"One of the greatest inventions"
Anyone who knows me knows that I really don't care for cellphones. This piece of technology has single-handledly changed the pace of life as we know it and robbed many people of the ability to live in the present. Today, it is not an uncommon sight to see a person checking their cellphone while walking in a park, or even while wearing tefillin in shul. There once was a time when a person gave their full attention to the event they were attending and not checking their cellphone under the cover of a table.
Last week, my wife and I finally upgraded our aging cellphones which had almost ceased functioning. Although I began by looking for a cellphone with basic functionality, I begrudgingly ended up upgrading to a Blackberry.
Using the Blackberry for the first time, I called the Sudilkover Rebbe to speak to him before he returned to Eretz Yisroel. I asked him what, based upon his life experience, had helped him the most in his avodas Hashem. The Rebbe answered with one simple word, "Tefilla".
He explained to me that a person should talk to Hashem on numerous occasions throughout the course of the day for everything large and small; before learning, before eating, while sitting at their desk at work, and even before routine errands.
The Rebbe then said me something that I didn't expect to hear from him. He told me that in his opinion the cellphone was one of the greatest inventions in the past few decades. The reason for this was because it gave a person the ability to walk on the street and talk to Hashem without giving the appearance that he was insane.
On one occasion, the Rebbe said that he desperately needed to make it to the bank to deposit a check. As he walked briskly towards the bank, he turned off his cellphone and started speaking to Hashem out loud, "Please help me get to the bank before it closes! Please help me to deposit this money and keep the other check I wrote from bouncing!" The Rebbe made it to the bank with one minute to spare and successfully deposited his check. Walking out of the bank, the security guard looked up at him and remarked, "You know you sure were lucky this time."