If you had a meeting with the President would you text on your phone while talking to him? Definitely not when talking to the Kings of kings, HaKadosh Baruch Hu.
It is “normal” now to walk into a shul and see people texting oblivious to where they are and who they are in front of? This must stop! We must protest! This is an issue that exists unfortunately in many shuls. It is a disgrace that we need Gedolei Yisrael to enact decrees to remind us that we are speaking to Hashem when we are in shul! Do you know of any person who would text in the middle of a very important business meeting? While we are davening to Hashem it is a much bigger “business deal” and we must treat it as such. We should take advantage of these opportunities when the Shaarei Shomayim are open! Open your eyes and your heart not your cell phone. We must understand the kedusha of a shul. Davening in a Shul is so important that even if there is no minyan anymore in Shul, one should daven alone in the Shul rather than alone in his own home (unless at home there is a minyan).
The Pasuk (Amos 4:12) states “HeKon LiKra’as Elokecha Yisroel- Prepare yourself [when you go to] greet Hashem”. Chazal (Shabbos 10b) learn from this Pasuk that when one davens [to Hashem] he/she must act as if they are standing in front of a king and talking to him with trepidation and awe. The Chasidim HaRishonim used to prepare an entire hour before the beginning of davening and their talking to Hashem. We are fortunate to be granted a meeting with the King [of kings], three times daily, every single day of our lives! We must realize the awesomeness of this opportunity, and not take it for granted. One who talks during Chazaras HaShatz is a sinner, and this sin is too great for any individual to bear, maybe the same applies to texting? (This is the one and only place the Shulchan Aruch uses such language regarding not keeping a Halacha.) If one will talk in Shul, it is better for him/her to not come in the first place (Kaf HaChaim Siman 151:8 and Chida in Sefer Pesach Einayim); maybe this also applies to someone who is texting during Davening? Here is something that should terrify us: One who talks during davening has no portion in Olam Haba, the world to come. (Sefer M’Am Loez Parshas Bamidbar), and what about someone who ignores Chazaras hashatz by texting?
As we approach Rosh Hashanah and eventually Yom Kippur and we are being judged, how much more so to establish an end to this! These are my words of protest for kavod haTorah. My bracha to everyone and to myself is that we should be zoche to win over our yetzer hara and to be competent to daven to HaKadosh Baruch Hu without any distractions.
A Bothered Yid