Texting on Shabbos could be worse than murder

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  • #598365

    on the ball
    Participant

    I am moved to write this in response to the recent thread about texting on Shabbos which has terribly sadly and unbelievably become common in some (limited) circles. Hashem Yerachem!!! What have our generation come to when en masse you have young people ‘frum’ in all other respects, trampling on one of the most important Mitzvos we have, on one of the Aseres Hadibros.

    As Jews who believe in the Torah – the ultimate guide to right and wrong – we HAVE to align our priorities with those of the Torah.

    Both murder and chillul Shabbos are capital offences. Yet according to Chazal, the punishment meted out to someone who desecrates Shabbos – stoning – is more severe than that given to a murderer – death by the sword.

    The outcry over the murder of Leiby Kletzky a’h is justified to the highest degree.

    THE OUTCRY OVER CHILLUL SHABBOS BY OUR YOUTH SHOULD BE EQUAL IF NOT GREATER.

    It is hard to appreciate this with our limited human perspective. But we must realise that any chilul Shabos including texting is an act of REBELLION against Hashem – tantamount to denying (ch’v) that He created the world. It is an act that stands diametrically opposed to the ENTIRE PURPOSE OF THIS WORLD – to bring out the Kvod Shomayim and Unity of our Creator.

    #793979

    Hacham
    Member

    Should we treat a mechallel Shabbos with at least the same contempt that we treat a murderer? If not, should we then treat a murderer with the same love we treat a mechallel Shabbos?

    #793980

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    But we must realise that any chilul Shabos including texting is an act of REBELLION against Hashem – tantamount to denying (ch’v) that He created the world.

    Not true. You’re describing every act of chillul Shabbos as one of a mumar l’hachis. I’d say that that’s not true — most cases of chillul Shabbos (including teens texting on Shabbos) is far more likely to be a case of a mumar l’tayavon, which is most definitely not a rebellion, nor a denial of His creation of the world.

    The Wolf

    #793981

    deiyezooger
    Member

    Of course texting on shabbos is terrible but its not a capital offance, its an issur drabanan.

    #793982

    oomis
    Participant

    I do not disagree at all with the well-expressed emotion that is so evident in the OP’s post. OTB makes some very strong points. BUT… Chillul Shabbos, which most certainly is a rejection of Hashem as Creator, is STILL not a yehareig v’al yaavor aveira. Murder is. I think it is a little bit of hyperbole to say texting on Shabbos could be “worse than murder.” A person who is mechallel Shabbos can do teshuvah and turn his life around. All the teshuvah in the world however, will not bring back a murder victim. It is comparing apples and oranges.

    #793983

    1818
    Participant

    with your strident tone and warnings of punishment, you hardly sound like the person who is going to convince our teens to stop this activity.

    Go take a kiruv class. and then write another letter.

    #793984

    And what do you propose be done about it bec yelling and screaming won’t really be very effective

    #793985

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    It is worse to kill than text on Shabbos.

    If someone points a gun to your head and asks you to send a text, you can ask, Pass the phone

    If someone points a gun to your head and asks you to kill someone, you are supposed to die.

    A bit sarcastic way of saying you can be mechallel shabbos to save a life, but you cannot kill to save a life

    #793986

    i don’t understand how texting on shabbos can even become a discussion in the first place. how come we dont see coffer room threads about driving on shabbos, or carrying from a reshus hayachid to a reshus harabim on shabbos?

    #793987

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I am moved to write this

    But do you think this is helpful? Do you really think the problem these kids have is nobody convinced them sufficiently that gehenom is really hot?

    #793988

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    or carrying from a reshus hayachid to a reshus harabim on shabbos?

    There are always Eruv Controversies

    #793989

    Hacham
    Member

    A person who is mechallel Shabbos can do teshuvah and turn his life around. All the teshuvah in the world however, will not bring back a murder victim. It is comparing apples and oranges.

    Both a mechallel Shabbos and a murderer can do teshuva.

    #793990

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Actually, cheating your fellow is worse than both.

    ?”? ??? ??? ????? ?? ???? ???? ?????? ?? ????? ??? ???? ??? (????? ??) ?? ??? ???? ??? (????? ??) ??? ???? ???? ???? ?? ??? ??? ????? (?????? ??) ??? ???? ???? ??? ??? ????? ??? ????? ??? ???? ?????? ???? ???? ???? ??? ???????? ???? ???? ?????? ???? ?? ???? ?????? ??”? ??? ??? ??? ????? ???? ???? ???? ??? ????? ??? ?????? ??? ????? ????? ???? (BB 88B)

    I am appalled by the cheating by so called “frum jews” of both fellow yidden, non yidden and the government, and am making a public Machaa.

