we live in the Facebook age

Friday, 23 October, 2015 - 7:11 am


I don’t know whether the social media is good for the world or not. It doesn’t really matter, either, because its existence is a fact: we live in the Facebook age. In my opinion, the social media has changed our lives and our world completely, more than any other of the technological innovations, of which new generations are born every two months. Why do I think so? Because Facebook forces people to tell the truth – at least their own truth, the truth they believe in.

Facebook enables the average person to fight the system and get what he’s entitled to. A few thousand “likes”, and even a huge establishment like the BBC changes a fallacious title, replacing it with a fairer and more truthful report. Every publicfigure knows that every sentence he says or writes will be examined, commented upon and sometimes attacked. And since that is so, people try to stick to their truth, with less justifying and masquerading and more truthful self-expression.

Many people are mentioning these days the significant role that the social media plays in the incitement connected with the wave of terror attacks that we are experiencing these days. But one should take note of that other point that I mentioned above – the truth that is exposed thanks to these sites. It’s not the leaders speaking in the name of the public and saying things that don’t represent the public’s opinion; now the public itself speaks and votes with “likes”.

Thanks to Facebook and the other social media, it is clear today that the war is not over part of the land of Israel, but about all of this land. Arabs (at least, the vast majority of them, those who are not afraid to say the truth) from all over the country, and from all social strata, say very clearly: There was no Temple here, the land is not yours. And on the other side, Jews of all sorts – and I admit that I am surprised by it – say equally clearly: There was a Temple here, and the land is ours.

Of course, there are disagreements among the Jews, but these are political and not historical.

This means that we really have no choice but to go back and check how the land became ours; perhaps we should go even deeper, and examine who is this “we”. And that’s what brings us to our weekly Parasha, Parashat Lech Lecha. This is the Parasha in which we meet Avraham Avinu, the person who created that “we”. In this Parasha the land is given to him: “Rise up, walk through the land, to its length and breadth, because to you I will give it” – so says Hashem to him. And later on in the same Parasha, it is clear how it is ours, when Avraham almost endangers the gift that has just been given to him and offers Hashem the possibility of giving up on a son from Sarah, saying “Oh, that Yishmael might live before You!” And Hashem says to him: “But Sarah your wife will bear you a son and you shall call his name Yitzchak, and I will fulfill My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him.”

For, without that, we really have no way to counter the claims that are brought against us everywhere these days.


Shabbat Shalom,


Rabbi Zalmen Wishedski

Comments on: we live in the Facebook age
There are no comments.