Photo Credit: courtesy, Sivan Rahav Meir
Sivan Rahav Meir

What is your opinion of the speedier version of WhatsApp? It’s now possible to hear recorded messages twice as fast as before. This saves lots of time and I have already gotten used to it. It’s addictive. Sometimes during regular phone calls or even face-to-face conversations I would also prefer to speed things up.

Patience, listening, concentration, waiting patiently, the capacity to be here and now and not to run ahead, the ability to fully experience the moment – all of these are significantly diminished in the digital age. Therefore, in our generation, Shabbat takes on new meaning as it is now needed more than ever.

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In the near future we may play football twice as fast. After all, aren’t 90 minutes too long for a match? And songs – why should we have to invest three full minutes listening to a piece of music? But Shabbat interrupts this endless race on the technological superhighway. All of a sudden, when the sun goes down, we’re not running anywhere. For an entire night and day we just talk, sing, eat, pray, rest, and read – and everything is done at a relaxed pace. All of a sudden, there’s plenty of time.

Perhaps this is an app in reverse where instead of going twice as fast we go twice as slow and are fully present in each moment – as soon as the sun goes down and Shabbat arrives.

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Some Thoughts from the Legendary Emmanuel Moreno, z”l

Fifteenth anniversary memorial services for soldiers and civilians killed in the Second Lebanon War have been held in recent days. Today the last of these will take place. It will honor the memory of legendary Lieutenant Colonel Emmanuel Moreno, who was killed at the close of the war. Moreno, a lead officer in Sayeret Matkal, Israel’s most elite special forces unit, participated in 165 undercover missions, some of them so delicate that publication of his picture is forbidden until today. But we are allowed to publish his thoughts and here are several of them that his widow Maya Ohana-Moreno previously sent me with her own explanatory comments:

“Whatever does not take you forward will automatically take you backward.”

These words guided Emmanuel in everything he did – whether in the military, in Torah study, in his profession and, above all, in constant improvement and refinement of his character traits.

“G-d is constantly creating tools for positivity.” Everything that happens to us in life happens in order to make us better, to increase our positive influence, and to make us do more good.

“A tzadik will fall seven times but rise each time…. The challenge for our generation is not ‘not to fall,’ but to know that when you fall you rise.” The word “despair” was not in Emmanul’s vocabulary. Every fall, he said, is a springboard for an ascent.

“Don’t make yourself into a big deal.” Don’t put yourself at the center, don’t think that the story is all about you. There are bigger things than you. Do not allow yourself to despair over personal difficulties because the missions before you take precedence over your personal life.

(translation by Yehoshua Siskin)

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Sivan Rahav-Meir is a popular Channel 12 News anchor, the host of a weekly radio show on Galei Tzahal, a columnist for Yediot Aharonot, and the author of “#Parasha.” Every day she shares short Torah thoughts to over 100,000 Israelis – both observant and not – via Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp.