Adventures in Jewish cyberspace

Who has time to date more than 50 women when you can’t even keep up with the one you have?

Love on the internet (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Love on the internet
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Happy New Year, all.
In our last episode, we discussed the Infallible App. This dandy little item keeps track of Egged, and probably all the other buses in the world. Just punch it up, plug in your route and the Infallible App will give you the location of each stop and: 1) scheduled arrival time; 2) real-time arrival; or 3) “Trips done for today.”
You always get #1 and #2. You sometimes get #3. Sometimes you get them all. And sometimes you get nothing, for the Infallible App delights in calling buses in and out of existence, according to whim.
The Infallible App moves in other mysterious ways. Numbers bounce up and down. A bus can be due in five minutes, then in 20, then 30, then 10. Sometimes your bus is reported due in five minutes, the stop before you in 23.
The App giveth, and the App taketh away.
Then we mentioned that incredibly benign voice that announces the next stop on Egged buses. How does he stay so calm and always get it right? Listening to that guy reminds me of an event back in the Old Country – more precisely, the Washington, DC, Metro subway circa 1995. The trains were often crowded and passengers kept shoving in. Finally, Metro hired a very stern woman who, every stop, imperiously commanded, “Stand clear of the doors.” The voice was so nasty that people started blocking the doors on purpose. Some said the voice reminded them of Hillary Clinton.
Ultimately, Metro replaced her with another woman, this one insultingly cheerful, with a final chirpy “Thank you!” to the irate commuting sardines.
Sounds rather like the latest Hillary.
At this point, I should confess that although I’m no technophobe, there’s a lot of technology I can get along without. So I moved from rural, retrograde America to a country where people in the same room routinely call or text each other.
My first Passover here, I was astonished to watch an elderly haredi gentleman burning his hametz in a local park while praying into his cell.
But, in truth, that was only my second hi-tech astonishment related to the Jewish holiday calendar.
In the first, I was sitting at my computer one summer morning in 2009 and for some reason, I suddenly wanted to know the date of Yom Kippur. So I called it forth on Google, and search engine optimization (SEO) worked its magic. Up came a rather lengthy list of companies offering “Yom Kippur party goods.”
Seems they’d glommed onto a list of Jewish holidays and had no idea what any of them involved, but offered their wares for them all. You could get special Yom Kippur paper plates, napkins and party items; one company even offered a Yom Kippur piñata. I stared for a while, then thought, “You know, I could get a book out of this.”
Ain’t SEO wonderful? And since making aliya, SEO has brought me other delights. Soon after I arrived, my computer was inundated with offers to help me date “50+ women in your area.” I finally shut them up by informing them I had no time to date more than 50 women. Indeed, I could barely keep up with the one I had.
The next encounter with Israeli dating services, I brought upon myself.
While writing Yom Kippur Party Goods – John Hunt/O Books, available on Amazon; I’m told that’s some sort of online shopping service – I got into the habit of periodically checking out Jewish websites for younger people. (Jewcy’s a fave.) Then, a couple of months ago, having read several articles on how hard it is for Orthodox young singles to find their mates, I got curious about some of these dating/shidduch sites. (Have I mentioned My Son the New York Lawyer’s Who’s Nearly 30 and Still Not Married?) So I punched up one service and they told me I couldn’t have access until I’d completed my profile form. I dropped the site and went on to other things.
And now, they won’t leave me alone.
Emails. Ads popping up everywhere. Reminders. Special offers. Discounts.
More reminders. So finally, I sent them an old-fashioned email: Jewish male, mid-60s, happily married – whatcha got? Still waiting to hear back on that one. Perhaps I should have signed up My Son the New York Lawyer Who’s Nearly 30 and Still Not Married.
And then I came across a news item about ultra-Orthodox Rabbi Avraham Maimon writing Derech Ha’atarim, a 500-page guide to halachically correct ways of using the Internet. I sent the link to some non-haredi friends.
Subsequently, my inbox began to fill with notices that “although we don’t approve of the Internet, these sites are kosher.” And now they won’t leave me alone.
Wonder how they learned about me.
The writer still misses his IBM Selectric-III typewriters.