MySpace or YourSpace? –

Fb and the essence of Passover.

The phenomenon of Fb, Twitter and MySpace has swept via our world like a (seemingly) benign twister: uprooting conventional strategies of communication and permitting folks to attach. As the nice Prophet Zuckerberg [1], hallowed be his Blackberry, has taught us, earlier than the Fb, folks had been islands unto themselves, however now they will join and make buddies. Amen.

On Fb, you can also make buddies by simply sending an invite to somebody after which, in the event that they settle for, they’re your buddy. Superbly easy.

Final I checked I’ve 734 buddies on Fb. I’ve damaged 700! I’ve made it socially! Who would have guessed that the bookish yeshiva pupil would in the future be buddies with Mosiuoa (a.okay.a. ‘Terror’ [2]) Gerard Patrick Lekota, ex-Defence Minister of South Africa and enfant horrible of Nelson Mandela’s African Nationwide Congress? However after the preliminary endorphin-high, product of a now very excited ex-hermit’s endocrine system, I simmer down a bit and I believe to myself, is ‘Terror’ actually my buddy? I may casually drop his identify subsequent time I stumble upon an arms vendor, however is that each one there may be to it? What does that imply, ‘buddy’? Sure, he can write on my wall, see my pictures and obtain my movies, however is that friendship?

The Jewish nation started their life as a folks in response to this query, “How do you flip a stranger right into a buddy?” We had been “strangers within the land of Egypt” – we had been “others,” “these folks,” “them” — and it was not nice. So the query of how we relate to some “different” individual, some stranger, turns into important for a lot of causes however none extra vital than that it informs how we hook up with that Nice Different, that Mysterious Stranger Who’s so completely different from us, of whom even the angels ask, “The place is the place of His glory?”

Can God slot in our lives if there isn’t any place for a stranger?

If we be taught to narrate to the human different, the Torah teaches us, we be taught a little bit of how one can relate to God, in His infinite otherness. If we are able to be taught to grow to be buddies with a stranger, to banish his strangeness, draw shut, and share souls, then maybe we are able to lean how one can achieve some closeness with God as effectively.

How does the Torah counsel we “grow to be buddies”? Rabbi J.B. Soloveitchik [3] zt”l addresses these concepts poignantly within the compilation,Competition of Freedom, and presents an unbelievably inspiring Torah idea.

Everyone knows that our inside organic mechanics are powered by intuition and in some ways we’re indistinguishable from our hairier primate cousins. These bestial urges are among the strongest forces on the earth, welded into our DNA, demanding pressing satisfaction instantly and they’re at all times directed completely at my survival, my health, above all else. It’s unconscious narcissism — the declare that my genes, above all others, are an important for the way forward for the world.

Towards such a background, sharing any assets with a stranger (presumably a competitor) is sheer stupidity and myopia. Why assist him? He is a loser and subsequently I’m a winner. It’s a Zero Sum recreation. Once more, fantastically easy.

The Torah says, sure, that approach is straightforward, however additionally it is immoral, uncharitable, unholy, positively not lovely and ultimately chaotically self-destructive and short-lived. When a human being chooses to wolf down his meal within the skulking privateness of his den, he’s sentencing himself to grow to be a wolf and reworking his meals from the “bread of man” to the “bread of beast.” Once you eat by yourself, you die by yourself and you allow no legacy past your genes and bones. You might be alone even if you’re the lifetime of the social gathering and also you by no means attain past your finite bubble.

Alternatively, the common-or-garden act of inviting a stranger to have a sandwich uplifts your meal, your physique, your physicality and modifications your bread from “the bread of man” to grow to be “the bread of God.” However how?

The Torah teaches us that to make buddies you want to make a group, not in some egocentric broadcasting orgy of my ‘standing’, my ‘wall’, my ‘movies’, my ‘tweets’, MySpace, however as a substitute, out of a want to create a YourSpace.

We be taught that one of many first acts of God’s creation [4] was to make a YourSpace for human beings — a “place” the place we could possibly be welcomed into God’s all-embracing intimacy however the place He permits us to be completely different from Him. This house is what permits us our freedom of alternative – a freedom to grow to be extra much like God or the other, God forbid. However even though we’re sustained by the Almighty, enwombed by Godly life-force, God doesn’t coerce us to be equivalent to Him, slightly, He makes “house” for us and welcomes us in, cares for us and offers for our distinction.

So if we’re striving to connect with God, to resemble Him [5], to have His presence in our lives, we have to emulate this motion which is the first act of Godliness on this world. We have to make house in our lives for an ‘different’. We are able to begin on the most animalistic degree (though we must always by no means be content material to stay there) by asking if some stranger is hungry and welcoming him in for a meal. Because it says in the beginning of the Haggadah: ‘That is the poor bread which our ancestors ate in Egypt. Whoever is hungry – let him come and eat. Whoever is needy – let him come and participate in Passover...’

Even supposing you might be a competitor, I’ll act as God does — I’ll make a YourSpace for you.

It is a deceptively small act, for after we do that, we are literally making a YourSpace for the ‘different’ and we welcome his very distinction into our lives: I’m not hungry, however you might be; I’m not needy, however you might be; and I’ve an area in my house to your physique and in my soul to your starvation and to your wants though they don’t seem to be mine. And even though you might be a competitor, that you might select to oppose me, I’ll act as God does; I’ll make a YourSpace for you, I’ll attain out to you, maintain you regardless of and due to that distinction between us.

After we do that, we start to mimic God’s charity and beauty; we discover His voice echoing in our souls, and His needs, not our savage egocentric burning bloodlusts, thrumming via our veins. That’s the foundation of actual friendship.

So when the Jewish folks had been leaving Egypt, God advised us you can not start to have a good time this evening with out becoming a member of to some stranger: households should bond with others in consuming the Passover sacrifice [6] and people who haven’t, have to be invited in. That’s how we shaped our first buddies. That’s how we shaped our nation. And that’s how this evening have to be completely different from all others: by making certain that at our desk, we’ve got others. That’s how we banish the strangeness, attain for unity and make buddies.

And at last, that’s the place we discover God — the place we least anticipated, not in MySpace, however in yours.

And that, is merely lovely.

[1] Fb founder.
[2] He bought the identify, ‘Terror’, supposedly as a consequence of his over-enthusiastic soccer techniques.
[3] Competition of Freedom, pp.1-34.
[4] Often called tzimtzum. This can be a profound Kabbalistic idea past the scope of this text. See Rabbi Ari Kahn’s exploration of this at .
[5] Our sages educate (see M’silat Y’sharim 1 and Derech Hashem 1:1-2) that the first technique to join with Hashem is to emulate Him as carefully as attainable.
[6] Sh’mot 12:4

Supply hyperlink

Leave a Comment