    #793991

    Englishman
    Member

    Do you really think the problem these kids have is nobody convinced them sufficiently that gehenom is really hot?

    Unfortunately today too many folks don’t realize how hot gehenim in fact is. If we would stress more how bad the punishment (gehenim) for sin is, there are some people who otherwise would sin that would then refrain.

    #793992

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Without paskining here

    One could also say that a texter us a Tinok sh-ain bo da’as (I think thats how you say it)

    However a murderer knows exactly what they are doing most of the time (unless they are seriously insane like Hinkley) but most are not

    Ive never heard Halacha call a murderer a Tinok sha-ain bo da’as

    #793993

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Unfortunately today too many folks don’t realize how hot gehenim in fact is. If we would stress more how bad the punishment (gehenim) for sin is, there are some people who otherwise would sin that would then refrain.

    lol

    #793994

    Englishman
    Member

    It’s in the mussar seforim. (No, I don’t recall all of them offhand, but there are many.)

    #793995

    Ofcourse
    Member

    Englishman, If we would stress more how bad the punishment (gehenim) for sin is, there are some people who otherwise would sin that would then refrain.

    People do things to satisfy needs, whether right or wrong, healthy or unhealthy, whether they’ll pay for it dearly later or not.

    #793996

    Englishman
    Member

    Clearly the punishment is a deterrent for many, even if not all.

    #793997

    Popa, I would add that Loshon Hara is even worse than all of the above, as the Gemara says that at the end of times Hashem will forgive those who transgressed the 3 big Chamuros- killing/arayos/avoda zara, but Hashem will not forgive those who spoke Loshon Hara randomly -“Uma Yisron L’baal Haloshon”.

    Whoever messed up these teens in the first place, will get the ultimate punishment of all.

    #793998

    the bigger question is what is being taught in Yeshivas? Are the Rebbonim engaging? Do they inspire? Do they answer the students questions intelligently?

    Unfortunately I’m afraid the answer is not really…If the teachers have no passion, then the students may not as well…

    The kids probably say if all those around me are doing wrong, then how bad can it be to send out a text message on shabbos?

    #793999

    shlishi
    Member

    LMA: Not every baal-aveira was necessarily messed up by someone else. More likely than not they messed themselves up. Do you excuse Levi Aron as being messed up by someone else? Do you excuse thieves as being messed up by someone else?

    BTW, using your above criteria you are saying that loshon hora is worse than murder.

    #794000

    always here
    Participant

    oy vey kids these days~ “i don’t understand how texting on shabbos can even become a discussion in the first place.”

    same here. :-O

    #794001

    on the ball
    Participant

    To The Wolf: Even without intending it to be so, the act of Chilul Shabbos in essence is one of extreme rebellion. I was commenting on the ACT not the particular intentions or person carrying it out. It’s a subtle distinction that, judging by your many posts, I am sure you are able to appreciate.

    To Oomis: Everyone (almost) can do Tshuva. A murderer can also do Tshuva. That is not the issue under discussion. Nevuzeradan killed over 40,000 innocent men, women and children and was accepted as a Ger. I was commenting on the severity of the Aveira to start with.

    To 1818 and The Rebel and Popa Bar Aba: This is not a Kiruv forum therefore my tone is totally justified. The Gemara uses far far harsher language against people who desecrate Shabbos. I have once or twice had to talk to people who knew no better about Chilul Shabbos and of course my approach was completely different, much softer emphasising the beauty of Shabbos etc with no mention at all of rebellion etc. This does not detract in any way from the correctness in utterly condemning Chilul Shabbos in the harshest way possible in the appropriate setting. The truth is the truth is the truth.

    To Zahavasdad: You make an excellent point about Chilul Shabos being OK in a situation of Pikuach Nefesh as opposed to murder. However if you learn carefully Rashi in Sanhedrin (daf 74) it appears that this is not due to the severity of the crime of murder. Rather he explains as follows: That the Torah values all Jewish life over any mitzva/aveira. So if faced between losing your life and doing an aveira – the life comes first. However in the case of murder where by doing the aveira anyway a life will be lost, there is nothing to be gained by doing the aveira. So the Heter of Pikuach Nefesh falls away.

    #794002

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    This is not a Kiruv forum therefore my tone is totally justified.

    Of course. But do you want to be justified or helpful?

    #794003

    on the ball
    Participant

    PBA: For now – justified. This is the Yeshiva World for Heaven’s sake. Open up a Kiruv Forum and I’ll be helpful if I can. I’m sorry the Torah is not hefker.

