Thanks to PDAs like the iPhone and the Blackberry, the pious Jew can now call up his required prayers any time he needs them. He can hold up his PDA and sway back and forth talking to HaShem from the depths of his heart and his technology.
I am not a pious Jew, but I am doubly blessed by this development. Not only can I find the prayers I need whenever I need them, more importantly, I can find the New York Times when I’m at minyan and instead of going out of my mind with boredom during my required prayers, I can sway back and forth calling out to G-d from the depths of my being while reading interesting articles about the world around me.
My Blackberry is truly a lifesaver.
I used to read books during minyan. Pious books (does Philip Roth count as pious), or at least Jewish-themed books, would get me through these dreaded minutes and hours of tedium. But this was rude of me. It disrupted the holiness of the minyan. It made me look checked out from the obligation to pray. It brought everyone down.
Now I can sway back and forth as vigorously as the most pious Jew but not go out of my mind because while it appears I am reciting my prayers from my PDA, I’m reading the Drudge Report.
Mahla posts: “Jews were pioneers in electronic prayers, were they not? With the fax service to put prayers in the Wall.”
Dave emails: “At the Tisha Bav reading of Lamentations at Bath Jacob, I saw several losers following the chanting on their PDAs. One guy was even sticking his iPhone in peoples’ faces to show them how “cool” he was for downloading Eicha. Imagine following such a stirring description of exile and destruction on a technobauble.”