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Ask the rabbi Shabbat and Holidays Computers, Internet and Cellphones

Downloading over Shabbat

Various Rabbis16 Av 5764
May one leave one’s computer on over the weekend with the knowledge that an email will definitely be sent on Shabbat. What about if one is downloading a large file which started on Friday but will almost inevitably carry on downloading over the Shabbat?
There are two problems: 1. Is there any Chilul Shabbat done throughout the process: Was the source ready before Shabbat? Do the communication companies not work on Shabbat? 2. The use of automation on Shabbat. Rav Moshe Feinstein's opinion is that it can cause a breach in the Shabbat system. We use automation on Shabbat only where there is a great need, or things we were used to before there was automation, by assistance of Goyim etc. Anything new would need to be studied and cheked if it won't be a precedent to things we will be sorry of later. Rabbi Ya'akov Ariel
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