Davening from phone in shul

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  • #607575
    rabbi_dr
    Participant

    Is anyone else bothered by this?

    There is a plethora of siddurim available, usually in every common nusach, and yet some people still daven from their phones. Do they do it just so they can ‘discretely’ check their emails and texts during shemona esrei?

    #1195416
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I don’t daven from my phone. I daven by heart. If you see me looking at my phone, I am certainly checking messages or playing a game.

    #1195417
    MDG
    Participant

    I use my phone only when I can’t get a Siddur, like when someone is davenning by the bookshelf – when I’m late for mincha.

    #1195418
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    I recently davened Shacharis entirely from my Ipad for two days. No one told me that they were bothered by it.

    The Wolf

    #1195419
    cantgetit
    Member

    Usually people disturbed by others don’t confront the person.

    #1195420
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    There are people with sight issues and need larger print , With a tablet or phone you can blow up the print making it easier to read

    #1195421
    uneeq
    Member

    I wouldn’t be the first one in shul to use a phone to daven, as people would probably think that I’m being mevazeh the davening. If others are doing it already, I would feel fine.

    I remember when the siddur became popular on BB’s in my community, and during a makeshift minyan, I was absolutely shocked to see so many people playing (or so I thought) on their phones during davening.

    #1195422
    midwesterner
    Participant

    Popa, is that always? Or only on the first night of Chanuka?

    #1195423
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Usually people disturbed by others don’t confront the person.

    Perhaps, perhaps not.

    However, that doesn’t prove that there was anyone who was disturbed. If you want to argue that people were disturbed, then the burden of proof is on you to show that there was someone who was disturbed by my use of my Ipad, not on me to show that no one was disturbed.

    The Wolf

    #1195424
    147
    Participant

    Would you address an important emperor or king or queen looking at your phone, or be on your job interview using your phone?

    #1195425
    R.T.
    Participant

    Au Contraire.

    If someone wants to daven from his i-phone, Kol HaKavod. It means more Siddurim for other people (who don’t use a phone) to use.

    I personally daven from my siddur (well a few, but that’s a different matter).

    However, it’s often the case that Mispallelim come to the Bais Medrash and can’t find a siddur (since most are taken).

    #1195426
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Would you address an important emperor or king or queen looking at your phone, or be on your job interview using your phone?

    I wouldn’t address him looking down at a book either.

    The Wolf

    #1195427
    shmendrick
    Member

    A very wise person advised me on this issue: “Mind your own siddur”.

    Davening, when we pour our hearts to Hashem, is not a time to be judgmental of others, lest c”v we be judged too.

    There is a time and a place to be critical and judgmental – but davening is not that time.

    #1195428
    kako
    Participant

    I don’t see anything wrong with davening from a phone, if you are really davening. If you are sephardi and go to an ashkenazi shul, most likely you are not going to find a sephardi siddur.

    What does bother me, is when people assume that all jews in the US are ashkenazi.

    #1195429
    frummy in the tummy
    Participant

    As long as someone is the kind of person who won’t be distracted by other apps on the device while davening, why does it matter? Does technology bother you? Most electronic devices are easier to hold than siddurim.

    #1195430
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Would you address an important emperor or king or queen looking at your phone, or be on your job interview using your phone?

    I am sure Hashem can tell if you are using the phone as a siddur as opposed to reading e-mails and doesnt care if its an electronic book, real book or by heart

    #1195431
    eliezer
    Member

    And I’m sure that when printing just began, people who Davened Ba’al Peh were bothered by those who used a printed Siddur.

    There are so many down sides to technology, why do we need to nitpick and denegrate those who use technology for Divrei Kedusha.

    Halevai that all iPhones and iPads be used for Divrei Kedusha only.

    Why does it bother you? Because you don’t have one?

    #1195432
    oomis
    Participant

    As long as the phone is not ringing or disturbing to anyone in anyway, how is that any different from using a siddur? Is there any way to disable the phone aspect, while it is being used as a siddur? If not, then maybe it COULD be a problem.

