I planned to write here this morning about Rina Schnerb, the girl who was murdered in a terror attack last Friday - about the innocence, the youth, the sweetness, about her brother and father who are still hospitalized. But then Shira Schnerb, Rina's mother, contacted me after Shabbat and asked me to convey the following message:
"Recently, our daughter expressed great concern about one subject: cellphones, smartphones. She felt that we all surf, literally, to the wrong places. We do not control the device - it controls us. She was only 17, but the waste of time, the distraction and lack of ability to focus among her peers - bothered her a lot and occupied her mind. "Therefore, we, the family, thought that whoever wants to do something for the iluy neshamah (elevation of her soul), can start in this area - accepting upon oneself to have a predefined time, quality time, in which cellphones are put aside and we are back to ourselves - to sanity, to balance, to being settled. Perhaps everyone could tell himself/herself or even post to others: 'I spent an hour without the phone', for example. "In this week's Portion, Re'eh, Moshe Rabbenu sets a choice before us: 'Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse'. This is in OUR hands. We define our status each and every moment. The first step could be to disconnect for a while - in order to reconnect".
Initiatives in this area that you have decided to take upon yourself can be shared with me, and I'll make sure they reach the Schnerb family.