Friday, November 12, 2010

Robo-Rabbi


A recent article in the Wall Street Journal discusses the trend among some people, especially the geeks among us (and who here is not one to some level or another?) to carry around all of their technology including multiple smart phones, laptops, and tablets. There is one person mentioned in the article who ends up carrying around a 26 pound backpack with him to hold all of his techo-stuff.

Which made me wonder, what has technology done to our lives? I know I am not the first to ask this, nor the last, but as I 'settle down' as a senior rabbi for the first time in my career, I find I am spending more time responding to emails at times than having actual human interactions. And when I do interact with congregants and non-congregants alike, almost every one of those interactions involves using my iPhone at one time or another. Now I don't have email alerts, so it is not that I am distracted during these conversations, but instead I find I often need to check a date or an address or something similar during the discussion.

I feel at times like I am a robo-rabbi. I can just imagine the day with the development of cybernetics that we will look like Robocop but with peyus and a megillah scroll rather than a gun and a targeting system.

But in all seriousness, I do wonder if all of this technological advancement is helping Judaism or slightly removing us from it? I am still unsure, but I did appreciate having an isiddur when I was at a shiva minyan and they ran out of prayerbooks.

So maybe it is a mixed blessing at best. But still something I ponder from time to time.

And for those of you who are wondering, yes I do get the irony of posting this particular post on a blog

The Only Tech These Geeks Lack Is a Cart to Haul Their Gadgets