Monday, March 31, 2008

Facebook Halachah

24 of the Thirteenth Month 5768

1. It is imperative to update your status immediately after becoming engaged, getting married, divorced (lo aleinu), or adding children to your family.

Some poseqim hold that one must even update ones "married" status before entering the yihud room.

Others are more lenient, allowing for this to be done within 24 hours of the Qeddushin. The source in support of such leniency is invariably that "One who is engaged in a misswah is exempt from [another positive] misswah." However, practical considerations such as the hazaqah that the hall will not have Wi-Fi and that not everyone owns a laptop to schlep to his wedding, are also relevant to this opinion.

The rebuttal against such leniency stems from the understanding that of course updating ones Facebook status takes precedence over focusing on the details of the wedding itself. One should surely secure a hall with Wi-Fi, as well as a laptop if one does not own his own. TNSPR is of the opinion that this is not burden, as one can update ones Facebook status via text message.

All poseqim agree that this is one of the rare time-related, positive misswoth which are incumbent upon women.

One who is sitting shiva (lo aleinu) is exempt from updating ones status. However, a friend should offer to do it for the avel (mourner), so that others can be informed of the details and location of shiva.

2. One is obligated to make appropriate wall posts regarding the above events. One is exempt from birthday, wall posts. However, if one has less that 30 Facebook friends it will look suspicious if one does not make birthday, wall posts, in which case lack of time or too many friends cannot be used as excuses not to make birthday, wall posts.

3. If one has the "Top Friends" application, then one is required to make birthday, wall posts for top friends. Not doing so, is on the level of breaking a vow, as it is come to be a minhag for all Am Yisrael to monitor the birth dates of "Top Friends." One who is unable to take this upon himself, should remove the "Top Friends" application, until he has properly prepared himself for this obligation.

4. One must add the Dogbook or Catbook applications as soon as one obtains such a pet. Otherwise, each day which passes, the pet owner is mevatel a positive misswah.

5. Too many annoying applications on a friend's Facebook page are grounds for that friend's dismissal. Why? Da'as Torah!

6. Hafradah (separation) - All poseqim agree that married rabbeim may have female facebook friends if they are members of his community and/or in the name of qeruv. The agreement amongst poseqim stops here. This blogger will not get into this mahloqeth here, except to say that there have been many violent confrontations regarding the issue of opposite sex facebook friends, and that most of the confrontations have been started by those with opposite sex facebook friends against those who do not, and not the other way around.

7. Brooklyn Habiru reminds us that "poking" a member of the opposite sex on Facebook is out of the question, as this is considered negi'ah.

Too be continued...

Please leave your contributions to the open-source Facebook Halachah compilation in the comments section.

...and so that I am not transgressing the negative misswah of not placing a stumbling block before my fellow, this blog post IS indeed a joke.


Anonymous said...

Nu? Facebook Mobile eliminates almost all excuses for not updating one's status! Simply send an SMS and everyone can stay informed!

Brooklyn Habiru said...

One issue glaringly neglected from this otherwise thorough halachic treatise is the issue of negiah vis-à-vis the ever ubiquitous "poke"...

DoubleTapper said...


6 more really good reasons to delete my facebook account.

DoubleTapper, blogging on Guns Politics Defense from Israel

Rafi G. said...

very funny!

Esser Agaroth said...


TNSPR: Really? Unfortunately, not everyone has a cell phone.

BHB: You're right! I forgot. I will add that immediately!

DT: Guns are cool!

Rafi: C'mon, man! This is serious stuff!

mazeartist said...

Misswah? Why can't we standardize our Hebrew transliterations? Why do you have ot be different?

Esser Agaroth said...


I usually do compromise on the Ssadi by using "tz."

Other than that my transliteration is no different than the that of the street signs in Israel.

How much more standard and "mainstream" can you get than that?

Q for Qoof, because it's essentially the same letter.

W for waw, which has only recently seen it's pronunciation turned into "v," mainly due to Ashkinazi influence.

Th for Taf w/o a daggesh. Ashkinazim say "S." Why can't I say "Th?" Rav Sa'adiah Ga'on did.

Remember like 90% [maybe a little less now] of Jews in the U. S. are Ashkinazim, but they [as well as American Jews] are not the be all or end all.

Esser Agaroth said...

Oh, yeah. Why do I have to be "different?"

Cuz I'm right.


Avi said...

Hahahahah! I'm gonna go add you!

You Might Also Like...