18 September 2012

For Young Jews, a Service Says, ‘Please, Do Text’

For Young Jews, a Service Says, ‘Please, Do Text’ By Lizette Alvarez (New York Times, 17 September 2012)

Settling into their seats for Rosh Hashana service, the twentysomethings instinctively reached for their cellphones to turn them off, anticipating an admonition they hear often at synagogue.Then they looked up at the white screen behind the rabbi: Pray. Write. Text.And text they did for nearly 90 minutes, sending out regrets, goals, musings and blissful thoughts, all anonymously for everyone to see.“Let’s see some texting, guys,” Rabbi Amy L. Morrison told the group. “Take those phones out.” What do you need to let go of, she asked the congregants, in order to be “fully present”?Hunched over their phones, they let loose their words and watched them scroll into view: Past mistakes. Shyness. Anger. Fear of failure. Self-pity. Ego. Doubt. Control.

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