web analytics
April 28, 2015 / 9 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Opening My Eyes on Lag Ba’omer

Boy wearing Oculus Rift

Boy wearing Oculus Rift
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Part of the fun of writing articles for public consumption is the possibility of receiving comments that are, well … colorful. Thankfully this week I merited such an occurrence (okay, several).

Whereas likes and shares are well appreciated, in all seriousness, it is these colorful comments that foster fortitude and make for hopefully better articles in the future. Therefore unless the comments are totally off the wall (had a few of those also), I try my best to think about them and act on these “pleasantly said suggestions” where appropriate.

There was one in particular that I read last night on Lag Ba’omer which contained two fundamental questions: What has religion got to do with virtual reality (the article was about the Oculus Rift VR headset)? And: Why are you speaking out against the progress of technology?

Having written about the convergence between Jewish thought and technology actively for over two years now, I was taken aback. It’s been now been over 200 articles since I began this journey, but now 200 articles later, I felt as if I was back to square one.

For a moment, I felt floored and doubted whether I was doing a good job, and whether these articles were clear enough. Then I remembered something that I had read literally seconds before that comment. Thankfully, this was one of those instances when the desire to do many unrelated things at once paid off.

Open My Eyes

My primary activity was reading a new translation of a Lag Ba’omer discourse by the Lubavitcher Rebbe. The topic of the meditation was the verse from Psalms, “Open my eyes (gal einai) that I may behold wonders from your Torah.” Being as I work at an organization named after the beginning two words of this verse — Gal Einai — I was excited to see this new translation.*

I was at the end of Page 8 when I changed screens to read this comment questioning my approach, and everything I had been actively writing during these past two years (and another ten years before that). I was devastated, not because I think a writer can be expected to make every reader happy, but because the approach was misunderstood. Without knowing how to respond, I decided to plunge myself back into the discourse, rereading the section I had just read before the comment. And here it is:

“Hashem made the revealed aspect of Torah in such a way that a human being is able to understand it intellectually…by designing the Torah in such a way that the “soul” (secrets) of the Torah – even the “soul of the soul” – can be seen within the “body” (logical aspect) of Torah…

To give a practical example, if Hashem didn’t create the Torah in this way, there would be a distinct section of the Torah that taught the secrets of the Torah, but we wouldn’t be able to relate to it from the existence we live in…”

You can read the full 23 pages for yourself if you like, but the text shot back at me like a flash of light. The section speaks about the ability to relate to both the secrets of the Torah, and the physical reality we live in. As the Lubavitcher Rebbe emphasized years after this discourse was said, to “open our eyes” to see the reality of the Redemption before us.

But there are an innumerable amount of physical things “from the existence we live in” that a person can choose to meditate upon. Thus that article was an attempt to convey the spiritual side, the secret behind a piece of technology called Oculus Rift.

About the Author: Yonatan Gordon is a student of Harav Yitzchak Ginsburgh, and publishes his writings on InwardNews.com, a new site he co-founded.


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 “Opening My Eyes on Lag Ba’omer”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
UNRWA Rocket Logo
UNRWA Chutzpa
Latest Indepth Stories
Those who need care can least afford it: African refugees.

We could establish cities of refuge for the refugees; they’d become citizens of these new places.

The International Criminal Court building in the Hague, the Netherlands.

There is cause to believe the ICC is an improper venue for sorting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

.The real BDS.

Congress described it as “economic warfare against Israel” yet US Jewish leaders proudly finance it!

World Zionist Congress elections end April 30.

Groups promoting anti-Israel/anti-Jewish BDS right on their websites are running in the WZC election

Pataki is the last Republican Governor to win a majority of Jewish votes.

Obama’s desire to be “fair” enables Iran to get nuclear weapons which will threaten global security

All GOP candidates will continue seeking – and praying – for Jewish money with greater success.

The one reason to make Aliyah outweighs all the arguments not to move to Israel.

“We returned to this Land not in order to be murdered, or uprooted. We came here to be replanted!”

I don’t fear for the future of our people because I believe Yeshiva University has created an “Iron Dome” of Jewish leadership

Poland’s great Jewish cities where Jewish life had once flourished and thrived, were now desolate

Chief rabbi, Rav Dovid Lau, stated that the Torah community’s turnout in the WZO election is vital.

Iran has at its core the same ideology as that of ISIS but, inaccurately, is thought a lesser threat

An early Yom Ha’atzmaut gathering for Israel’s 67th birthday with Pres. Rivlin of Israel and guests

Israel’s Memorial Day shouldn’t be a day of mourning, it’s a day to honor, not another Holocaust Day

God’s 3 part promise for Israel: to the Avot; a plentiful land; the eventual return home by all Jews

More Articles from Yonatan Gordon
game-figure-598036_1280-810x540

Combating Amalek doesn’t mean all who disagree with you is evil-rather whom to follow and to oppose

Skateboard king at Chabad-Lubavitch Yeshiva in Jerusalem

I envision a Kiruv approach perceiving a world filled with Godliness instead of issues to be avoided

Whereas we didn’t expect much from HarperCollins, we need to expect more from ourselves.

What does it mean “to fight as a Jew”? Fighting with the power of voice, the “voice of Jacob.”

San Francisco schools transformed by power of daily meditation,successfully reducing school violence

Pop culture teaches “thought creates reality;” Chassidut: “Divinity’s a given,reality’s a novelty”

“Deliberance” means to be inspired by “hearing the great shofar blast” ushering the Redemption

There is no difficulty today recognizing the “doubled and redoubled” darkness of the world.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/opening-my-eyes-on-lag-baomer/2014/05/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: