Mea culpa, al chet and all that. Among my other shortcomings, I’ve been one lame blogger lately, posting nary a word for a whole week. And my sole flimsy excuse is the fact that I am, like other Jews, just now emerging from a month-long orgy of holidays.
Admittedly, the more observant Jews – the ones who spend the evening and morning of each yom tov in synagogue while refraining from electricity, driving and hundreds of other offshoots of the 39 melachot – have a better case for using the Jewish holiday excuse. Especially since most (unlike me) work for companies and organizations that remain open on said holidays and who, when not doing the aforementioned malachot-refraining and synagogue-attending, have had to scramble to build a sukkah, do laundry, cook and so forth.
The tragic death of Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers University student who took his own life after being filmed having sex with a man, has led some to voice concern over young people's misuse of technology.
Rabbi Andy Bachman, the founder of BrooklynJews, wrote an open letter to young people in the community on his blog. The letter was reposted on the Forward's Web site.
This past Sunday, the president of New York University issued a mass e-mail apology to students and staff. The day after Yom Kippur might sound like a sensible day for issuing apologies, but the question is whether John Sexton actually needed to make a Mea Culpa.
Robin Chotzinoff reflects in the August/September 2010 issue of Hadassah Magazine about how she observed the Aseret Yemei Teshuvah (the ten days of repentance) last year by answering a series of e-mail questions from 10Q. Ben Greeman, who launched the project in 2008 explains that "we tried to let people tap back into tradition, but without feeling like they have to pass an entrance exam."
The Web can be a misleading place. For years, if you typed whitehouse.com into your browser, it wouldn't take you to the official home of our President on the Web, but rather to the home of a pornographic Web site.
I've been following the Offlining campaign pretty closely. It's the brainchild of Eric Yaverbaum and Mark DiMassimo. They partnered to launch Offlining, an initiative to promote unplugging that was introduced on Father's Day, to ask people to make a pledge to have 10 device-free dinners between then and Thanksgiving. To date, more than 10,500 have signed on to this pledge.
Last Yom Kippur, I delivered a sermon explaining how Jewish people have begun "doing teshuvah" -- seeking repentance from others -- through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. A week before Yom Kippur the religion editor of The Detroit Free Press, Niraj Warikoo, called to find out what I'd be speaking about on the Day of Atonement.