For several weeks, Mark has been asking me to write a follow-up on my decision to disable my web browser, but I didn’t have anything deep or inspiring to say. All I could think of is that I miss it. This post will be nothing more than a dissertation on that theme, but at the moment I’m inspired to write, and I’m writing the way I would for my personal blog, which means I’m going to tell you about my day.
Today I worked until 5:00 pm, which is unusual for me. I work around my kids’ schedule, which means I usually have to be home by 3:30. Because it’s summer time, though, and because my husband took my kids on an outing, I was able to work like a full-timer today, and I must say, it’s exhausting.
But tonight I have a treat. My husband and kids will be out till very late, so I’m on my own and the house is quiet. Sure, I could catch up on my housework, but I could do that tomorrow, too. I thought of a better plan while walking home from work: I could go to the public library and use the Internet! With the kids home so much in the summer, I don’t have many opportunities to do so. I savored the idea on my half-hour walk home.
Well, I’ve been home for over an hour now, and I still haven’t made it out the door. The reason? I checked my email. After scanning through the horrific headlines from Arutz-7, reading through a few personal accounts of the war that were forwarded to me via several Jewish email lists, I topped it all off with a message from Rebbetzin Pavlov of my alma mater She’arim, who summarized the advice of the Bostoner Rebbe at a recent Tehillim gathering: “strengthen ourselves in mitzvos, to better our treatment of other people, to look at the good in every person and not their deficiencies, to strengthen the holiness of our homes, and to stay away from technologies that could lead to sin.”
That really shook up my plans. Here it is – a rare opportunity to blow off steam in a meaningful and creative way, and boom! “Stay away from technologies that could lead to sin.” My small personal sacrifice could make a difference to Klal Yisroel.
Now, I know some of you reading that will disagree vehemently. I read your comments to me last post. And a not-so-little voice within me is saying, “But I’m not going to use the technology to sin. I’m going to write to my friends.” I might still go to the library. I’m not sure yet.
But if there’s one thing keeping me here, it’s the statement of a Yid I just spoke to on the phone. He’s involved in a great cause for Klal Yisroel, and at this critical time, he’s upped his efforts. He says he works “27 hours a day,” and from what I’ve heard of his schedule, it’s pretty close to the truth. When I told him so, he said, “Aren’t the people in Eretz Yisroel going at it 27 hours a day? Do they get a break from the bombs? If they don’t, then how can I?”
If he doesn’t take a break, should I? If I just do my dishes, make my house a clean and serene place for when my husband and kids get home, will I have done my part for Klal Yisroel? It feels like it’s worth a try to me, but of course, I can say that after having had the satisfaction of some productive writing. But I’ll miss the immediate response. That’s the pleasure of the Internet, and I just don’t know how to replace it.