Monday, September 10, 2012

Phones on Yom Tov?!?

I'm sorry but from every angle that I look at it, this is just plainly wrong.  How can one truly be observant of the High Holidays when they are posting on facebook and tweeting during services?!?
But congregants at a Miami Beach High Holidays service for young adults will be asked to use their cellphones to send text messages to the rabbi during parts of the Rosh Hashanah evening service this year.
Unless one is a medical doctor on call, they have no reason on earth to have a phone with them!  It's wrong.  How many times do I have to say this?  On Shabbas, we are to refrain from using any form of electricity.  This includes our phones as well.  It's because using them would be a violation of the the 39 melachot--the things that we are to refrain from doing or using on the day of rest.

How will sending a text message to a Rabbi make praying to G-d more meaningful or holier?  It simply will not.  It distracts you from the service.  This is why schmoozing is inappropriate during davening.  If one prefers to schmooze, please go into the hallway and do so.  Please do not do it in the Sanctuary.

It's not just mind-baffling.  It's flat out disgusting.  You want more bad news?  Please, keep reading.
The unusual service is just one way that technology and social media are changing Jewish observances in certain communities. While an increasing number of synagogues are offering real-time Internet streaming of services for those unable or unwilling to participate in person, some shuls have begun to incorporate social media into the congregational experience.

At Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas, Calif., also a Reform temple, Rabbi Paul Kipnes has tentative plans to encourage congregants with smartphones to use Facebook to reflect on the shofar after it is blown for the second time during the service.
No! Do not live stream the service on the Internet!  Why don't you just add a band to the lineup if you are going to disgrace the holiest days of the year!

Do not incorporate digital media during Shabbas or High Holiday services.  Please refrain from doing so.  It goes against everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, those holidays stand for!


Mike Barer said...

Since my knowledge of Hebrew is thin, I've joked about using my translator app during the service.

JaclynsMusings said...

I have spent the last 4 High Holy Days in the hospital. That meant not singing in choir or even attending services. Then I found several synagogues streaming services. Although that first year, I could only find ONE synagogue doing so. Each year since there have been more and more options/choices for services. And while none have exactly the same choral music as my synagogue, I have found a couple that come quite close. This year a close family friend has to stay home with her mother who is unable to attend as she is in hospice. She knew I had watched services online the last several years and so she'll now be able to comply with her mom's request to still be able to 'attend' services but from the comfort of her own bed. Everyone is entittled to their opinion and while I would be against using cell phones during services and don't like that idea, I do very much appreciate the ability to watch services from anywhere, including a hospital bed.