It's the age old question: Is so and so Jewish or not? I'm not talking about the controversial "Who is a Jew" question that gets into matters of lineage. Rather, the dinner party question of whether a celebrity is Jewish or not.
9/11 changed so much. We all know that. Much has changed in technology since that dreadful day ten years ago. What if Twitter were around on 9/11? What if Facebook were around on 9/11? Think about how that would have changed that day.
In the face of evil and horrific events does come some good. Social media has grown in ways no one imagined in the pre-9/11 world. We network much more. We form groups and huddles and circles. We chat via video and texting.
The Covenant Foundation's executive director Harlene Appelman has apparently taught a new term to the founder of Darim Online, Lisa Coltin (@lisacoltin). The term is The Positive Deviant and learning that term has led Lisa to blog about another interesting term that techies are throwing around these days: "The Accidental Techie". Here's what Lisa posted on the Darim blog, JewPoint0:
Tisha B'Av, the 25-hour fast day beginning Monday night, is not the most popular holiday on the Jewish calendar. Many Jews let this summer day of commemoration of the destruction of the two temples in Jerusalem (as well as other calamities that befell the Jewish people) go by without much attention. However, for the Jewish people who spend part of the night and day in solemn prayer, listening to the dirgeful recitation of Eichah (Lamentations), there is now an impressive Android app to help them follow along with the text.
One might think that rabbinical students spend much of their days sitting in the beit midrash arguing over sections of the Talmud containing the debates of the medieval sages. That's only partially correct. When I was in rabbinical school, I remember the arguments we had (students and teachers) over which is the best Hebrew word processor.
Google is making another effort to successfully compete with Facebook in social networking. Google Buzz and Google Wave never caught on, but Google can't afford to fail with their latest attempt Google Plus. The problem is that over 750 million people worldwide have already built up their Facebook profiles and might not be willing to invest the time in Google Plus.
In my last year of rabbinical school, I had an interesting conversation with a rabbi of a large congregation. He told me that he had put his foot down and refused to let his congregation create a synagogue-wide email LISTSERV. His rationale? This forum would be used by the membership to complain about the synagogue and the rabbi.
There are certain things that we all read on the Web that we find unbelievable. Not "unbelievable" as in "amazing," but events that simply cannot be believed. Some of these crazy things have actually occurred as reported, but many are simply hoaxes. Thank God for websites like Snopes.com to debunk these myths.