Thursday, May 11, 2006


Guide to Kosher Machines

A guide to kosher machines. Sabbath law prohibits Jews from performing actions that cause a direct reaction; that would qualify as forbidden work. But indirect reactions are kosher. In Hebrew, this concept is called the gramma. There are two types of grammas. Say you hit a light switch, but it doesn't come on immediately - that's a time delay, a time gramma. There's also a gramma of mechanical indirectness, like a Rube Goldberg contraption in which a mouse turns a wheel that swings a hammer that turns a key that launches a rocket. You can't claim the mouse actually launches the rocket.

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