[Avodah] Modern hearing aids

Akiva Miller akivagmiller at gmail.com
Fri Sep 24 07:26:09 PDT 2021

The refrigerators, stoves and ovens of 50 years ago used fairly basic
systems, and the halachos of using them on Shabbos and Yom Tov were
correspondingly basic. But we have all seen that recent technology has
added many features to these devices, and their halachos have grown much
more complex.

I am now in the market for a hearing aid, and I'm learning a lot about
their current abilities. It seems to me that, like the refrigerators and
stoves, we need to investigate these new features, and we cannot
necessarily rely on 20th century teshuvos.

I *could* tell you some of my concerns, and if requested I'll be happy to
respond, but I think it would be a lot more efficient to see what the
mavens have already researched and written. So if anyone knows of anything
written in the past 20 years or so about hearing aids on Shabbos, please
let me know, either onlist or offlist.

(Incidentally, it is my feeling that a shomer mitzvos who uses a hearing
aid should be aware of the halachos of whether, or to what extent, the
hearing aid impacts on mitzvos that involve hearing (such as being yotzay
on something while listening via a hearing aid). I'm not focusing on that
right now, because it is hard for me to imagine that the new technologies
would be different from the older technologies in this regard. After all, a
replicated sound is still a replicated sound, regardless of how it was
produced. But if I'm wrong about that, please let me know.)

Thanks in advance,
Akiva Miller
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