How to distract yourself during boring meetings depends on ever-shifting expectations of corporate etiquette. The ubiquity of handheld devices has made it easier – and in many places, more acceptable – to show less than undivided attention to the speaker. Old-timers will call this rude; younger people will call it multitasking. Whatever you call it, the Torah always prescribes a better way to do it – even if you happen to be sitting at an Israeli cabinet meeting.
Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke earlier today at a Yom Yerushalayim gathering at the Mercaz Harav yeshiva. Arutz-Sheva reported a delightful snippet of his remarks:
Netanyahu started by recalling how the government ministers sit during their meetings and browse through letters and other reports. He noted, however, that one minister browses through the Tanach and sometimes the Talmud. That minister, said Netanyahu, is Justice Minister Ya’akov Ne’eman, who was sitting on the dais to the right of him.
“For Ne’eman, public service is holy work,” said Netanyahu, “and as such, from time to time he shares with me something new that he’s found.”