web analytics
December 19, 2014 / 27 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



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 writes on his personal blog at CommunityofReaders.org.


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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Cinema City Iron Man Theater in Jerusalem. (illustrative)
US Govt IDs North Korea in Sony Cyber Terror Attack
Latest Indepth Stories
Greiff-112814-Men

Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof

Two dreidels from the author’s extensive collection.

What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.

Sprecher-121914

The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.

Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US

No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?

For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.

It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.

For Am Yisrael, the sun’s movements are subservient to the purpose of our existence.

Israelis now know Arab terrorism isn’t caused by Israeli occupation but by ending Israeli occupation

Anti-Semitism is a social toxin that destroys the things that people most cherish and enjoy.

Amb. Cooper highlighted the impact of the Chanukah/Maccabee spirit on America’s Founding Fathers

Zealousness has its place and time in Judaism; Thank G-d for heroic actions of the Maccabees!

Israel and the strengthening of the Jewish people in faith and numbers has brought a growing light

More Articles from Yonatan Gordon
Dancing Hareidim

You can be into modern things and learn Chassidus–this is most encouraged and welcomed.

Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, dean of the Yitzhar Yeshivah

Rav Ginsburgh, dean of Od Yosef Chai, has come out publicly against any form of price tag vandalism

All involved in the Ferguson debate should learn the laws pertinent to non-Jews: the Noahide Laws.

A “Shliach” means to do acts with complete devotion and dedication in order to help bring Moshiach.

As we Jews returned to the Holy Land and prayed at our holy sites, forces fighting holiness came too

For the Jewish people to move forward we must not despair, rather we must instill hope and optimism.

What the world calls confessional writing, we call teshuvah (returning to God and His Torah).

“God guides our every step in this world. Let’s make the most of these steps.”

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: