Dan Ain, 92YTribeca’s new Rabbi-in-Residence, is thinking about the High Holidays. Specifically, his thoughts have turned to the new technological world we live, with astonishing access to information:
Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, was recently quoted in The Wall Street Journal, commenting on a society where “...everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time.” He predicts that every young person one day will be entitled automatically to change his or her name on reaching adulthood in order to disown youthful hijinks stored on their friends’ social media sites. Has technology really taken us to the point that we all need to change our names because of some careless photo posted years ago? Have we become that unforgiving?
If the web means the “end of forgetting” as outlined by a recent New York Times Magazine cover story, then we truly have all begun to see our lives through a technological lens.
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur provide us with the opportunity to get back to using our own eyes, our own senses, so that we can reconnect with the person we want to be, as opposed to what our technology needs us to be. Maybe then we can remember how to forgive each other and forgive ourselves, without having to resort to changing our names.
Celebrate the High Holidays with Rabbi Dan when he leads Rosh Hashanah services on September 8th and 9th, and Yom Kippur services on September 17th and 18th.
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