27 Kislev 5782 / Wednesday, December 01, 2021 | Torah Reading: Mikeitz
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Life as a Program    

Life as a Program

Is Hashem the Master Programmer and we’re His programs running in His cosmic computer system? Or are we the master programmers trying to run our own lives?


In the beginning there was darkness.  

Then Dave said, “Let there be light. 

He typed in the following CSS code: 

background-color: #edd59e; 

and there was.  


On the sixth day, the earth was devoid of human life.  

Then Dave said, “let the universe team with multitudes of people.” 

He pressed a few more buttons: 

img src=”/lots-of-people.jpg” alt=”50,000 fans at Citifield 

Then the earth was full.  


Man began to commit atrocities.  

So Dave said, “I will blot out mankind.” 

delete img 

and it was.  



In Egypt, Pharoah had absolute power over his people. He thought he was god 


In the universe called my website, I have the power to create light and darkness, even life and death.  


What is to stop me from thinking like Pharoah? 


What is to stop the powers of Silicon Valley, the creators of Alphabet and the Metaverse, who yield unprecedented powers over billions of people and trillions of dollars, from thinking likewise? 


Hashem created man and woman. They want to create gender X. Do they feel that they can compete with our Creator? 


Or is it something more subtle? 


If I am my own creator, then I create my own rules. If I am created by Hashem, then I must follow His. If He creates me, then He knows what is good for me and what isn’t, so I have to do exactly as He says.  


It all boils down to a simple point: Who programs the world gets to set the documentation for it.  



We Are What We Make 


There is one small bit of information Pharoah, Dave, and Bill Gates lack: the Almighty G-d is the Ultimate Programmer and we are His programs.  


The universe is His great application.  


We are merely machine-learning components within His great program that are developed to make free choices. From a developer standpoint, giving us free will just takes some more if/then statements in His programs.  


We are talking about trillions upon trillions upon trillions of if/then statements. This is part of Hashem’s boundlessness. Multiply a trillion by itself a trillion times and the Creator can create any mix of universes based on each outcome in that massive number.  


The same way we can make the guy on the screen go left and right at the move of a handle, Hashem can do the same in His universe.  


We are the programs that appear on the screen, move around, and disappear at His Mercy, certainly His discretion.  


There is one difference.  


If I want all redheads to leave my application, all it takes is a few clicks. There is no judge and jury. There is no opposition. There are no moral, legal, or ethical considerations. Justice has nothing to do with it.  


For no reason whatsoever, I can press a few keys and make them go away.  


Hashem can do the same, but He doesn’t. He creates His world with rules that are moral, legal, and ethical 


He sets the rainbow in the sky and establishes a rule He commits Himself to: He will not blot out all mankind with another flood of the entire globe at once. 


He rewards those who follow His commandments and punishes those who don’t – even though, like the case of my world without redheads, He doesn’t have to.  


He makes the world hot in the summer and cool in the winter. He gives inner peace to those who toil in His Torah – even though He doesn’t have to.  


He provides for all of His creations. He blesses all of us with life, even if we sin. He gives us multiple opportunities to merit another day, and often gives it to us even if we lack the merit in the hopes that tomorrow will be the day that we turn around and remember Him. 


We are powerless. He has the power of any programmer, to turn us off in a second.  


This is why we should fear G-d. He can take us out of this world in an instant. We can wake up with grey skin. Our tastebuds can cease to function when we eat chocolate. Even the memory of our existence can be eliminated – all thoughts of us from anyone who ever saw, spoke to, or heard of us can be taken out of everyone’s head.  


Mark Zuckerberg can erase your profile, all mention of your name, any images of you, from the eyes of every single Facebook user. 


For Hashem, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  


We must acknowledge that He can do any of this in an instant and we cannot stop Him. We must thank Him for not exercising His absolute power over us by revealing the Torah and all the rules in His Divine program.  


And recognize that ultimately, we are in His hands – not the hands of Big Tech or anyone else – and act accordingly. 



David Ben Horin lives in Afula with his wife and children. Since moving to Israel in 2002, David has discovered Torah, writing hi-tech, hiking, coding ReactJS Apps, and hearing stories about the Land of Israel from anyone excited to tell them. Check him out on Highway 60 or email him your favorite Israel story at:  david.ben.horin@spreadyourenthusiasm.com. 


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