Friday, April 07, 2006

The Future is Now


It was the year 2020 and everyone was finally equal.

The Microsoft iPod (renamed after the merger) had reached the final stage of its evolution, and was now worn on the wrist of 95 out of 100 Americans from age 2 to 102, with built-in instant messaging and Blue Tooth II technology worn in the ear and in Microsoft iGlasses (which of course met Federal Law for mandatory UV protection). In short, the MS iPod had become as essential to life as a pair of shoes. Even more so, because Microsoft had increased the pace of development to the point that they were bringing out a new feature every single day. We woke with excited anticipation of what today’s upgrade would be, and the entire world tuned in to their podcast at precisely noon Pacific time to hear the report. If it was a software upgrade, it could be downloaded within the hour, if hardware, one had only to stop at the nearest iService station to make the exchange.

We used our iPods for everything – entertainment, shopping, voting, studying, raising children, and so on. It was clear to most of us that technology had finally fulfilled the promise of liberation of the masses, and already by 2015 Rev Billy Gates III had founded the First iPod Church, where worldwide daily virtual attendance peaked at 1.6 billion in 2020. The Church’s motto was, “Touch your wrist and love God”.

But there was a group of spoilers who had rejected the blessings of this salvation. One wondered how they got along, with cell phones? It was hard to imagine. Why not carrier pigeons? I knew some of these people. Somehow, they became very good at predicting natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes and annoyed a lot of people. Then they started talking about leaving en masse to outer space, to who knows where? We thought they were completely nuts. Who would have guessed that they would succeed? Just before they left, they started amassing iPods – both old and new – and bragging that they would be holding a public burning of our Salvation Technology, which would be followed, they claimed, by their invisible God (why would you want an invisible god when you can wear one on your wrist? I still don’t understand) taking them out of our beautiful country to the wilderness of space.

I don’t know why nobody tried to stop them. Those mounds of iPods were so big, and our hearts were breaking to see the sacrilege, but no one had the guts to try to stop them, maybe because they seemed so confident.

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On the Shabbat before Passover, the Israelites gathered sheep – worshipped by Egyptians – to slaughter a few days later. The Jews finally recognized the emptiness of material gods and killing the Egyptian god was a sign of spiritual maturity. This is a deeper meaning of Shabbat HaGadol – the Sabbath of the Mature. The Jewish People had finally reached adolescence.

A question for your table: There are many ideas and “gods” that enslave people today, all of them materialistic (can you name 3?). When we discard bread and eat matza, what does this annual ritual teach us about life?

Time is running out - go get your matza and get rid of that chametz! (If you don't yet have a seder to attend, or if you would like to host someone who needs a seder to attend, please email me.)

Shabbat Shalom.

2 comments:

Natasha Shabat said...

Great story! Great imagination! Just this week I've been teaching my adult Hebrew students the words to all of the verses of Dayenu, many of which don't actually get sung -- or understood -- at many seders. One of the lines in Dayenu speaks of Gd visiting judgments upon the Egyptian gods -- and for this we say, "It would have been enough for us."

"Judgments against Egyptian gods? Where do we read about those?" asked my students. Thus resulted some interesting discussions about the Egyptians and their false gods. I'll recommend your blog to my students!

Shabbat shalom,

Natasha

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

I don't even own blue tooth or an ipod.