Why 70 Bais Rivkah Girls Deleted Social Media

A few weeks ago, the girls at Bais Rivkah High School attended a Shabbaton where a speaker encouraged the girls to delete social media apps from their phones until Yud Aleph Nissan. Over 70 girls in the 12th grade took up the challenge and some mothers also joined them.

By Rabbi Mordechai Lipskier

A few weeks ago, the girls at Bais Rivkah High School in Crown Heights attended a Shabbaton. During one of his talks, guest speaker Rabbi Avremi Schapiro of Chabad, Wisconsin, encouraged girls to delete social media apps from their phones until Yud Aleph Nissan. Over 70 girls from the 12th grade accepted the challenge. The number has since grown to over a hundred participants, including some mothers who jumped on board.

Also recently, groups of Bais Rivkah seminary girls have gathered to learn Torah perspectives and help each other in the proper use of technology. Many have adopted difficult Hachlatos, including not using their phone while walking down the street, buying a watch instead of using their phone to keep track of time, setting time limits on certain apps, using a siddur or tehillim instead of an app, the Turning their phones off for the first few hours of the day and even occasionally (gasp!) leave their phones at home.

These developments are very encouraging, to say the least. These girls are changing their own lives for the better and ours too by showing us that we can take control of our phones.

In this week’s Sedra, we learn that the kiyor was made from copper mirrors donated by the women. On two occasions [1] The Rebbe explained the importance of the Kiyor for our lives today and the special connection with Jewish women.

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The function of the kiyor was to wash off dirt before entering the mishkan. Every Jewish home is a mini Mishkan and therefore needs a Kiyor as well. The Jewish woman is the Kiyor of her home.

Just like physical defilements, spiritual ones are not always obvious. But a Jewish woman, with her sensitivity and her close bond with Hashem, is able to discern what needs to be allowed into her home and what inappropriate influences need to be washed away.

Years ago foreign elements in clear and obvious form blew through the front door into a home like reading material and other media. Today they enter through the cyberspace we carry in our pocket and are more subtle and elusive. The winds of secularism are blowing much stronger today than ever before.

The fact that young girls are willing to limit their use of technology is a clear indication that Hashem still has many Kiyors at his service.

The kiyor was made of mirrors. Mirrors are unique in that they allow a person to reflect on themselves and at the same time see behind them. This represents self-reflection in avodas Hashem. It involves an honest introspection and assessment of where we are. This also includes reflecting on our past. Sometimes we can do it on our own and often we benefit from the help of a friend or Maspias.

Girls who are genuine and honest enough to think about their own technology use and to ask friends and mashpios for support are well on their way to being reliable mirrors of their own homes, rez”H.

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Just as Hashem had nachas from the women’s mirrors of the past, He certainly has tremendous nachas from the contribution of young women today.

This Shabbat is also the birthday of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, the Rebbe’s wife. What a worthy birthday present for the Rebbetzin.

May we all, men and women alike, draw inspiration from these young women and thereby hasten final salvation and the

[1] Ijar 25 5723 (1963) and Purim 5720 (1960).

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