Texting on Shabbat Is Increasingly Common

from The Jewish Week:

For Many Orthodox Teens, ‘Half Shabbos’ Is A Way Of Life

At a recent campgrounds Shabbaton sponsored by a local Modern Orthodox high school, the teenage participants broke into small groups after the meals, as is usual, to talk with their friends.

On their cell phones.

Of the 17 students who attended the weekend program, said 17-year-old Julia, a junior at the day school, most sent text messages on Shabbat – a violation of the halachic ban on using electricity in non-emergency situations…

“If in previous generations the biggest challenge to Sabbath observance was making a living, today it is technology,” Rabbi Goldmintz wrote in his column to Ramaz parents. “These are kids from otherwise shomer Shabbat homes who nevertheless sneak into their rooms or down the street and use their phones or computers to text or tweet with friends. These are not (yet) necessarily kids who are so called ‘off the derech (i.e., who have wandered off the religious path) for they otherwise may not turn on lights or televisions, but they just can’t break the social habit. They keep Shabbat, but not all of it.”