What’s the Thing that Scares You the Most?

By Yohai Gross

What is the thing that scares you most? In some cultures, the common answer will be a terror attack. In others, it will be the fear of being poor, while in yet others the answer will be technology.

For most of us technology is a given fact. We all use our phone in so many ways that it’s hard to think how we were able to live our life before it. The phone wakes us up in the morning. We read the news from the phone. We are using the phone to direct us how to get from one place to the other. We have our most important memories inside the phone with the thousands of videos and pictures that we take. We ask Rabbi Google everything we need to know through the phone. We share with the world everything we do with the phone. We also sometimes talk on the phone. Sometimes we even pretend to do something with the phone just because we are embarrassed in public or are trying to avoid talking with a stranger.

Now try to imagine your life without the Internet or your phone. You are late or in danger and you can’t call anyone. Where and how do you keep all the contact info for friends and colleagues or just try to think about not knowing what’s going in the world every second of the day – actually sounds nice.

For some societies, technology is a big threat. It’s a risk for the ongoing way of life and the phone and Internet are the biggest symbols of that threat. Professor Rivka Neriya Ben Shahar delved into this topic with her research about Old Order Amish and Lithuanian and Hassidic Jewish ultra-Orthodox in Israel. Professor Ben Shahar will be sharing what she discovered in a lecture and reception at the Federation December 10.

Her talk explores how women in two devout religious communities cope with the internet and its apparent incompatibility with their communities’ values and practices. Look for your invitation to this event wrapping up the 2017 Tulsa Jewish United Fund campaign.



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