    #794004

    Ofcourse
    Member

    pba, But do you want to be justified or helpful?

    I agree! No one was ever forced/scolded/frightened/warned to do Mitzvos or abstain from Aveiros and then did so willingly.

    #794005

    Shilishi: I didn’t mean to infer that all children who text on Shabbos r”l are emotionally messed up. Many children are just not too inspired to keep Yiddishkeit. However, the many teens who are actually messed up emotionally, as a result of their parents/rabbaim abuse and humiliation, are definitely in the category of ‘Oi’nes’, and logically it would seem that the parents/rabbeim carry the ultimate responsibility for the child’s future actions, or they are at least responsible for the aveira of Ritzicha for emotionally killing this child for life.

    I don’t think Levi Aron’s actions is comparable to teens being mechalel shabbos; someone doesn’t kill a child unless he has muderous instincts with perverted ta’avos which he desires to fulfill; however through abusive/humiliating parents a child can lose his whole desire for Yiddishkeit, making all mitzvos absolutely meaningless to him. would you go daven each day if the words in tefila have absolutely no emotional meaning to you at all?

    And I was just qouting a Gemara regarding the severity of the issur of Loshon Hara; are you disagreeing with the Gemara?

    #794006

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Ok. That is fine. I guess I just got confused about your intent here.

    I suppose my follow question is that you seem to assume that the kids who text on shabbos are really doing something so bad and it is what the gemara’s you reference are talking about.

    I disagree. I think these kids have been misguided and mistreated, and are barely to blame for what they are doing, and it is not at all what the gemara’s are talking about.

    You might wonder: how did it happen that suddenly we just have so many reshaim? The answer has to be that they really aren’t such reshaim. Because any other answer supposes there is a cause, and if there is a cause, then they simply are not that bad.

    #794007

    on the ball
    Participant

    PBA: I am not judging the kids that text or calling anybody Reshaim. I am simply stating that the act of Chilul Shabbos is more severe than people realise. How or why they are doing it is not the point I am currently trying to address. Maybe some are less at fault than othes. This does not take away from the objective fact that the Aveira in and of itself is extremely Chomur. It carries the severest punishment Beis Din can carry out as well as Kareis. It is mentioned countless times in the Torah.

    As a side point, if Ch’v there would be a rampant problem of kids starting to hurt each other (as exists in other communities that I will not name)- there would be much less tolerance. Very little call for understanding, tinok shenishba etc.

    We need to have zero tolerance for Chilul Shabbos. How we get there is up for debate – all I am saying is that WE NEED TO HONESTLY APPRAISE OUR RESPONSE TO CHILUL SHABBOS. Is our different response than to that of murder due to a lack of appreciation for its severity?

    #794008

    Mayan_Dvash
    Participant

    Hmmm, this one reminds me of the time when one of our (not so frum) teachers tried to convince us that Shabbos is holier than Yom Kippur!!

    #794009

    on the ball
    Participant

    Mayan Dvash: Maybe that teacher wasn’t so wrong.

    Chilul Shabos is a capital crime, unlike Yom Kipur.

    #794010

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I understand now. You are asking why we do not have an emotional and visceral reaction to chillul shabbos like we do to murder. Perhaps not so much asking why, as bemoaning the fact that it is the case.

    (As an aside, I have just as much understanding for the kids who hurt others as the ones who break shabbos. Kids who are unusually aggressive are probably being hurt by someone else. It is probably the easiest connection to make in the world of psychology.)

    #794011

    a story of a Gadol who came to Eretz Yisroel

    he was known to not leave his house on Shabbos

    when finally asked to explain he said that the first Shabbos in E’Y he saw someone smoking and he fainted.

    the questioner stopped him and said, oh so thats why you dont leave the house on Shabbos?

    he said no

    its because the next Shabbos he again saw someone smoking…..and he didnt faint

    #794012

    EzratHashem
    Member

    I was going to say…the whole topic of gays getting so much freedom of expression can only be attributed to the fact that society in general has taken a much less stringent approach than was once accepted. In my grandparents time, such a vote as we had in NY last month would not even have been anyone’s nightmare yet. People become habituated after being exposed for a duration.

    #794013

    I was also shocked by the matter of fact question why texting is ok.. Like it’s a given! I know some people who have serious problems, i.e. depression etc. but they still don’t TEXT ON SHABBOS! Even if someone is “messed up” something very important is missing in circles where they are not afraid to violate such a basic in yiddishkeit. It means they don’t have any yiras shmayim/ i.e. Unfortunately today too many folks don’t realize how hot gehenim in fact is. If we would stress more how bad the punishment (gehenim) for sin is, there are some people who otherwise would sin that would then refrain…..

