14 Shvat 5779 / Sunday, January 20, 2019 | Torah Reading: Yitro
 
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The Life App    

The Life App



Whether a Facebook page or a Microsoft Word file, it's all man-made pixels on a manufactured screen that, once turned off, disappears from reality…

 



Everything in life comes from Hashem. It all exists to teach us about G-d and His Torah in His world. The things that are unique to our generation shed light on some of the most poignant lessons we need to learn in our time.

 

Nothing defines our era more than the digital age. What is it about technology that gives us guidance on Hashem and His world?

 

The digital world is two sided. You have software and hardware. On the internet you have the client and the server. One side is temporary, the other permanent. The software is a temporary state that serves as a staging ground for moving information. So is your internet browser aka the client. They have several things in common:

 

They are an illusion. Whether a Facebook page or a Microsoft Word file, it's all man-made pixels on a manufactured screen that, once turned off, disappears from reality. The moment you shut down the hardware, the computer, it all goes black. This entire world that exists before your eyes erases as if it never was.

 

Is there any record of anything happening while you were in this virtual reality? That's what the hardware is for. It can be the disk drive in your computer. It can be the server at the other end of a website. It can be the cloud, which is really hundreds of thousands of physical servers. The only thing that lives beyond your time on the internet, or using Word is what was saved.

 

Most of the things you see on a piece of software is forgotten the moment you turn it off. What web page were you on when the blue screen appeared? Forgotten. What was the font size you were using while writing that report when the power went out? Lost.

 

It's like the internet and most software applications are just a stage. They are environments for you to do something. Once the curtains fall, everything returns to the opening act.

 

What outlives applications? It's what you create. More specifically, it's what you create that these applications were programmed to accept. Whatever you made that wasn't part of the program will be deleted with everything else once the application shuts off.

 

Are we all living in one giant application that Hashem programmed?

 

Is our body nothing more than a cursor inside this application?

 

If you live in a body and a world that will turn off, what persists? What were these applications programmed to create that will outlive the applications?

 

Your mitzvot.

 

When Hashem closes out the window of opportunity which we call life, whatever we did that didn't follow His programing goes dark, never to be seen again.

 

How many players do you remember from the 1998 Yankees?

How much did you make by the time you turned 30?

How many American presidents did you shake hands with?

How many women did you "make it" with?

 

None of this gets saved to a permanent place. It's like reaching a high score on a video game application whose plug was just pulled.

 

How many pages of Gemara did you learn?

How many hours of Torah did you listen to?

How many times did you do what your wife asked of you?

How much charity did you give?

 

How many times did you resist the urge to look at a random woman in the street?

 

How many arguments did you lose? How many times did you bite your lip rather than lose your cool?

 

This is what gets saved into the Eternal server. This is what outlives us and this world. May your personal file keep growing and growing so when Hashem stands in the Heavenly Court and opens it, your good deeds will fill the Heavens with light.

 

 

* * *

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 your deepest passions to get what you want. You can have this for free.





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