Ethics

For the week ending 1 December 2007 / 21 Kislev 5768

Hold That Call!

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Question: Some of the people who participate in the daily services in our synagogue pay no attention to the signs warning worshippers to turn off their cellphones upon entering the sanctuary, and the ringing of their phones severely disrupts the sanctity of the prayers. What is the right thing to do to solve this problem?

Answer: You might take a cue from Rafi Sulamina, a trustee in a synagogue in the old city of Tsefat. Annoyed by the ringing of the phones, and especially by the brazen attitude of those who answered the calls in the midst of services, he posted large signs announcing a fine of ten shekels to charity for anyone whose phone rings during services.

Whatever step you take we wish you success in putting an end to this flagrant desecration of synagogue sanctity.

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