-army academy, he used to tell his graduates to avoid several bases and units because they would cause them to desecrate Shabbat. Today, explained Rabbi Peretz, the mission is to make sure that the army is suitable for everyone.
 
In the following video, Israel National News TV speaks with Minister of Science and Technology MK Rabbi Professor Daniel Hershkowitz who was very moved by the event and said that this shows that the Army is indeed the Jewish army of the Jewish people.