14 Shvat 5779 / Sunday, January 20, 2019 | Torah Reading: Yitro
 
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Mitzvot by the Millisecond    

Mitzvot by the Millisecond



Every second, modern technology is processing trillions upon trillions upon trillions of calculations; this is a reflection of how Hashem does the exact same thing…

 



Technology provides an ever-expanding bank of metaphor to crystallize the most abstract ideas into tangible forms.

 

Don’t think that this is a mere side benefit of technology. On the contrary, for this purpose these ideas were embedded into the universe from the six days of creation, only to unfold in our times.

 

Likutei Sichos, vol. 15, pp. 42–48

 

The Chofetz Chaim teaches us that technology exists to teach us about Hashem. We learn in the Ethics of the Fathers (2:1) "Know what is above you and you won't fall into sin: an eye that sees, and ear that hears, and everything you do is written down in a book."

 

If Hashem fills the ends of the universe, how can He hear what we say on one remote part of it? Enter the telephone. A device the size of your hand that enables you to talk with someone one the other side of the world like they are standing next to you.

 

Every keystroke you make on Facebook is saved in their servers. Even the things you say, do, post, upload that you marked "private" are accessible. Just like our deeds in this world, even what we do when we think nobody is watching, is done while in G-d's platform and He has total access.

 

The difference is that Hashem makes this clear to us from the beginning. The Rambam's 10th principle of faith states: I believe by complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, knows every action done by each human being as well as all their thoughts, as it was said, "It is He that fashions their hearts together and He ponders all their deeds" [Ps. 33:15].

 

The Persistent Query

 

I work for a database company in Hadera, Israel. Staffed with young and brilliant developers, they create the newest and latest in database technology. Being a writer, I am still trying to figure out the basics.

 

"David, we just finished work on Data Subscriptions and Persistent Queries. I need you to write some content about it."

 

"Sure Oren, I'd love to. I just have one question."

 

"Let me guess, what is a Persistent Query?"

 

How did he know?

 

"A persistent query is one piece of software listening to the database. It is asking every second, millisecond even, if a condition holds true."

 

Silence.

 

"Let me put it this way. You want to buy a stock for $50 so you tell your broker. The stock is trading at $53. Your broker uses an application that will ask the database, say it's the Nasdaq database of stock prices, is the stock at or below $50? Right now, it will say no. With that information, your broker's computer knows to do nothing. So it will ask 1 second later the same question. Most likely, the answer will still be no. This question will be asked every second of every day until the stock trades at $50. Then the database will say yes. Code inside the broker's computer will execute the trade."

 

I got it.

 

"It's kind of like Bart Simpson asking Homer 'are we there yet?' until they get there."

 

"Okay."

 

"Tell me something, can we create a persistent query where the payroll database asks, 'Is David logged in to his workstation?' and for every second the answer is yes, 20 shekels is wired to my account?"

 

"Theoretically, we could do that. In reality, I would like the copy by the end of the day.

 

Divine Persistence

 

Doesn't Hashem ask certain questions every second of every day, and each time the answer is yes, He places something in your account?

 

  • Are you wearing a Kippah?

 

  • Are you dressing modestly?

 

  • Is your Tzitzit Kosher?

 

  • Are you keeping your mind away from bad thoughts? Your eyes away from bad sights?

 

  • Are you speaking gossip about someone else? Are you listening to it?

 

  • Are you jealous of what other people own, or success they have attained?

 

  • Are you happy with what you have?

 

  • Do you have faith that what you are doing right now is exactly what Hashem planned for you at this moment?

 

  • Are you happy right now?

 

There can even be a constant query being asked once a week, like:

 

Are you guarding the Shabbat right now?

 

These are all persistent queries that Hashem makes of us. We are judged every hour by the Heavenly Court. There is reward and punishment for every act we perform. Some things we have to do at all times.

 

If we are, it is to our merit. If not, we lose out. Every second, modern technology is processing trillions upon trillions upon trillions of calculations. Billions of accounts across this one world are being added to and taken from every moment. It is like the phone: A reflection of how Hashem does the exact same thing.

 

Modern technology shows us what's possible when we performing countless mitzvot every millisecond.

 

 

* * *

David Ben Horin is the developer for The Aliyah Boot Camp, an online video course for anyone considering life in Israel. He also wrote The Great Life Hack, a guide to self-greatness by utilizing our deepest passions to get what we want. You can have this for free.





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