Anyone who owns a smartphone is certainly aware of the “emoji” craze gripping our society.

By Aviel Schneider |

In our chats, text messages, WhatsApp posts, etc. we use these little symbols to quickly express a wide range of ideas that we’d otherwise not have the time or patience to type out. Emojis can convey feelings without the need of using words to do so. We all have our favorite emojis, the ones that we use most. These brightly-colored graphical expressions have become an integral part of a new non-verbal language that we now couldn’t imagine being without.

T he folded hands with the blue sleeves is an icon well known to everyone. An emoji symbolizing prayer, thankfulness and forgiveness. How often this symbol is used in WhatsApp messages in this sense. I know of many Israelis, young and old, religious and secular, who make use of it in this way. In particular my mother.

But Muslims and Hindus also send the same praying-hands emoji via WhatsApp to their friends. I observed this for the first time two years ago at an airport. I was waiting along with many others at the passport control desk, and in...

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