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Parshas Vayigash 5759

Outline Vol. 3, # 9

by Rabbi Yaakov Bernstein

This issue is dedicated in honor of the Bas Mitzvah of Lindsie Jennifer Brown by an anonymous donor.

The story of the Tower of Bavel is presented at an early stage in the Torah. Mankind banded together in order to build an immense tower. When Hashem did not approve of their work, He confounded their ability to communicate, and the project collapsed. Alliance and effective communication are extremely powerful tools -- without communication, effectiveness ceases.

The Computer Age

The economics of the Computer Age is based on a new set of priorities. Rather than individual corporations ruling a market, a series of companies share technology and formulate standards for a medium.

The underlying logic is that sharing resources will be in everyone's best interest.

A few years back, one company gave away its product, and shares in its stock. Within one year, the company became (as of that time) the fastest growing corporation in history.

This is now becoming almost commonplace. Technology firms become major players on the stock market without ever having posted any profit.

Without commenting on the long-term economic stability of an enterprise of this sort, it is remarkable that such corporations have shown success. Contributing, working together, pooling information and resources -- have become the signs of power.

The Electronic Code

The basis of the computer environment is language. Programmers use special language. Transmitted data begins as language, is encoded before it is transmitted, and decoded once it is received. The electronic signal conveys messages.

The entire Encyclopedia Brittanica can be transmitted in less than one second, using technology presently in place (Networking Essentials, p. 600). Data, language, information is being sent at tremendous volume.

It all began with corporations holding information. Realizing the need to share the information, the companies formed an alliance, a network, and determined standards. The network led to a further abundance of information. This produced further networks, which led to further abundance of information.

The USA and Networks

The United States has shuffled its influence, and its information, throughout the world.

Much of computer technology developed in the United States. Computer language, too, is based upon English.

The Internet developed from what was originally a project of the U.S. military. What might have had the greatest secrecy is instead the open carrier of international communication... Democracy and the melting pot led to the information explosion.

Where will it all take us? Unless our internal differences divide us, there will be more networks and shared information, more cooperation and construction.

Yoseif Revealed

Yoseif ruled with authority and secrecy, which gave way to communication and unification. The conflict between the brothers ceased, love and union developed.

Events in the Torah foreshadow the grand schemes of history. The struggles between the brothers emerge generations later, in the struggles between the governments of Yisrael (the Ten Tribes) and Yehudah.

Yehudah's show of love for Binyomin forged the unity of the brothers in the Torah. This, too, foreshadows future events: Dovid's sparing of Shimi Ben Geira allows for the emergence of Mordechai and Esther. Dovid came from Yehudah, Shimi Ben Geira, ancestor of Mordechai and Esther -- came from Binyomin. The greatest unification of the Jews occurred in Persia, under the influence of Mordechai and Esther.

Although in their own land, the Jews often fragmentize, in Egypt and Persia, the Jews formed networks and alliances, and survived. They had a common language -- the language of the Torah.

Rabbi Yaakov Bernstein
11 Kiryas Radin
Spring Valley, NY 10977
Phone: (914) 362-5156

Good Shabbos!

Text Copyright © '98 Rabbi Yaakov Bernstein and Project Genesis, Inc.



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