    #1195433
    BB152
    Participant

    Please don’t get upset with me. I certainly understand where you are coming from. I am one of those who uses the phone siddur. My phone siddur happens to have extra prayers that regular siddurim don’t have. It also has English Translations. I use my phone siddur (at least for the Amidah, because of the extra optional prayers and english translations). During Shaharit, I will use a traditional siddur for everything except the Amidah and Tachanun.

    I am not perfect, and sometimes I do wish that when the siddur app is open, the rest of the phone would be disabled. All in all, its more good than bad for me (I hope).

    #1195434
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Oomis,

    Airplane mode.

    #1195435
    shmendrick
    Member

    Next thread: Learning from Kindel or Ipad in bais medresh…is anyone bothered by this?

    #1195436
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Next thread: Learning from Kindel or Ipad in bais medresh…is anyone bothered by this?

    Why should it be any worse than using a paper book?

    The Wolf

    #1195437
    JustHavingFun
    Participant

    I was at a shul that davened nusach sfard and I only know ashkenaz/couldn’t find the “regular” artscrol (the extra words in sfard confuse me). So I used my iPhone app.

    Whoopee! Double bonus!!! Kept seeing what my “Words with Friends” opponents were playing popping up at top… and their words weren’t as strong as mine. Now that’s real davening!

    #1195438
    N.G
    Member

    Some times the siddurim are ripped why take a chance.

    People also do it to show off.

    #1195439
    R.T.
    Participant

    “Learning from Kindel or Ipad in bais medresh”

    Daven or learn from clay tablets if you wish. Remember, most people learned from Klafs before book printing became popular.

    #1195440
    rebdoniel
    Member

    I find davening from a phone to be tacky, but believe firmly that laptops and tablets can be used in the beit midrash; with Koren and Artscroll apps, online shiurim, Bar Ilan, etc, it saves a lot of time. Ii heard from R’ Mordechai Willig that spending time looking up mekoros, locating sefarim on a shelf, etc., is considered bitul torah, and you get no schar for it, which would actually make using Bar Ilan a mitzvah.

    #1195441
    shmendrick
    Member

    Wolf – “Why should it be any worse than using a paper book?”

    Short answer: Tradition.

    We dress “traditional”, some even wear the clothes of the “old country” (at various levels: homberg, kapotte, shtreimel, white socks, knickers etc.). We certainly don’t wear latest styles of clothing and hairstyles. This is because we keep to our “Traditions”.

    Yes, after a while the tradition evolves, especially after the porkay ol are poretz geder, but we, the frum olom, are not to be the “Nachshon ben Aminodov” of tumah to jump into new cultures and styles.

    If this applies to our livush and our hairstyle, how much more so to our learning in the bais hamedresh, that it should remain as true as possible to the bais hamedresh in Villna, in Lodz, Lublin, Rastov etc. The learning in the bais hamedresh should be in a way that if the Vilna Goan walked in, he would know he is in a mokom Torah. He should see chavrusas leaning over a Vilna Shas, not a Kindle or Ipad!

    #1195442
    rebdoniel
    Member

    The Vilna Shas is a modern innovation, relatively speaking, just like the printing press, in the course of Jewish history.

    And it was one developed by Christians, the Romm family.

    It has no inherent kedusha or worth. It came about through chance, an accident of history. The Bar Ilan cd gives us an efficient, effective means of learning, and it should be utilized fully.

    And as far as levush goes: the Borsalino hat that is so beloved in the yeshiva world only became popular after mafia movies came out. It is due only to another accident of history that this hat became popularly worn. There is nothing inherently holy about clothing styles copied from gentiles and 18th century Polish nobility. Halakhically, a talmid hakham must cover his head and wear clothing that is clean, well-maintained, and tasteful, as well as modest. This is the only requirement halakha places on such dress. You’re speaking in sociological terms, not religious ones.

    #1195443
    Ðash®
    Participant

    The learning in the bais hamedresh should be in a way that if the Vilna Goan walked in, he would know he is in a mokom Torah. He should see chavrusas leaning over a Vilna Shas, not a Kindle or Ipad!

    Although I don’t know what edition of Shas the Vilna Gaon used, it certainly wasn’t the Vilna Shas.

    #1195444
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Wolf – “Why should it be any worse than using a paper book?”

