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Sunday, December 28, 2014

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The inevitability of a broken cellphone

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It was difficult for the Jewish People to be disconnected from Moishe while the Jewish leader spent time on Mount Sinai with God. They had a deep sense of abandonment, and therefore constructed the Golden Calf so as to be comforted.

While a broken cellphone is not as daunting as watching your leader walk into a cloud of smoke, it can be somewhat unnerving, even traumatic.

I am one of those people who are not particularly at home with material things.  Throughout my life I have made great efforts to purchase furniture that reflects a grown-up attitude and to design my living quarters in a way that is contemporary and balanced. After many tries, I have finally succeeded in creating a welcoming and warm home, I believe, but I always feel as if I’m a step away from adulthood. 

And therein lies my challenge with my cellphone. Like most of us, I began using one a few years ago for work and play. And like most of you, I slowly and so very surely became addicted to that little black electronic device, so much so that it would travel with me from room to room.  I was never alone.

Like my other material things, my BlackBerry would live hard. If I was watching a hockey game, inevitably it would slide off my 1980s Victorian-style couch, ending up on the floor, sometimes in pieces. If I was washing my heirloom dishes, this futuristic device would sit by the suds, vibrating and beeping messages to me about my life – all of which seem so crucial – and getting wet.

Now what I learned early on about the BlackBerry is that, like a cat, it does not see any liquid entity as a comrade. 

Once I splashed the BlackBerry with puddles of water while taking a bath and, of course, my screen went wonky despite hours of blow-drying the little devil. Pardon my crassness, but somehow, in some way, on a day like any other, my mobile phone fell into the toilet. What does one do when faced with such a formidable scenario? Reach in, of course, and promptly dump it into a bag of rice – the theory being that it will suck the moisture out of the chips and wires that make up this highly sophisticated phone.

Does it work? Some people tell positive stories, and of course, others can only mourn the loss of a good bag of basmati. 

Now that so many of us have developed such an addiction, how do we deal with the future, one in which the inevitability of loss will occur. In simpler terms, what precautions can we put into play with the knowledge that at some point, in some place, our cellphone will break, perhaps by water, or even by the sword? After many discussions with individuals who seem to have an intuitive understanding of how to care for material things, consensus is, there are none.

Like the Jewish People who simply had to watch as Moses ascended Mount Sinai, fearing he might not come back, we have to accept that something as necessary as our cellphones, which go through greater use than any other thing we own, will eventually tumble, fall, somersault, flip-flop, cartwheel and spill right off the sink into a puddle below. 

While I wish I could be more hopeful, I can’t. The good news is, Moishe returned with the tablets – twice.

Avrum.rosensweig@veahavta.org

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