October 3, 2013 Noach
S.T.A.R. News & Events
Here are S.T.A.R.’s upcoming exciting events:
OCT. 13, 2013
Kid’s Knott’s Berry Madness is going to be fantastic!
OCT. 26, 2013
Knott’s Scary Haunt, a night of fright and flight!
Friday Candle Lighting: 6:15pm
Shabbat Ends: 7:15pm
We Have The Technology
"They said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks and burn them in fire.’ And the brick served them as stone, and the lime served them as mortar." (11:3)
Technology is the conceit of the modern world.
The GPS system in our car allows us to receive satellite signals locating our position to within six feet anywhere on the planet. Behind the helm of our trusty gleaming V-8, we are the kings of the road. Previous generations pale into technological primitives.
We have the technology.
With a cellular phone we can call from the desert, from the top of a mountain, from the middle of nowhere, and communicate to anywhere in the world. And what are those deathless words that we wish to communicate across the tens of thousands of miles?
"Hi! Guess where I am!"
Now that’s what I call progress.
We may know where our car is better than ever before, but when it comes to knowing where weourselves are, that’s a different story.
If we had developed in any real sense over the last couple of thousand years, would we still find anything of value in Shakespeare? If the human spirit had undergone a comparable degree of progress to technology, the poetry and art of those who died hundreds of years ago should seem impossibly quaint to the modern eye. If we were really more advanced, no one should be in the slightest bit interested in John Donne, Cervantes, Sophocles, Pascal, Mozart or Boticelli – except for historians. And yet, we recognize that our generation is hard put to come anywhere close to these artists.
Technology is an apology for our feelings of inferiority when we compare ourselves to our forebears. Our axiom is, "We may have less to say, but we can say it from the middle of nowhere." Cold comfort is better than none.
At the end of this week’s Torah portion there is a description of the attempt of the Generation of Dispersion (Dor Hapalaga) to build a tower that reached into the sky.
“They said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks and burn them in fire.’ And the brick served them as stone, and the lime served them as mortar.”
Rashi comments: “In Babylon there were no stones…”
Because there were no stones in Babylon, they were forced to apply technology and invent the brick. Immediately following this verse they say, "Come, let’s build a city and a tower with its top in the heavens." They wanted to make a tower to challenge G-d.
This is a seeming non-sequitur. What does the lack of stones in Babylon have to do with building a city and a tower to challenge G-d? Why is making bricks a harbinger of incipient rebellion?
The Dor Hapalaga was intoxicated with technology. Bricks were the Babylonian equivalent of a Saturn V rocket. Take some mud, bake it and voila! Genius. If Man can take mud and turn it into towers and spires and palaces, what can he not do? Is there a limit to his powers?
From this kind of thinking there is a very small step for Mankind to think that they can dispense with G-d completely.
"Let us build and make for us a name.”
We have the technology.
- Sources: Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, Rabbi Yissochar Frand
Rabbi M. Weiss Rabbi Y. Sakhai
Em Habanim Congregation
Weekly Parashat Hashavua class with Rabbi Joshua Bittan on Wednesdays at 8:30pm for more info. visit www.emhabanim.com
Avot Ubanim Program has started for fathers and their kids of ages 4 and up every Saturday night from 7:30pm – 8:30pm, Lots of prizes and great Pizza every week!
Em Habanim Sephardic Congregation is pleased to make available its elegant venue for your celebration. Excellent location with easy access to freeways. For more info. visit emhabanim.com