    #794014

    Mayan_Dvash
    Participant

    on the ball: Is that why Yom Kippur is called Shabbos Shabboson? Chilul Yom Kippur is not capital? Or is Misa Bidai Shomayim not as bad as Misas Beis Din?

    #794015

    Health
    Participant

    On the ball – I’m sorry to say you are quite wrong!

    The Rambam in Hilchos Rozeach says right after the Mishna of Kipa – (I’ll translate) “We only do this for killing people and not for other people whom have to be killed by Bais Din. If they are required to get killed by Bais Din -we kill them; if not, not.

    Even though there are Aveiros which are more Chamor than killing, they don’t have in them the destruction of the world like killing.

    Even Avodah Zorah and for sure not Arayos or Chillul Shabbos, aren’t like Shificas Domim (killing)! Because these Aveiros are Bein Odom L’mokom, but killing are from the Aveiros of Beim Odom L’chaveiro and anybody whom has this Aveirah in their hand is a Rosha Gomor, etc…”

    By the word “Chamor”, I think the Rambam means worse punishment.

    I can understand your frustration about texting, esp. if it is a Dorysah, but screaming Fire and Brimstone never brought anybody back to Yiddishkeit on a long term basis. The saying goes -“You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”!

    #794016

    Englishman
    Member

    It means they don’t have any yiras shmayim/ i.e. Unfortunately today too many folks don’t realize how hot gehenim in fact is. If we would stress more how bad the punishment (gehenim) for sin is, there are some people who otherwise would sin that would then refrain…..

    Could not agree with you more No One Special.

    #794017

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    on the ball-

    I think you are making a serious mistake, factually and practically.

    First of all, I believe you are incorrect. Chazal say terrible things about lots of aveiros, it’s their way of giving mussar. Look at what they say about anger, nivul peh, lashon hara, and lots of other things. There is a very simple reason why they weren’t ma’arich very much about murder – people already appreciate how bad it is, but obviously it’s worse (Let’s start by mentioning that it’s one of the 3 chamuros and it’s one of the 7 mitzvos).

    Secondly, even if you are correct, at the end of the day you cannot and will not ever change the fact that people are more sensitive to murder than to chillul shabbos. You’ll say – so what, it’s the truth! But the point is, when you tell people something that goes against their deepest feelings they will not take you seriously. I’m not saying not to criticize, go ahead and tell people they’re doing the wrong thing (as long as they actually are and you follow the guidelines of the halachos of tochacha)! But be careful that people shouldn’t look at you like you’re crazy, or they’ll never listen. And if you tell people that chillul shabbos (l’teyavon, and b’tzinah too in most cases which I would assume was not what chazal were referring to) is worse then the Kletzky murder, that is exactly what nearly everyone will feel, even the frumest of the frum, whether you like it or not.

    #794018

    oomis
    Participant

    Both a mechallel Shabbos and a murderer can do teshuva.”

    But a murderer who does teshuvah still only gets a kapara with his death. The mechallel Shabbos who does teshuvah does not need to die in order to be forgiven.

    #794019

    on the ball
    Participant

    Mayan Dvash: Shabas Shabason? – Point taken – I’ll concede maybe Yom Kippur is as holy or holier than Shabos. I think though that R’ Avigdor Miller in one of his books states the opposite. Yom Kipur though does not carry chiyuv misah bidei shomayim – it’s Onesh is Kareis.

    Health: On the contrary, your quote from the Rambam proves my point PRECISELY. Kipah is applied to murderers NOT BECAUSE OF THE GRAVITY OF THE SIN OVER OTHERS like Avodah Zorah, Shabos etc, but because it has the unique aspect of ‘destroying society’ warranting the immediate response of doing away with whatever is causing this.

    Regarding your point about me screaming Fire and Brimstone etc. Please look at my previous posts where I have already explained that I am not proposing this response as a way to get the kids back on track. Obviously it would not work. But this is not a Kiruv Forum. This is the Yeshivah World. My point is that people identifying with the Yeshivah/Torah orientated outlook should be crying and at least internally protesting at what’s going on with our kids as much as they would in response to murder. How you talk to the kids is a different discussion.

    #794020

    on the ball
    Participant

    Yitayningwut: Re your first point: According to Rashi in Sanhedrin 74 it’s only one of the 3 aveiros for which you give up your life not because of it’s severity but because the cheshbon of the Heter of Pikuach Nefesh breaks down (please see my previous post). I would also say that’s one of the 7 mitzvos because it is fundamental to societal harmony. This does not prove it is more chamur than Chilul Shabos.