    Short answer: Tradition.

    Ah, so had you been around 500 years ago, you would have opposed learning from printed seforim. You’d be there, standing on your soapbox (yes, I know that’s an anachronism) screaming about printed books that weren’t written by hand.

    Yes, after a while the tradition evolves, especially after the porkay ol are poretz geder,

    Apparently, according to you, the people who advocated learning from non-handwritten seforim were “porkay ol” and “poretz geder.”

    Do you realize how ridiculous you sound?

    The Wolf

    #1195445
    yosefc18
    Member

    Im not sure about the right and wrong on this issue, but i did hear from my rebbe that the text from the actual paper siddur have kedusha to it which you dont get from reading/praying from an electronic device.

    #1195446
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Do you realize how ridiculous you sound?

    The Wolf

    Actually, I think he does.

    #1195447
    lesschumras
    Participant

    Shmendrick reminds me of people who use mesora to fight any change but have no clue what mesora is. Frumkeit has ossified only in the last ten 250 years as a reaction to Reform and secularism. The davening, for example was constantly being added to. Just look at the piyuttim from yomim norayim. Most were composed between 800 and 1300. Kol Nidre was added in the middle ages, as was Nesane Tokef. Kabalas Shabbos is only about 500 years old.

    A typical response is that we are not of their madriga, but then neither were the people who made the changes compared to generations that preceded them

    #1195448
    R.T.
    Participant

    rebdoniel — Very good. I’ve written the same thing in other forums. Perhaps we learned together at one point?

    At any rate. To put succintly, there is no Jewish Levush except for Kippah, Tallis & Kittel. Tefillin is difficult to describe as a Levush, more as a Tachshit.

    Here is a definition of Jewish Levush that I came up with:

    ….Articles of clothing made specifically and exclusively for Jewish people to wear.

    In that definition, neither the white shirt, nor the black suit/slack, nor black hat would fit the above since these articles of clothing are available to the general population at large.

    Everyone can wear a white shirt and black suit. Bank executives on Wall Street/Bay Street (Toronto) do. Does that make them Jewish?

    Shmendrick: As rebdoniel wrote above, much of what you think as religious is really cultural/sociological. That does not mean we don’t keep to our traditions. It does mean that when people wear clothing that is different from what is expected in a certain environment, say a Bais Medrash; we treat that person no different and show them the respect that is due to them.

    #1195449
    Naftush
    Member

    Shmendrik, why take tradition only back to “the bais hamedresh in Villna (sic), in Lodz, Lublin, Rastov etc.”? Why not back to the mellah in Iran, where half the worshippers were blind and most of the others were illiterate? Why not back to the Gemara in Megilla, which allowed whole villages to reschedule Purim for market day because no one back home could lain the megilla? Or to the Gemara in Rosh Hashana that describes the “people in the fields,” who didn’t know how to daven at all but might get some benefit from hearing the shofar?

    #1195450
    oomis
    Participant

    D”Y, pardon my ignorance, but what is airplane mode exactly (I have an idea, but am not sure). I only have a plain cell phone (not interested in all the bells and whistles like downloading apps). SO I gather you are saying there is a mode that can temporarily disable the phone apps, so they will not be intrusive while davening.

    My only other question about this is, would using this cause OTHER people to be distracted by the mere SIGHT of a phone being used for davening? If so, then maybe it could be problematic, even if halachically technically perfectly ok.

    #1195451
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    There is a Levush Yehudi…

    The Nazis made the jews wear a Yellow Star and they copied the idea from the Rome and Venitian Ghettos where the jews were forced to wear a mark of shame

    #1195452
    rebdoniel
    Member

    Paper doesn’t have kedusha. The words printed on it have kedusha, which is why a siddur goes into genizah.

    The point is that people should daven.

    And, an above poster says that much of we do is relatively recent. I cannot stress this enough.

    Remember- minhag has the same gematria as gehinam.

    Just because our forefathers did something doesn’t make it right. Eicha says that our forefathers were idol worshipers, which is true. To say that something becomes holy only because klal yisrael does it, not because it is commanded by the Torah, is not Orthodox. It is, however, exactly what Mordechai Kaplan wrote about. Claiming that minhag yisrael is inherently holy, especially when it contravenes halakha, makes one a Reconstructionist, and pasul.

