Vayikra – True Communication

The verb introducing this week’s Sedra, “Vayikra El Moshe”, “He called Moshe”, has in the Hebrew language a sense of intimacy, as opposed to Vayomer LeMoshe – “He said to Moshe”, or Vayedaber el Moshe- “He spoke to Moshe”. I suspect that during this conversation G-d did not have a distracting smartphone next to him when discussing the need for personal self-sacrifice in life by way of overcoming temptation and materialism. • The capacity to communicate intimately and effectively today is being eroded by smart technology. The tweet or Facebook message does not create the totality of one’s involvement in meaningful conversation. It is flippant and superficial. It is a way of hiding oneself in words or projecting false images. And the major casualty is empathy. You cannot empathize if you don’t have the nuances of eye movement, body language and the immediacy of presence. What we are learning at the very opening of this week’s Parsha is that for true connection you have to be here now, and not through some virtual technology that effectively hides you from the other. Try turning off the smartphone at the family dinner table – and have everyone else do the same. I assure you it will create wonderful miracles in relationships.