davening from electronic device

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    What do you do on Shabbat? What does the Rabbit at HIR do?

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    Oomis, that’s true for your rav and mine, but unfortunately, not for Charlie’s.

    Joseph, I’m surprised at you.



    When I am in front of the RBS”O, I should come before Him as an eved, as a nitzrach, as someone in need. Holding an expensive device is not in the spirit of how one should supplicate themselves while davening.

    It’s kind of like, I look cool davening like this.

    The argument can be made the other way around. It’s kind of like, look at me I can afford extra paper.


    “Hashemisreading, respectfully, I disagree. If someone can daven from ANY source, it’s a good thing.”

    oomis: I never said its not good to daven, and I agree that davening from a smartphone is better than not davening at all.

    but I believe the discussion were having now is leaning more towards is it showing a lack of kavod to Hashem by talking to Him through an item that I am sure He despises?


    The morning after Hurricane Sandy, the power was still out in my neighborhood. The shul we daven is is dark, but I had a siddur app on my iPad and used that.

    If you want to condemn me for that, go ahead.

    The Wolf



    I use the Tfilon app (free for android, dunno about apple), although there are other “smart” siddurim available (also free).

    Concerning the flashlights, we did not know how long there would be a blackout, so most of us were trying to conserve power. Using a flashlight for 45 minutes will eat up like half of the power, if not more.


    IMHO – there are many factors that may sway the advised halacha or haskafa in each specific situation.

    Yes, I can clearly see that there are situations where a smartphone/ipad/e-reader might be much better than a regular siddur. Some examples that have been suggested above:

    – someone with poor eyesight that can use the app to greatly enarge the text

    – when you need to say a special tefilla and don’t have access to a printed text, or even regular davening,

    – a newly frum person that does not have instructions on what to say when, can use certain apps that automatically insert or delete appropriately on special days.

    – maybe even in the dark

    That having been said, I strongly believe that whenever possible a person should NOT substitute a smartphone for a siddur. Besides that the Mishna Berurah discusses the preference for a siddur that is printed by Yerei Shomaim over one made by goyim, there is a much more practical issue – I have witnessed with great disgust numerous occasions where people using smartphones in shul instead of siddurim did things that no frum person should ever do. It comes from holding the yetzer hora right in your hands during davening:

    – I hope that no frum person would pull out a newspaper and start reading it in shiul, just because he finished shemone esrei earler than everyone else. Yet I have seen too many people on phones do exactly that by looking at the news. Even if they are only looking at YWN, it is not any better in this context.

    – No normal person would set up a desktop or laptop computer on the table in plain view of everyone in shul, and start browsing dell.com to shop for the latest computers. Yet I have seen a person do precisely that in middle of davening.

    – It is inappropriate anytime, anywhere in shul to look at youtube videos, yet I have seen people looking and even showing their neighbors videos, whether in middle of davening, laining, or not.

    – Some (rare) siddur apps block incoming texts and phone calls. But most don’t. I don’t think that I have to explain how I have seen people reading and responding to texts, and answering phone calls IN MIDDLE OF SHEMONE ESREI!!!! I am not even referring to those idiots that don’t have their sound turned off.

    – I have seen people play games on phones in shul, in middle of davening, speeches, or just in shul at all.

    All of these show an extreme lack of even the smallest iota of yiras shomayim and kovod for the tefila and bais hakneses. Boruch Hashem I still feel that it bothers me. To too many people, this has become so common that they no longer even see what is wrong with it. This is affecting the younger generation ever worse. Once the older people tolerate it, the younger people take it for granted that it is ok.

    To put it very simply – an interview with the King of All Kings, Supreme Ruler of the entire world, is not a trivial thing. It requires preparation, respect, and your full attention. Your phone is a big distraction at best, and a should be turned off and put away. Show Hashem that you care enough to give him a few minutes of your time and attention!!

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    The morning after Hurricane Sandy, the power was still out in my neighborhood. The shul we daven is is dark, but I had a siddur app on my iPad and used that.

    If you want to condemn me for that, go ahead.

    The Wolf

    I don’t think it’s fair to compare clearly extenuating circumstances with what some people do on a regular basis when they can easily use a siddur.


    Most of the time when people use a smartphone for davening is not in a regular shul, but more of a makeshift minyan especially Mincha which many times are not held in shuls but in offices or other non-shul places.

    Siddurim can be hard to come by

    People also use them for Benching where benchers many times are not available


    Now someone might say something silly like – I know 12 people that are so ehrlich that they daven a 45 minute shemone esrei, never removing their noses from the siddur. They sometimes use phones and still do the same thing – they only daven from the phone and nothing else.

    Yes, it could be used correctly by some people. But the general population and especially younger people are not so trained in kavana by davening and are not so resistant to the Yetzer Hora, so most of them won’t be able to do it this way.

    Like everything else in this world, it can be used for good or bad. It is not all good or all bad. But to the untrained hand, it is more likely to end up bad. If a safer, more reliable alternative like a Siddur is available, why not choose that?

    This is much like the whole Internet controversy, whether to totally ban it, use it for good, or continue to use it unfiltered, refusing to see any possibilty of problems.

    New Slogan (feel free to steal it):

    Choose the SEFER – it is SAFER!!


    (kinda late but yeah…)
    sam2: so if you cant bring a phone in the bathroom because theres a siddur on it, then you cant go into the bathroom either, because you also have the siddur somewhere in your mind
    i dont see how its any different?
    unless the siddur is actually open while youre in there


    also, i personally find that i daven way better from my phone. i daven from a siddur because i cant have my phone in school, but i end up davening way better from my phone.


    Times have certainly changed. Once, if you davened from a phone in shul, people thought you were checking your email or surfing the web. Nowadays you can surf all you want and everyone thinks you’re davening!


    I once used a audio tape recorder as a chazon.
    I would record some tehilim on my tape recorder
    then i replayed it while I said tehilim along with it.
    It gave me more enthusiasm to say tehilim.
    I think it’s better to say tehilim like this then not to say tehilim at all.


    A printed siddur is delicate and can easily lose pages or get worn out. When it does, we have to respectfully dispose of it, which is a unique challenge.
    A digital siddur has to actively produce an image electronically. It never wears out.


    The next step is an app that vocalizes the text, even imitating your voice, and infusing the proper emotions: a self-davening siddur.

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