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Digital Detox

Thursday, 17 December, 2015 - 11:01 am

I was reading about a company called digital detox. They provide individuals, families and companies the opportunity to put aside their digital arm, gain perspective, and reemerge with new found inspiration, balance and connection. 

Essentially, what they do is take you on a technology free retreat for a digital detox!

When you do a digital detox with your family, it brings people closer and the feeling of unity becomes really strong. 

There are 3 types of unity:

1) If someone or something is missing we are incomplete
2) Each person is a contributor to the greater whole
3) You don't even see the individual - we are all one 

For example:

1) If David didn't make it home for dinner we would be incomplete
2) When David is here he makes things so much fun
3) We are all one family

We see in this week’s Torah portion that Yehuda tells Yosef to not even think of enslaving Benjamin. Why? "For your servant has guaranteed the lad." Meaning, I do not see him as just a contributor, he is part of my family and enslaving him is enslaving me.

We read this portion right before the fast this upcoming Tuesday, the fast of the 10th of Tevet. This fast commemorates the day that Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Jerusalem, the commencement of the war that led to the destruction of the holy Temple. 

The spiritual goal of the siege was to create a "digital detox", a time for people to connect and enhance their unity. Sadly, it did not work and the Holy Temple was destroyed.

The main reason for the Holy Temple being destroyed was a lack of Jewish unity. One of the messages that we can take from the Divine Providence arranging that we read this portion before this fast day, is to see what we can do to enhance Jewish unity. Seeing our fellow Jew as part of the family is the highest level of unity.

Sometimes I think I need a digital detox to connect with others a self-imposed siege, what do you think? 

What is one thing you can do to work on creating this type of unity this week?  

Please reply with your thoughts

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman 

P.S. The 10th of Tevet (this year, December 22, 2015) is observed as a day of fasting, mourning and repentance. We refrain from food and drink from daybreak to nightfall, and add selichot and other special supplements to our prayers. The fast ends at nightfall or as soon as you see three medium sized stars in the sky. Details can be found here.

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