Modern technology has brought many advantages with it, especially when it comes to making our material life more convenient and efficient. Telecommunications is certainly no exception, and since everything that exists in the physical world has a spiritual counterpart, it is worthwhile trying to understand what we can learn from the now commonplace telephone and its wireless counterpart – the cell phone from a fresh Torah perspective.
Speed dialing or automatic redialing can help us to better appreciate the value of each second as Rabbi Tarfon’s said: “The day is short and …the task is abundant …” Pirkei Avos: 2:20.
Call forwarding can remind us of that which the Baal Shem Tov said that “a person is where their thoughts are”.
Storing and erasing information, at the push of a button, can help us to understand that we all have the power to retain valuable thoughts and delete undesirable ones.
The flash button, which enables us to put a call on hold until we are ready to speak further, can serve as a reminder of the wise words of Pirkei Avos 3:17, that “… a protective fence for wisdom is silence.”
Caller I.D, which screens our calls, can be seen to teach us that we all have the ability to “monitor” our thoughts.
Being able to make calls at any time can make us more aware that how much more so are our tefillos are receivable at anytime.
Wireless phones can help us to better understand that our tefillos certainly do not need any physical connection to reach their destination.
Limited calling plans that become exorbitantly costly if one exceeds their quota reminds us the value of “weighing and measuring” our words..
Dialing 911 for emergency services can be seen to correspond to the “Heavenly hot line” available whenever we “call out” from the depths of our hearts.
Three-way calling can help us to realize that all of our conversations are “three way” as it is written: “… He Who implants the ear, shall He not hear …” (Tehillim 94)
And last but not least we can certainly come realize that since there exists unlimited unrestricted calling plans between friends and family how much more is our “calling plan” between us and our Father in Heaven limitless and unrestricted.
All year long these and other “supernal features” are available but Codesh Elul is a time that is especially fitting to upgrade our lines of communication.
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