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My friend and I are in the middle of davening Shmoneh Esreh. Rather than talk, I text him, "I don't remember if today is Rosh Hodesh. Do we say 'Ya'aleh V'yavo?'" Can I interrupt my friend for this purpose so I know what to do, and can he text me the response (interrupt his own davening)?

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"Can I text him and can my friend text me back, or is texting considered like talking?" Why are those mutually exclusive? – Double AA Jun 10 '14 at 18:36
Related: Second half of this answer. – Fred Jun 10 '14 at 19:42
You would be disturbing his shmonah esrai and stopping him from davening. – sabbahillel Jun 10 '14 at 20:11
@sabbahillel - that's obvious that I distrupt his davening. Assume that I have no other way of finding the answer unless I finish w/o Ya'aleh V'Yavo, wait till he finishes, find out I needed to say it, so I have to daven the whole Shmoneh Esreh, again. Is that the only way? Fred, note that this is not a halacha Q where I could discover the answer in a sefer, so the link you provided doesn't answer my question. – DanF Jun 10 '14 at 20:17
@DanF: Then your question is may I interrupt someone who is Davening to find out what to do? Texting has zero relevance to it. – Gershon Gold Jun 10 '14 at 21:12
up vote 2 down vote accepted

It seems that you are assuming that he is using his phone to daven with for the text of the shmoneh esrai. Otherwise, it will be turned off and he would never get the message. Those apps (that put the sidur on the screen) will not allow a text message to come through and interrupt. Nowadays many phones have apps that show the Hebrew date. If you have the phone, then check the date yourself. That would tell you without having to interrupt your friend.

If you have a phone with the siddur app, it would automatically show you Ya'ale Veyavo as well.

In any other circumstance, everyone in shul would have his phone turned off.

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A scenario where he might check his phone is where the text sender gets his attention with hand gestures or noises and gesticulates that he should check his phone (whether that's permissible is another question). – Fred Jun 12 '14 at 4:27

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