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I have been davening from my ipad using a pdf copy of a siddur I downloaded. However, I wanted to know if this is a suitable alternative for those times when the use of electronic devices is permissible. Does this present any halacha violation?

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I don't have an official ruling on this, but the mass of people who use apps and pdfs to daven from seems to speak to there being no violation on weekdays. – Danno Sep 30 '12 at 21:30
IMHO davening from electronic devices is fine if you're stuck somewhere without a siddur... but if you're davening in shule with siddurim all around - you should be using a siddur like everyone else – Danield Oct 1 '12 at 22:03
@Danield Why? . – Ariel Oct 3 '12 at 1:36
Well, I have seen people daven with iphone/samsung and it seemed like a lot of effort went into scrolling every 2 seconds or so (diverting concentration from davening to device usage)... also what do you gain by using an electronic device over a siddur ? Also, I think this could cause distraction to others (whether this is justified or not, I still think this has to be taken into account) – Danield Oct 3 '12 at 8:01
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I found a discussion of possible problems, the writer seems not to like the idea, though doesn't rule it out completely.

Issues that are addressed there (my comments in parentheses):

  • Holding something valuable during Davenning is prohibited since the possibility of it falling bothers כוונה. (A Siddur is permitted, I woudn't assume a difference since people who are davenning are as careful not to drop a Siddur as a iPad)
  • Jumping alerts can interfere. (This seems to be a real problem, my phone can block messages when an app is up, but not phone calls. A device which can shut off everything during davenning, would not have this problem.)
  • One should be able to Daven without distractions, including looking for things in a siddur, so he should have page numbers all written down. (Still, a siddur is better than nothing, searching a PDF for הלל wouldn't be different than flipping pages, IMHO. Moreover, Siddur apps give you the relevant davenning only, and in order.)
  • While davenning one should hold his hands by his heart (Again, I can't see why an iPad would differ from a Siddur here)

To sum it up, I personally don't see a problem. I would add one should have a regular siddur for use on Shabbat and Chagim, because if he gets used to relying on the iPad he can get stuck on those occasions.

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