Judge Everyone Favorably

Network World was one of many newspapers and technology journals that carried a nice mention of the Contact Loved Ones project, which I wrote about earlier. I note, however, the entry below ours in the same article:

Always connected: virtue or vice?

VON being a diverse show with attendees from all over the world, a group of orthodox Jewish men at the show managed to find a quite place on the exhibit floor to form a minyan, or orthodox prayer group. As the men bowed and prayed, one person in the group appeared to be thumbing a hand-held mobile communications device. One observer noted: “If you’re going to make time in your schedule for prayers, just put the Treo away.”

I’m pretty familiar with that minyan, since it, like Contact Loved Ones, was organized in part by Yaakov Menken. The fellow holding the Treo was Mendy Newman, Product Manager at Kayote Networks. He had downloaded mincha [the afternoon service], so of course he was “thumbing” it!

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3 Responses

  1. Ori Pomerantz says:

    In their defense, for some Christians the idea of preset prayers you read from a book (or a Treo) is as foreign as the idea of eating a piece of G-d would be for us. Except that Jews aren’t as common as Catholics, so they are more likely to stay ignorant.

  2. Micha says:

    What’s cute about having a siddur on my Treo is that it means that when I want to communicate with my Creator, I’m taking out my cell phone…

    BTW, having Shema for Bedtime on one’s PDA, complete with backlighting, is very useful when coming home on a weeknight after one’s spouse is asleep and the lights are off.

  3. sammy ominsky says:


    Frequently, if I were stuck somewhere without a minyan and afraid I’d miss the time limit for mincha, I’d hold my cell phone to my head and pray rather than look like a mumbling whacko in the Target parking lot.

    Now that I’m in Israel, I don’t have to do that anymore, as the country’s full of mumbling whackos 🙂

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