We have just concluded our 10 week summer vacation to Israel. We also stopped in Cypress, Berlin and a short side trip to Poland so that Meron can try meet his goal of 30 countries before his Barmitzvah next year.
Yesterday we were on a train packed with backpackers. It brought back lots of memories from my free spirited and crazy treks in Europe. The good old days when I thought I was anonymous in society and that my actions had no consequences. I have crazy stories from those days, subject for another blog. I looked at these young people enviously with just a back pack and not a care in the world. My “vacation” includes being tethered to my phone dealing with work issues, board of education issues and JICNY events. Not to mention the schlepping of 5 bags, therapy tools, kosher food and tired kids.
Observing these backpackers in more detail I realized each one was tethered to there phones and mobile devices. There were many people traveling in groups yet no-one was communicating or connecting, instead just texting. I realized they will never have that experience that I did. No-one had any idea where I was, no Facebook updates, the world could have burnt down and I would have never known. They will never form amazing bonds with complete strangers because they are busy with their electronic friends. It’s sad that the days of disconnecting and really chilling are forever gone.
At least for me as an observant Jew “Thank God for Shabbat ” and my 25 hour disconnect from the mundane and urgent and the opportunity to spend quality time with people and family.
Originally published: September 2, 2014
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