Indian Priest? Ya, He’s My Friend

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By M. Alexander

I lose my phone a few times a year.  The first couple of times that this happened, I was devastated.  All of my friends’ numbers were lost forever.  How would I keep in touch with Chapman, who lives in Ghana, or Chris, who lives across the country in Connecticut? These are not people I speak with every day or even every week, but I like to have the opportunity to contact them on a whim. Why didn’t I back-up my numbers or write them down in a notebook?

Now I have Facebook.  I do not need their numbers because I have a way to contact them.  A priest I met in India two years ago just added me as a friend.  Is he someone that I’ve ever had an urge to talk to after I left the subcontinent? No.  But maybe he has thought about me; maybe he has a student who is coming to America and needs some advice.  I would be more than happy to help him.  Maybe I have a friend who is planning to go to India.  It is incredible that we can contact each other in a second, at absolutely no cost.

Maybe I am behind the times; maybe I am not a modern man that just accepts technological advancements as the norm.  I think Facebook is fascinating even though I’ve had it for four years.  I am still enthralled with TiVo…and television for that matter.  How do they get the picture from the studio to my room?  Insane.

I do not take Facebook for granted.  I am not on it all day, I am not addicted, but with my iPhone, it is always in my pocket if I need it. I have a thousand friends, connections, and romances at my fingertips.  It is easy to take life as it comes, to not stop and look at the beauty and appreciate the wonder.  However, a key to my happiness is to live in what Heschel calls “radical amazement”, because the world we live in and specifically social technology is truly amazing.

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About Beit T'Shuvah

Beit T’Shuvah is a residential addiction treatment center, congregation, and an educational institute where life is celebrated and every soul matters.
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