Technology is the scourge of so much. Yes, it has made life easier in many ways… but it has also destroyed true communication and encourages us to text or emoticon rather than write full sentences or actually speak to each other. Letter writing is a dead art… and grammar… forget it. 🙂 or did I mean 😉 ? My 15-year-old daughter is never without her phone. It is like a growth stemming out from her fingers, and any rules we have set, she flaunts and disregards. I hate seeing her on it so much. It’s disheartening… and especially annoying hearing her tones, beeps and alarms going off every second. Anything I do with her, I do with her phone. It’s just sad. Of course, I am accused of being on my phone too much, as well… and while I know, based on data use and time, she is easily hitting 5x what I do… I will admit I am a bit of a hypocrit, but lately that is in a somewhat ironic situation… and for a different reason… I have a great Siddur app on my phone that I sometimes use to pray… And I recently added the Six Constant Mitzvots and Seven Things To Think Before Praying to my iPhone Reminders… both courtesy of Rabbi Denbo… So yes, a very special thanks to Ben for pushing me towards him. I love hearing him speak!
As far as the iPhone, I will say this, I am in the process of typing all of those notes into a Word file on prayer… and then printing them out so I have them at my fingertips. I already did this with the Tefillin prayers, and the meditations I add into my own morning prayer routine. I keep them in my Tefillin bag, and I just like the feel of papers in my hand. It seems more real… more visceral. There is definitely something a bit strange about looking at your phone before praying… or even using your phone TO pray… though I do honestly feel that this is me USING the technology, and not the other way around. But still… So, this post is not so much on “Judaism” but on life… and the simple but powerful and life-saving need we should all have to get off the darn phone. As I watched my daughter walk the dog and text… barely paying attention to the dog or me… and almost tripping over herself several times… I said: “Life is passing you by while you are on that phone.”
Yes, this is pre-drought Agoura… And yes, this is much prettier than Agoura… Sorry. But it was true… and is true. She missed the mountains, the sky, the cool afternoon breeze… the sounds of nature… the trees… and rocks and plants and birds and things… the sands and hills and rings… (Okay, yes, that last part is from America’s “Horse With No Name.” But the point is this… she was missing Hashem… and all Hashem is giving us. As I said in a post I wrote on This Year In Jerusalem… A Bond Of Brothers… one of three blogs I have going… Life is made up of moments… That is about the smallest or largest amount of time we seem to have control over… and even those are too often fleeting or out of our hands… Try controlling minutes… or even hours… It’s hard!!! And days and weeks and months and years??? Are you kidding me???!!! There are moments of complete attention and spirituality when I pray… Moments… There are moments when I am actually having a dialogue with Hashem… Moments. There are moments when I get truly emotional and moved… Moments. I am trying to cling onto those moments… to extend them… to string them together into a larger swath… There are moments when I am in nature and all is right with the world… Moments… There are moments when I am at peace, with no worries or bad thoughts… Moments. There are moments when I get truly emotional and moved… Moments. But the thing is this… It only does take a moment… And while that can be bad, and things can happen in the “blink of an eye”, greatness can also occur in a single, solitary moment! So we MUST embrace each and every one, wherever and whenever possible! Jerry Herman said it so wonderfully, in one of the greatest love songs ever written, “It Only Takes A Moment“. “It only takes a moment For your eyes to meet and then Your heart knows in a moment You will never be alone again I held her for an instant But my arms felt sure and strong It only takes a moment To be loved a whole life long.” Moments… Capture them… embrace them… and let them fulfill you and wash over you. Amen!