Friday, June 12, 2009

Going Digital

In memory Chaya Miriam bas Zev HaLevi (Proctor) and Aharon ben Baruch (Dr. Aaron Zeldman). She passed away after a long illness; he passed away suddenly. Both were parents of young children.
To dedicate a future Table Talk, send an email.

The goal of this blog is to stimulate conversation at your Friday night or holiday dinner table. Please print and share.

A question, followed by a story, followed by a question.

The question: What would you imagine are the qualifications to sit on the Sanhedrin (the Biblical Jewish Supreme Court)?

Answer: Have to have a multi-cultural background, fluent in numerous languages; have to know the Torah so well you can prove that pork is kosher using Biblical sources; and here’s the big one: you have to be a “tov”. A tov means someone who goes to bat for others. Who goes the extra mile to help someone, even a stranger, in need.

Think about that while I tell you the digital-conversion story for your table.

Our family joined the trend (or did we set the trend?) not to have TV at home, not at all. Some people think we must be fanatics.

Recently, someone gave us an older computer that had great software for kids. They quickly learned how to paint, write, learn to type, and play various games and so on. I was pleased.

Then I saw it turning into TV – ie, . Soon the computer was gone.

People with children talk about teaching children the value of money. Why is this important?

Probably because we want them to be successful in business – buying and selling, working and spending and saving.

Here’s the second question for your table: Can you judge a person’s values based on how they spend their money?

Don’t look outward, look inward.

Our country has spent over $800 million to help people convert their TVs. We seem to have decided collectively that TV is a very high value. More valuable than all of the programs that are not being funded.

Now for you – what is your monthly and annual expenditure on TV and high-speed internet. How does this amount compare to what you spend on tzedaka?

You could put the question in terms of time – what is your weekly amount of TV watching and web-surfing – and how does that compare to your time doing chesed?

I just learned of a new children’s book on this topic – Aliza in MitzvahLand (a play on Alice in Wonderland) – teaches kids who are bored that

"When I've got nothing to do,
It's because I'm forgetting...
Our world was made for giving
Not getting!"

Here is a link to the book.

Shabbat Shalom

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