Highly Esteemed Din On Line:
Digital technologies and communications do penetrate our lives more and more. Also at the times of studies at the Beit Midrash, for example. Also at the places, where there might be the Torah scroll. And how to act and react in the rather perplexing situations?
For example, one cannot subdivide the WhatsApp chats. Thus, all the messages (and the telephone calls too) are being stored and positioned in a live queue, consecutive order. And, let us imagine, that the Beit Midrash is the room on the gas and oil drilling platform in the ocean and there is storm outside. Or the winter blizzard and the Beit Midrash is in New Foundland, or Nebraska, or in the distant remote areas of Manitoba. And there is no possibility to exit the room… And one gets the WhatsApp message of erotic nature. Or a photo, or a video from the Jewish friend, which are do not exactly conform to the “shomer nagiya” code. And there is the Aron Kodesh very closely, or you are about to enter the zoom conference on the homiletical Jewish themes and issues. And you did not click, or open anything, but still glimpsed, inhaled involuntarily even the iota of the not appropriate image – information…
In such a vexatious instance, is there a prayer a person in such a predicament should be saying – pronouncing? Or any distance (how many tefahim then?) one must be trying to maintain from the sanctity of the Aron Kodesh?
How to react and behave in such situation? Is there any prayer which might be absolving and exonerating, rehabilitating such moments of vicarious impudence?
Thank You very much for reading this letter and the possible answer and piece of advice.
Thank you for your beautifully worded question.
You point is correct, that bringing cell phones into the Beit Midrash or into a shul when they ae turned on is incorrect. This is one of the numerous reasons that he gedolim say to turn out cell phones off before entering a shul etc. Additionally, if a person gets a message that has such undesirable content, but should be deleted long before he gets to the shul. Chazal say that our minds are like the Kodesh Hakadashim, therefore such pictures or content should not be allowed entry, regardless of where we are situated.