My father mentioned over Pesach that he had recently went to daven in a shull in Brooklyn that had a new technology he had never seen. Actually my dad has never even used a computer so maybe it’s been around for a while for all I know. Instead of the old fashioned clop on the bima, followed by a couple faint reminders to say whatever insertations had to be put into shmona esray that day and instead of the traditional small sign proclaiming the omer day, or mored hatal. This shull has a flashing digital reminder to add whatever must be added to that days shmona esray. I thought this was a great idea, although the good old bima clop will always be in my heart regardless if technology replaces it.
The good thing about this technology – which I am sure will spread like wildfire in the race to keep up with the Jonses or with the Rosenbergs – is that it eliminates annoying extra bima clops. It seems like every hocker with a hatzolah badge wants to clop the bima first usually leading to annoying multiple clops. Then as if the gong like side of someone’s hand smacking the bima weren’t enough. Half the shull has to mumble each item they inserted out loud in the middle of their prayer. An orchestra of yale-veyuvo’s could be heard across the land on chol hamoid Pesach. Is this necessary- it does get annoying after a while.
Then you have folks like my dad who think that even though it’s the seventh day of Pesach- we need to be reminded to say the shalosh regalim shmona esray. Fathers all over the place scurry across the room to find their sons of all ages to remind them which shmona esray to say.
But all these annoyances can be solved with the simple flashing reminder at the front of the shull. It can be beamed across the shull onto multiple surfaces and can probably be programmed to cast forth its life saving rays that will never allow someone to have to repeat shmona esray again. Imagine how good it would be knowing what omer day it is without squinting like a rice patty worker from Taiwan just to see the small sign at the front. The old yiddisher men in back of the shull will rejoice at their regaining of vision and feel as young as they felt when WW2 broke out.
Of course these new technologies could lead to problems- first of all- like all new things in the frum community this mode of technology is likely to be banned outright by many communities. You see the fact that this projector can be mistakenly programmed to broadcast television programs may be a reason in itself to ban. Some shulls may have bought red light beamers- and these of course being red have already been banned- so there really is no issue.
Money can also be made from these V’sane Tal Umutar signs of wonder. Think of the subliminal messages to shop at the Glatt Mart or eat at Big Fleishigs that could be hidden within the flashing reminders of mored hatal. Do you really think the whole shull would catch on to such ingenious ideas? I mean after all Big Fleishigs is home of the Heimishe Hoagie- which if eaten while wearing black and white will make you more invincible then Captain Planet himself.
“Captain planet he’s a hero gonna take pollution down to zero…”
“Captain Heimishe he’s a frummy, gonna put a hoagie in my tummy”
Or maybe there could be paid for advertising after shmona esray- why not give them something to concentrate on instead of talking during laining? After all reading ads for Yaffa Wigs during laining may be better then talking- unless the mannequins turn you on. I can only imagine a shull taken over by corporate America- so we better stick to just the subliminal messaging.
Ads for Buzz Electronics on the back of the benches, ads for the Purple Pear on the bima cover, maybe some petitions to make the super Wal Mart on Route 59 at the front of the shull where the pushka boxes are. The madness can be endless, luckily the shull is protected- hopefully against the massiveness of the advertising industry- though if certain sects of Judaism keep losing their members to the peace core and intermarriage- we are likely to see these sorts of advertisements in the sanctuary itself.