The New York Times reports on a service where texting in encouraged:
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.
At an offbeat service on Sunday night at the Jewish Museum of Florida, organizers were trying an innovation that few if any rabbis have embraced: using the language of the tech generation instead of the Torah to keep the crowd of 20- to 30-year-olds, mostly unmarried and transient, connected to their Jewish roots and to one another.