Does Re-Entering Cyberspace Require a Blessing?

    August 2009            
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Is There a Blessing for a Computer?

© By Annette Keen

"Baruch ha-Shem," thanks to the Almighty, I have re-entered cyberspace! Who could have imagined such a blessing? Certainly not my antecedents, those "luftmenchen" who floated above the mundane world, living on air, as it were, engaged with things unseen and eternal.

Well, I have fallen considerably below their august heights. I do my floating in cyberspace, a no place where everyone visits to remain strangers, and inexplicably, from which even an hour's exile seems catastrophic.

Even the language of cyberspace is filled with foreboding. A computer doesn't break down, it crashes! And when it crashes, it does so because it has been corrupted! And all your precious files are gone because they were not saved! "Oy Vey!"

So, when my computer crashed -- corrupted and unsaved -- I did what I have avoided for over 20 years. I dove into my owner's instruction manual. Don't ask! Two hours later, I emerged on the verge of my own breakdown, beaten by unintelligible high tech jargon.

Completely befuddled, I schlepped the crashed, corrupted and unsaved patient over to one Mendel the Fixer, a retired engineer. When he isn't teaching children Torah trope, Mendel mends broken computers.

In a two-hour operation, Mendel revived the corpse, all the while giving me a stern lesson in computer care in the same nasally chant he taught trope. I learned way more about the guts of a computer than I ever wanted to know, but I have been duly chastened.

After sending me home with all software reinstalled, pristine and incorruptible, Mendel sent me out to buy a secondary flash drive, something that would have avoided the entire catastrophe.

Off to the store I went, bringing with me a ton of money and my hearty husband, expecting an expensive and heavy component. To my astonishment, the salesperson handed me a little thing about the size of two postage stamps. It cost $13. Go know! Mendel charged $120.

Well, the torture was not yet over. I sat in front of my computer with the gizmo in my hand for 15 minutes, wondering why it didn't look like its picture on the wrapping. Finally, seeing I had no choice, I began to massage and tug on its smooth little body, and off popped a little cap to reveal a prong.

I sank to my knees - the praying image is most apt - and searched for somewhere on the back of my computer tower to fit the prong. The first two didn't work, ah, but the third was a perfect match. I nearly wept with joy. 

The new hardware immediately began a conversation with its brother components, and before I could complete a "She'hekhiyanu," the devilishly clever flash drive had happily installed itself, and greeted me with a fine new icon. "Mazel Tov!"


* Annette Keen is a freelance writer in upstate New York.


from the August 2009 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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