When I login each morning, I get a pop-up with news (or purported news) stories. So when I sat down to do my work, I was offered the opportunity to read “10 reasons why I don’t want an iPad” for the holidays. I am very involved with high tech, of course, and don’t own an iPad either. So this, I just had to read.

The first thing I noticed is that he engaged in serious inflation in order to reach the magic “10.” He must’ve explained why it will be less expensive next year in five different ways, wasting words in the process. But it was reason number eight that stopped me.

He said that for most people, our scarcest resource is time, and the Web is to time as a black hole is to space and energy. So he asks, does he really want to have the opportunity to browse the Web any time, anywhere? [He also noted that games can be tremendously addictive as well, and the iPad has a wide range of excellent ones.] That is when I realized I’d better get to work, and not incidentally, disable that pop up.

On this week’s Torah reading, Rabbi Yisroel Ciner quotes an insight by the Kli Yakar — that when Pharoah said “this nation is more numerous and stronger mimehnu, than us,” mimehnu can be read “from Him” — from G-d. Pharoah recognized that our strength comes from our connection to G-d. Therefore he acted both physically and spiritually against us: both ordering that Jewish boys be killed, and also forcing the Jews to be so active and involved with hard labor that they would have no time to think about G-d.

I have often noticed that it is much easier on the Sabbath to sit and learn and concentrate, not just because working is prohibited, but because so many of the distractions of modern technology are inaccessible as well. No telephones, no computers, no Websites filled with news and information… Just good old-fashioned Sifrei Kodesh, holy books, competing with other books and a Jewish weekly or two, making it much easier to focus and think, and choose the former. The Sabbath is truly the diamond in G-d’s storehouse, today more than ever!

Good Shabbos!

Rabbi Yaakov Menken
Director, Project Genesis – Torah.org

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