web analytics
July 22, 2014 / 24 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Curing Internet Addiction with Torah Novelties

facebook madness

Photo Credit: addictiontreatmentmagazine.com

While walking the streets of Jerusalem on Friday, I noticed flyers for a local high school play called “Attraction to Distraction.” The graphic depicts two teenage girls, standing in front of each other, but busily texting on their cell phones. Having just written about distraction the night before it didn’t take me long to realize that this advertisement had just inspired another article.

In order to better appreciate what it means to be addicted to distraction, I thought it best to travel back to a time before smart phones, SMS and Facebook. While the methods of distraction have become more commonplace, the attraction to distraction is nothing new.

When I was a boy of about ten, I visited a water park with my summer camp. Although I didn’t know how to swim, I decided to go into the wave generating pool, committing myself to stay in the shallow end. But quickly, the thrill and excitement of experiencing bigger waves took hold, and I started walking slowly towards the deeper end. Suddenly, a wave sent me under the water and into a state of panic. I thought to myself: why had I ventured forward so far? Grasping for something to push off of to get closer to the ledge, after a few long seconds, a fellow camper happened to be swimming by. I quickly pushed off his shoulders and on to safety. Not knowing why I had interrupted his play time, he was upset and me, and the lifeguard nearby was totally unaware of what just transpired. Unable to explain the events, I kept quiet.

I tell this story because what led me to press on that day is what leads many of us to tread in the dangerous waters of the internet today. While we begin in the shallow area, by the time we realize, we are already swept up by the current. Although in front a computer, the risk of drowning is no less dangerous.

This cycle of events repeated itself many times in my life, especially during adolescence and young adulthood. What was a physical danger as a child quickly turned into spiritual dangers. But while the internet presented a “clear and present danger,” talk of abstaining from it weren’t compelling.

What do I mean? While it took me many years to learn this, when trying to wean someone away from an addiction, the first step according to chassidus is to first understand the core root of the addiction, then present the opposite expression of this attraction within the realm of holiness. For instance, some weeks ago I was asked for a suggestion in how to encourage a Jewish girl who was then in an ashram in India, to return to her roots. My suggestion was that she should travel to one of the Chabad rabbis there trained in Rabbi Ginsburgh’s system of meditation. As she is looking for a meditative system, she needed to be presented with the counterpart within the realm of holiness.

While AA, Alcoholics Anonymous, now primarily promotes abstinence, the conceptual start of the program is best depicted in these words from psychologist Carl Jung, written to Bill Wilson, co-founder of AA, about Rowland H.:

“His craving for alcohol was the equivalent, on a low level, of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness …: the union of God.”

From the above we can begin to see that the question is not why we are distracted, but being that many in this generation are distracted by the internet–even so far as to wade into treacherous waters–our obligation then is expose the core root of the attraction in the hopes of publicizing the cure.

About the Author: Yonatan Gordon has spent most of his past 13 professional years in the world of Jewish publishing. He was the Marketing Manager at Kehot Publication Society (publishing arm of Chabad) for the better part of six years. He is founder of the website Community of Readers.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Curing Internet Addiction with Torah Novelties”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Golani 13
1 MIA as IDF Names 6 Additional Members of the Golani 13
Latest Indepth Stories
The Israel Test

Charges from the court of world public opinion and their refutations.

IDF soldiers carry the coffin at the funeral of Israeli soldier Sgt. Adar Bersano (20).

It is up to our government to ensure that their sacrifices were not made for short-term gains.

.

Supporting Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, has become dangerous in Malmo.

Gaza

Proportionality Doctrine:The greater the military gain the greater the justifiable collateral damage

Regional pro-US Arab countries rely on Israel as a deterrence to rogue Islamic regimes.

He has always supported the underdog, once even quite literally, legislating a law that prohibits the abandonment of pets.

Temech is about providing a community – a place where religious women can learn, collaborate and refresh themselves with like-minded people.

Netanyahu has decided that the lives of Israeli are more important than looking good for Obama, U.N. and the NY Times.

Many Jews join the Israel-haters with their progressive ideology and politically correct obsessions.

“The will to triumph is a prerequisite for victory.” Abba Kovner

How can you run away from Israel and all the things that have shaped your life?

It’s as if Hamas has pulled a page out of Pharaoh’s handbook.

“Am HaNetzach Eino Mefached Mi Derech Aruka” (An eternal people doesn’t fear the long journey).

Isn’t it comforting to know that our God loves life, grants life, and promises eternal life?

With a loud and strong voice we must say “no” to individuals who take the law into their own hands.

More Articles from Yonatan Gordon
Air France union officials perform the reverse Nazi Quenelle salute at a union rally.

This week we witnessed the true unity of the Jewish people rallying around, and praying for, these three boys.

Demolition in the Samaria Jewish town of Yitzhar, April 2014.

We must learn how to portray reality correctly and in a positive way.

The moon-inspired public is searching for something like the renewal and redemption of the Jewish people.

In contrast to the hate-filled stones thrown by Arabs, Jews threw non-physical ‘stones’ of love.

Inspiring thoughts about memory, completing tasks, marketing, and anorexia.

Taking risks for outreach is not easy and there have been spiritual pitfalls over the years.

The Jew-Nazi drinking game has trivialized, even fictionalized, the Holocaust into a mode of entertainment.

Instead of a time when a race of sentient robots will roam the Earth, we prefer to focus on the time when humans will live according to their fullest potentials.

    Latest Poll

    Israel's Iron Dome Anti-Missile System:





    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/curing-internet-addiction-with-torah-novelties/2014/02/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: