High speed connection
by Rabbi Yaacov Chaiton
In a few weeks I'll be going to Israel. As I really want this to be a spiritually uplifting trip, I'll be spending most of my time in Jerusalem. I've been to Israel and Jerusalem before but to be honest I really didn't feel much. Can you offer me advice how I can make this trip more spiritually worthwhile?
Over the past few years the world has been introduced to a new type of commodity - high-speed internet connectivity. This vital commodity, associated with words like "bandwidth" and "fiber-optic cables", has revolutionized the way we do business, the way we travel and really the way we live.
Yet everyone knows that just having high-speed internet connectivity is not enough. There are a couple of other essentials that we need to have to ensure that we harvest the maximum bandwidth: For starters we need to actually tap into the internet. We can have fiber-optic cables carrying the highest speed internet right under the roof but if we don't get a device that will transform the signal into tangible activity, it is all worthless. But just any device won't do. To surf the net at maximum speed it's essential that one use an up -to -date device. Using an old 56kb modem will not deliver at the same speed as the latest piece of technology from Apple. Lastly, it's vital that there be no blockage on the part of the server. A blockage in the transmission of internet-bearing wireless waves would render even the very best devices void and useless.
Jerusalem is not a holy city because we lived there. It is not even holy because that's where the temple stood. Jerusalem is holy because Jerusalem was chosen by G-d at the very beginning of creation to be the place through which we can connect to Him. In fact the word "Yerushalayim" is a make-up of two Hebrew words - "Yirah" ("awe") and "Shelaimah" (complete). This is the place from which "complete awe" of G-d radiates to the world and is thus the place to connect to him. It's for this reason that we pray in the direction of Jerusalem, because Jerusalem is so-to-say "G-d's window to the world". Great events may have taken place in Jerusalem prior to David choosing it as his capital: Jerusalem is the place where Abraham almost sacrificed his son Isaac and it was in Jerusalem that Jacob saw a ladder going up to heaven and declared the place as "the gateway to Heaven". But it's not these events that make Jerusalem holy. These great events took place in Jerusalem because these great people who wanted to connect to G-d knew that Jerusalem was intrinsically the opportune place to do so and it's because of this intrinsic holiness that King David chose Jerusalem as the place for the Temple.
In modern-day terms - The wireless connection to G-d exists throughout the world. However, this connection is far below full speed and different kinds of "blockages" are commonplace. Jerusalem is the place where G-d - the "server", increases the "bandwidth" to its absolute maximum strength and limits the blockages, giving us a renewed opportunity to experience our connection to G-d and our Judaism on a "high speed" level.
But just as with high speed internet, there's the need to tap in. A Jerusalem experience is solely dependent on the devices that one uses to plug into the "high speed Judaism" available. A firm commitment to Torah study and good deeds both before and during the trip is the device that will log you into this incredible Jewish connectivity. But here too, using just any "device" won't do. To gain the maximum connection you can't use an out-dated or slow device. What was good enough last year is already out-dated this year. By committing to growth in a new area of Jewish life you equip yourself with the most up-to-date tool to capitalize on the "High-speed connection" available.
Wishing you a "Nesiah Tova" - a physically safe and a spiritually enriching trip, making the most of the "High speed connection" that Jerusalem has to offer.