Thursday, May 20, 2010

I Wish I Could Take a Photo...

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Question of the Week:

My son's bar mitzvah is this weekend and I can't wait. But one thing upsets me - we can't take photos or video at the service on Shabbos. It just seems so wrong that such a milestone cannot be recorded. I understand that the Shabbos laws do not allow it, but surely videoing a bar mitzvah should be considered within the spirit of the law?


We are very fortunate to live in times like these, when technology allows us to view any event happening anywhere in the world any time we want. Judaism embraces these advances and encourages us to use them wisely. But there is also a down side to all modern inventions.

In the case of photography, there is a risk that capturing an event can sometimes substitute experiencing the event itself. A camera can be a great thing to hide behind. Rather than actually attending an occasion, absorbing the experience and being present, we find ourselves looking for good angles, the right lighting and photogenic moments. The whole mood is different, as people behave a certain way when they are being filmed. There can sometimes be a feeling that unless photos of an event have been posted online, the event never happened.

This is not to say that photography has no place. But not on Shabbos. Shabbos is the day of real life experiences, when we feel the immediacy of what's happening around us. Our attention is more focused, our minds more alert, our eyes more observant and our memories more acute, when we know that this scene is once in a lifetime and can never be seen again.

Rather than capturing these moments on film, capture them in your heart. Don't wait for the video, experience things as they happen. Etch the scene in your memory, engrave it on your soul and let the real life version be yours forever.

Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Moss

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NO KABBALAH OR THURSDAY CITY CLASS NEXT WEEK - both resume first week of June

NEFESH SERVICES - 54 Roscoe St Bondi Beach 

Mincha 5:00pm followed by shiur in Likkutei Torah
6:30pm - 7:15pm Shabbos Service with kids program followed by Kiddush sponsored by Maggie Kurta in honour of the birthday of her late father, Alex Rezmovics
9am Class on Weekly Parsha
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Mincha 4:35pm folllowed by Seuda Shlishis and Maariv 

8am Shachris followed by breakfast and beginners Talmud
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