The Joy of Quiet

Dear Friends,

I thought you might be interested in the article The Joy of Quiet.

Yes, I know it’s anachronistic to say that we are being overrun by technology and it is leading us down a road that might lead to nowhere. But, as you know I rarely have views that sync with pop-culture anyway.

Over the past several months I have begun to limit (ever-so-slightly) my use of technology. Not going to sleep with an Ipad by my side has been difficult, made easier by knowing that my phone charging a few feet away can access the same information with just a bit more eyestrain.

Teaching in High School I see hands on the change that tech is having on the youth. While there are many positives to having the world at your fingertips, the ability to focus, have patience, and think critically are not one of them.

We need to think preemptively on how we are going to be able to filter the use of this technology and our kids reliance on it, if we are going to stay ahead of the curve. The question is whether we are willing to make the tough choice to do so. Just imagine the complaining your going to get when you turn off the wifi in the house after 10:00.

Anyway, it’s time to tackle this issue head on. Wifi, the ipad and texting are not so ‘old’ that we can’t develop some strategy to limit its hold on our world.

Please take the time to read the article below. I await your comments.

Moses D. Haber

Life is Good!

Israeli Govt Ad Campaign

I recently came across an article in the times talking about a recent ad campaign by the Israeli government aimed at getting Israelis in America to move back home. Here is one of the videos:

These commercials seem to suggest that Israelis should move back before they assimilate too much into American culture. As you can imagine, many American Jews were angered by the implications, suggesting that they risk assimilation in America, and that they will lose their Jewish identity in America.

Here’s a quote from the ADL:

Abraham H. Foxman, the national director for the Anti-Defamation League, called the commercials, “heavy-handed, and even demeaning.” He added: “While we appreciate the rationale behind the Israeli government’s appeal to its citizens living in the U.S. to return to Israel, we are concerned that some may be offended by what the video implies about American Jewry.”

NYT Article

I personally am not offended by these advertisements, and feel that they are solely a comment on Israeli culture. To me, these commercials have nothing to do with American Jews at all and completely support efforts to encourage people to move to, or move back to Israel. But it does raise questions about Jewish identity and Jewish nationalism in the US versus Israel.

Demonstrations In Flatbush

Have a look at this video. It seems like someone from Neturei Karta incited some of the syrians demonstrating on Ocean Parkway and Avenue L today. Not sure if this is related to the car burning early on Friday morning, or something else. How would you have reacted if you were there?

Credit to FailedMessiah for the video