April 14, 2024
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April 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

In a recent conversation with my daughter, she mentioned that there was a smell coming from the drain in her dishwasher. She was cutting up orange peels because she was out of lemons and was planning to run through a cycle with the hope that the scent of the peels would remove the odor. I immediately suggested that she Google the problem. Why bother to use our imaginations or our brains? These days, with one or two strokes of our fingers on the keyboard we are able to receive the answers to these innocuous questions and anything else that our brains desire to know.

Today I was attempting to place two new chairs that we had purchased for our living room. Somehow the room just didn’t look right to me until I thought of going to Google and asking it to show me room placement suggestions. One, two, three, it appeared on my screen. To trusted decorators out there, I doubt that Google will ever replace your critical eye and caring concern for how things should be placed just right.

It reminds me of those who think that they know everything much better than any travel agent, and not until they make a mistake in their booking or find out that someone else is paying significantly less for a plane ticket do they realize that if they had contacted a travel agent from the beginning they would have been much better off. Sadly, our generation today thinks they know everything better than even the professional (words from a travel agent of many years).

How interesting it is that with all of our abilities to make life easier in the computer age that we live in, we have not been given the ability to make life less stressful over the past 11 months. Not even Google can tell married couples how to talk with each other each day, because in many cases they are spending much more time together that they have ever been accustomed to. Not even Google has helped us to parent our children more effectively with the advent of Zoom learning and teaching.

Once a child is of a certain age, if not sooner in many homes, the responsibility of the child falls on the school and staff that they have been entrusted to. Few parents ever dreamed that they would have to pay for having their children home for weeks at a time without attending school in person. Not even the fanciest system has been able to alleviate the stress so many of us are living through. This is one area where Google does not seem able to help.

Google, or her friend Siri, can turn on the lights, the dishwasher or any type of music, but lo and behold still cannot control people’s emotions (b”H). This is one area that we need to control ourselves. In most cases it takes much introspection and much work. I wonder how many are finding the process difficult after such a long period of time.

Although there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, I am too frightened to believe that it might be true. We have all suffered so much from the unknown; what we now need to give some thought to is what the world will be like at the end of the pandemic. Will couples be able to repair breakdowns in relationships once they are attempting to resume normal lives? Will parents have a desire to see more of their children once they return to semi-normal routines? Will friends be able to pick up with each other after having been isolated from each other for so long? Often discussed, will people return to their normal minyanim and reinvolve themselves in community?

I guess that the most efficient way to go about this process is to relish the light that will suddenly shine upon us, and then take one day at a time in order to readjust to the new normal. Let’s face it, after what we have all lived through it will definitely take time.


Nina Glick lives in Bergenfield with her husband, Rabbi Mordechai Glick, after many years of service to the Montreal Jewish community. Nina coordinated all Yachad activities in Montreal and was a co/founder of Maison Shalom, a group home for special needs young adults. She can be reached at [email protected].

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