In his article on Orthodox teenagers texting on Shabbos (“For Many Orthodox Teens, ‘Half-Shabbos’ is a Way of Life,” June 24), Steve Lipman equates this increasingly common practice with Orthodox males who don’t wear a yarmulke to work.
However, there have been several halachic decisors —most notably Rabbi Moshe Feinstein — who have ruled that one may refrain from wearing a yarmulke at work in certain circumstances. There are even some Orthodox rabbis who feel that wearing a yarmulke in general is not a halachic requirement but a pious act.
In contrast, no Orthodox rabbi I know would permit a person to text on Shabbos, except if it were to save someone’s life.
Those who text on Shabbos may wish to rationalize their behavior by saying that it’s no different than other halachically prohibited activities in which Orthodox individuals regularly engage. However, going bareheaded to work is not one of them.