Honorable Mensch-ion

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

Can you hear me? That is the question of the year. Zoom has opened up our lives, allowing participation in lifecycle events both from near and far. And yet, however miraculously close Zoom has brought us, we simply cannot do what we want to do: sing at the same time.

Have you witnessed a “group Aliyah?” The Zoom box who speaks first wins, and that is the voice you hear. Why did the world create virtual choirs? Simply because the technology is not present to have voices on different networks singing simultaneously. If more than one voice is heard at once, chaos ensues.

The Torah narrates the ritual of the census. Every person, rich or poor, pays the same half shekel to be counted. This simple statement is a deep lesson that I have learned through Zoom. It does not matter who has the loudest microphone or strongest voice. It does not matter who has the best camera. What matters is noticing who is speaking, pressing mute for those moments, and waiting our own turn to be heard.

One day, the technology world will find a solution for our chaotic voices to create the cacophony we were once used to. But for now, let us unmute at the proper times. Let us listen until the other has finished their statement. Let us take the Zoom challenge and remind ourselves it is a true blessing.

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