    #1195453
    musser zoger
    Participant

    RD –The Vilna Shas is a modern innovation, relatively speaking, just like the printing press, in the course of Jewish history.

    And it was one developed by Christians, the Romm family.

    THe Brothers and widow Romm who developed the Vilna Shas were indeed Jewish.

    #1195454
    shmendrick
    Member

    One of the zchusim that redeemed the Yidden from Mitzrayim is that they kept their levushim. These levushim were not the “yellow star”, the ” Kippah, Tallis & Kitte” (and/or Teffilin), rather it was the levushim similar to the intrinsic definition of what we wear today, albeit, without the “modern” twists.

    The clothes were tzius both practically and in spirit. The colors and style were modest and humble (comparable in this sense to the modern dress which evolved to a simple white button down shirt and black suit for men and black skirts/dresses for the women as is the minhag in the Torah city of Lakewood).

    [The clothes they “borrowed” from the Mitzrim, it says in some seforim that they were only used on the children of the B.Y. because they were too short and not tznius in spirit for adults}.

    Minhagim are the very cornerstone of yiddishkeit, hence the “4 questions” on Pessach includes the question of “matbilim” – merely a minhag, but that keeps our Tradition alive.

    In halacha it is mentioned (Shulchon Oruch Y.D.) that a minhag is (at times) more chomur than a din. The Gemarah also mentions that b’shas cherum, yidden must give up their lives for a minhag, even the color of their shoes!

    It is TOTALLY inappropriate and painful to see on a frum Yeshiva website comments that seem to mock minhagim and say that minhagim is gematriya gehenim, something straight from the Haskalah/Reform movement. They first attacked minhagim, and then they attacked the Anochi of the Aseres Hadibros. They took out parts of davening and then removed the Kail Adon.

    I am surprised that the frum members are not howling in protest! B”h I have the opportunity to be mikayim l’shem yichud the mitzvah d’oraysa of Hochayach Tochiach and make this public machoah.

    #1195455
    R.T.
    Participant

    “text from the actual paper siddur have kedusha to it which you dont get from reading/praying”

    The text has the kedusha, not the paper. If you want kedusha, hire a sofer to write out the entire text on real Klaf (like S.T.A.M.) in Ktav Ashurit.

    “There is a Levush Yehudi…The Nazis made the jews wear a Yellow Star … mark of shame”

    Sad truth, zahavsdad. But clearly, that’s a beged forced on us, not one mandated by the Torah or Chaza”l.

    #1195456
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Oomis,

    Please don’t call yourself ignorant. You are well informed about more important things (and, more importantly, a real “mentch”, if I may use that term for a lady. Other posters (myself included) have much to learn from your respectful and pleasant manner).

    Anyhow, airplane mode (it may be called something else on some models) shuts off all active connections, including the phone, data, wi-fi, and all messaging. Aside from davening, it is useful in situations where you can’t use the phone for these things, and conserves battery.

    I agree that it might be problematic even if not halachically so; I personally don’t do it. But since it’s certainly not assur, there are situations where it might be appropriate. And it’s really more a question of what people are used to, so it might not be appropriate in some places, but perfectly fine in others.

    #1195457
    Mayan_Dvash
    Participant

    Is it worse to have your phone go off during davening, or voicing your opinion about it to your neighbor during Chazaras Hashatz?

    ;

    #1195458
    rebdoniel
    Member

    There is still nothing inherently valuable or holy about the Vilna Shas. I find the txt format of Shas on Hebrew Books.org to be far more user-friendly.

    #1195459
    musser zoger
    Participant

    Shmendrick, I will say your screen name is very fitting for you.

    #1195460
    Naysberg
    Member

    With a kindle or phone you miss the kedusha of the words in the siddur.

    #1195461
    shmendrick
    Member

    “The text has the kedusha, not the paper. If you want kedusha, hire a sofer to write out the entire text on real Klaf (like S.T.A.M.) in Ktav Ashurit.”