    Re your 2nd point – if it’s the truth, then in the right context (i.e. not necessarily in a Kiruv class) it should be stated, people’s feelings not withstanding. We have to align our feelings and emotions to those of the Torah. There are people who feel passionately and make convincing arguments both intellectual and emotional in support of many wrong stances like euthanasia, alternative relationships etc. We do not flinch and are unimpressed. Our priorities, outlook, emotional responses must be guided by our 3000+ year old heritage.

    #794021

    I think on the ball was not trying to say that chilul shabbos is worse than the kletzky murder, but bring out the point, that well, even non-jews get shaken up by murder. A jew who cares about Hashem, needs to be pained also when he sees frum kids texting on shabbos. When you don’t have yiras shmayim and are mechalel shabbos, and just follow your impulses, you can chas vshalom eventually reach a point where you follow your impulse to murder too. The essential point is that yiras shmayim is the only thing that can ALWAYS keep you from any aveirah.

    #794022

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I was also shocked by the matter of fact question why texting is ok.. Like it’s a given!

    No, it wasn’t a given, it was a troll.

    #794023

    And when frum kids are not keeping shabbos, who knows if it doesn’t chas vshalom bring tragedies on the world. Kol yisrael areivim ze l’ze

    #794024

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    I would like to suggest something to put a lot of this into perspective and maybe make some peace between the two sides here.

    There is a theory in psychology known as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It is typically represented by a pyramid with the lowest level being physical needs and the highest level being self actualization and the middle everything in between. Very basically, it says that a person has various levels of needs, and if a more basic need is not satisfied, a person will not even have the urge for something higher up on the pyramid. Thus, for example, if a person hasn’t eaten in three days, he won’t be feeling the urge to belong, etc.

    If I were to ask, what is the most meaningful, the top of the pyramid or the bottom? Most people would say, of course, in truth the top is much more meaningful. Yet the top means nothing to a person who doesn’t have the bottom.

    The Rambam explains in a few places that the purpose of the peace and all the good promised throughout Tanach is to one day create an environment for which man will be able to perfect himself and become close to Hashem. Similarly, all the rules of Bein Adam L’chaveiro are to create a functioning society. And the point of a functioning society? So that a person has the capability to work on perfecting himself. The functioning society is not the end, it is the means.

    Looking back at Maslow’s pyramid in light of this understanding of mitzvos, one might say that in the world of the Torah Shabbos may very well be at the top of the pyramid. It is perhaps the ultimate demonstration of one’s belief in Hashem. Perhaps from a detached perspective it is more meaningful than anything else. But one cannot deny that murder is at the very bottom of the pyramid. No society can sustain itself if people can get away with murder. Therefore, practically speaking, we need to worry about that first. And until people are not deficient in hilchos bein adam l’chaveiro, we should hold off telling them off about Shabbos, because for them, since they are still closer to the bottom, not killing truly does have more meaning.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts.

    #794025

    I would say that interenet addiction to immodest sites are just as chamur as texting on shabbos. Once a teen becomes addicted to this r”l, he may lose his feelings of yiras shamayim and then won’t feel a barrier to texting privately on shabbos.

    #794026

    on the ball
    Participant

    No One Special: Thanks for the defence but actually my point was (as per the thread title) that it actually could be worse in some ways. Hard for us to appreciate, but that’s because we live in an alma d’shikra (World of Falsehood).

    #794027

    Health
    Participant

    on the ball – “On the contrary, your quote from the Rambam proves my point PRECISELY. Kipah is applied to murderers NOT BECAUSE OF THE GRAVITY OF THE SIN OVER OTHERS like Avodah Zorah, Shabos etc, but because it has the unique aspect of ‘destroying society’ warranting the immediate response of doing away with whatever is causing this.”

    Ok, maybe it’s my fault you KRUMMED up the Rambam because I only quoted the first half. I just figured a Talmid Chochom like you who feels the necessity to get up on his soap box and give Mussar would surely look up the Rambam! The Rambam is just explaining why Kipa is used as opposed to other Aveiros and giving one reason why killing is worse. He later brings a Rayah that killing is worse than Avodah Zorah. This is why I said the Rambam when he says “Chamor”, must mean in Onesh only!

    “My point is that people identifying with the Yeshivah/Torah orientated outlook should be crying and at least internally protesting at what’s going on with our kids as much as they would in response to murder.”

    I understood your point the first time. But unfortunately, it’s based on a False premise. The Rambam says Klorr that Killing is worse than Chillul Shabbos!

    Who are you to argue on the Rambam just to make a point?

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