May 22, 2024
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May 22, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

We were starting to think that we were coming of age in the technological world. Yes, it is true that our young grandchildren, those below the teenage years, could give us tutorials on how to use our computers and our smartphones, but slowly we were grooving it (or so we thought).

Admittedly, Mordechai has chosen not to have a smartphone but Nina loves it totally. It is embarrassing for her that she finds herself checking her messages and texts with the same ardor that so many others do. She has come of age.

However, there is just so much that you can expect of us. We realized that on Erev Shavuot. Here we are busily preparing for the chag. Nina has prepared scrumptious milchig meals to reward her family and friends with and it is time to set the “Sabbath Mode” of our new to us oven. OK—it says press two buttons together—we try it and zilch. Then we press another button and put it on bake—zilch. Then we turn everything off and begin again. Make sure to turn on your light prior to beginning this procedure. Okay—we got that. Press bake, delay start etc. etc. As Nina’s mother would say, a “nechtiga tag.” Nina’s gets the brilliant idea to call Frigidaire and give them the model number. They actually had a record of the fact that we had called before with exactly the same problem. It must have been the last time we were at home for a chag. The nice Southern Belle from the help desk at Frigidaire, located in Georgia, tells us in her drawl that she can help us get the Sabbath mode started. Yes, it is on. We are so excited. We did it. Wow what a relief. The next morning before leaving for Shul Mordechai comes to inform Nina of the fact that our oven is off. Ugh. Even the Southern Belle didn’t know what to do. Later in the day we call in our neighbor Anita who told us that as a child she was a Shabbos Goy in Brooklyn and would be rewarded each time with a quarter. Consider how long ago that must have been as Anita is 91 years young. We try to instruct her as to what has to be done with the instruction book in our hands. Nina is in a panic thinking of all of the company she is having that will be served totally cold everything. Yeah—Anita does it and six hours later our oven is off.

Why can’t we have our old oven back? It was “fixed” by an electrician to never go off! What a pleasure. We left it on for as many days as we needed it. It wasn’t fancy. It didn’t have a million buttons and our food was always warm when we wanted to eat it. We don’t even feel guilty about not understanding this new system. On Pesach in Rochester our daughter Malkie was devastated when her “Sabbath Mode” went off—just two days ago on Shavuot our daughter Chavie was so upset that her oven door was locking and she had no way to open it to get her food out. Another consequence of the wonderful Sabbath Mode. Ha—it is not just us. Few today would consider buying a new oven that didn’t comply to the wonderful standards of modern day time. It would be so “old world” to go back in time! Honestly we don’t think so.

It reminds Nina of a conversation she had with someone last week who commented that Nina dialed a telephone number instead of going to her contacts. The woman said that she would not even know her husband’s number. She has no reason to remember it. Everything is in her phone.

For the same reason no one needs to send a letter anymore because texting is so much easier.

Thank you notes have become a memory of the past—“thinking of you” letters are passe.

When Nina texts she often comments that it would be so much faster to call the person and connect that way. It is also so much more charming when two voices connect. Saying “I love you,” in person sure beats saying it in a text. We can’t imagine that would take so much extra time for anyone.

Yes, we think that maybe we need to go back from the future. We ate hot food whenever we wanted it, took the time to speak with those we wanted to and still relish all of the handwritten letters that Nina has saved from her Grandmother who lived in Haifa. Too bad that we are losing these amenities of life.

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick

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