    The paper of a siddur or chumash has a din of shaimos requiring geniza. No need to davka have a klaf and ksav ashuris. A broken Kindel or Ipad, no matter how much Torah was downloaded on it – does not become shaimos.

    [There is an interesting shaylah about deleting a page that contains shaimos sh’ainom nimchokim from a computer or electronic device – I leave that for another thread].

    #1195462
    R.T.
    Participant

    “One of the zchusim that redeemed the Yidden from Mitzrayim is that they kept their levushim.”

    That’s a very true and famous statement quoted, but I am hardpressed to actually find the source in Midrashim. Perhaps you can find the source and quote it for me.

    “colors and style were modest and humble (comparable in this sense to the modern dress which evolved to a simple white button down shirt and black suit for men and black skirts/dresses for the women as is the minhag in the Torah city of Lakewood).”

    So what is worn by Rav Ovadia Yosef, shlit”a and Rav Shlomo Amar, shlit”a and the Chachamim of Medinot Sefardi are not considered modest, since they posess color?

    The Ariza”l says that interestingly enough, a person should avoid wearing black clothes altogether on Shabbat (& presumably Yom Tov) and that in his day, Talmidei Chachamim were punished (revealed to the Ariza’l in dreams) for wearing black on Shabbat. As a matter of fact, the Kaf HaChaim in O.C. (I believe in Siman 262) says that a person should avoid wearing black on our holy day.

    The Tur in Hilchot Rosh HaShanna almost echoes the same sentiment by saying the Umot HaOlam when they are in a state of judgement wear black, but we, Bnai Yisrael who have confidence in HaShem wear white on our Rosh HaShanna. I believe he derives this from a statement of Rabbenu BeChaye in Sedra Shoftim or Mishpatim.

    And then, there’s the famous portrait of the Tzemach Tzedek (3rd Rebbe of Lubavitch) and Baba Sali, ZTVK”L always wearing white clothes.

    Yes, Shmedrick; I wear black suit and white shirts as well. And truth be told, I am careful to change to colors on Shabbos (usually gray or deep blue)

    #1195463
    shmendrick
    Member

    Kabbolistically, a person should wear only white (davka)on shabbos – seems it represents chesed (while black is for gevuros). Those that are noheg al pi kabbalah should follow their minhagim. Unless you consistently follow kabbalah minhagim – it is irrelevant to you.

    In any event, the white (and not “colors”) is consistent with the color scheme of other yidden who wear white and black.

    Regarding the so-called “famous portrait of the Tzemach Tzedek (3rd Rebbe of Lubavitch)…always wearing white clothes” – I once saw this DRAWING (not a photograph) and it seemed to have been sketched in black and white, thus the fact that there was no color in his hat or bekkishe is no rayah at all.

    Some Rosh Yeshivas, as in CHaim Berlin etc. on shabbos would wear their talis by folding the black stripes on their shoulder UNDER the talis so that only the white part of the talis showed. This way they were yotzeh the kabbalistic need to “wear white” on shabbos.

    On yomim noroyim (strictly mmarried men) wear kittels, to be yotzeh wearing white (among other reasons) but no hakpodeh to wear ONLY white (pants, shoes etc).

    Wearing gray and/or blue is stam being poetz geder, and as generations decline, following your derech of prikus ol of the black-white malbush, your grandchildren may wear orange and pink r”l. That can happen when we start making minor adjustments to “al titosh toras imecha”.

    If you leave a straight path by just one degree, after a few miles you won’t be able to see the path you left.

    #1195464
    R.T.
    Participant

    Shmendrick: What do you think you know about Kabbalah? Nothing at all. Don’t you dare start reading Sifrei Kabbalah. You are playing with fire. And how dare you insult the Mesora of my Mishpacha, a family of Chashuve Rabbanim, Dayanim and Mekubalim. I can be mochel on my Kavod, but not Mochel for my Tatti or my Zeida, ZTVK”L or my ancestors who had an uncompromising dedication to HaShem and Torah Yiddishkeit.

    The period of Shovavim is coming up. While I will not recommend to anyone any of the Gedarim involved, it is a period of Teshuva. I suggest you avail yourself of the opportunity.

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