Monday, November 1, 2010

Torah vs. Blackberry (or Cell Phone)

Received via email from my chevrusa (who is a very busy entrepreneur who got rid of his Blackberry):
Ever wonder what would happen if we treated the Torah as we treat
our Blackberry (or Cell phone)?

--What if we carried It around in our purse or pocket every day?

--What if we looked through It many times each day?

--What if we turned back to go get It if we forgot it?

--What if we always checked It for messages?

--What if we treated It as if we couldn't manage a day without it?

--What if we gave It to our children as a special gift?

--What if we always took It, and used It, when we traveled?

--What if we always thought to use It in case of an emergency?

---Oh, and one more thing...

Unlike our Blackberry (or Cell phone), we don't have to worry about Torah being
disconnected, because Its “Carrier” never fails.

Set yourself free!
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micha berger said...

I dunno... My b-berry has copies of Chumash with Rashi and Qitzur Shulchan Arukh on it. Thanks to Which has parallel pages for Palm, PocketPC and Symbian phones. And that's just the free offerings.

Even if I am way ahead on the day's daf -- and there is a spare copy of the current and next mesechta on my Kindle -- I have something constructive I can use my cell phone for when I would otherwise be wasting time waiting for something.

(The downside is that one still needs to find time just for some hisbodedus...)

My point is, tools are tools. We can drop one tool after another, in a bid to build ever higher walls around ourselves. Or, we can learn how to be strong enough to use those tools beqedushah ubetaharah.


DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

What you're saying is definitely true as Rav Weinberger has often pointed out and as I have posted about in the past as well.

At the same time, one has to be smart and to know himself and his own weaknesses. As it says in Mishlei I think, the wise man knows not to pass in front of the beis hazonos.

Rav Weinberger has spoken a lot recently about people's unhealthy addiction to Blackberries (iPhones, Droids, etc.). People have to recognzie that they are addicted and get off of it they are using it more for addictive and OCD reaasons than actual business reasons.

My solution actually is that I take the Blackberry off when I come home from work at night and don't wear it on weekends either. I just go to check it often enough that I'm not unresponsive in a neglectful way relative to my job. That way I'm available when I need to be but since it's not on my belt, I'm not tempted to check it obsessively (which is my nature).

Good point, but one has to also be smart and realistic about himself.

Neil Harris said...

Great post.

While not on the same level, I did, as of last Thursday try to stop checking personal email during my work hours.

Fighting that urge as been fairly liberating.

Using technology as a tool isn't all bad, but knowing when to stop is the issue.

Dan said...

I agree. It can be tough. I learn in a Yeshiva, and before my watch broke, I had no problem leaving my phone in my room. However since my watch broke I justify that I need to know the time and I need my phone for that. I am pretty good about not checking it during shiur or learning with my chavrusa, but if he gets up to get a sefer or something, I'm checking it. Thank God, while I have a desire to check it on Shabbos, I have never come to that. I also use it as a siddur as well when away. It especially comes in handy for bentsching.

Anonymous said...

I liked the e-mail you got although with the advanced apps, you can get a lot of Torah on the blackberry.