More and more parents, students or congregants may feel more comfortable to reach out to their rabbi or teacher by texting, instead of picking up the phone or scheduling an appointment in his office. After all, this is a means of communication that they feel comfortable using because it’s “quick and easy”.

In fact, as noted in the Mishpacha Magazine article titled “Pressure at the Pulpit,” some rabbis even have a half-hour slot in which they take and answer questions solely via SMS! This allows them to quickly tend to the questions and needs of their kehilla, without any threat of the person running late or the conversation veering from the topic of the original meeting.

For good or for bad, texting is becoming more and more socially accepted and with this trend, there are new abbreviated terms that are being used to communicate. For example BTW stands for “by the way” or ttyl is short for “talk to you later”.

As rabbis and educators we want to be able to understand what our parents, students, and congregants are saying (or texting) us. Here’s is a useful link to what has determined are common texting terms. Please note: the article refers to these terms being used by teens – but these abbreviations are also being used by adults. The next time you receive a text message with what you think is gobbledegook all over the screen of your phone, you will now know that these random letters are simply an abbreviation that was meant to tell you something.

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