Another week in Teleki, and time to put pen to paper about the happenings on the square. Not many guests this week but a good minyan nonetheless.
The pre-shul shmuz was devoted to the science of teleportation, and a minor difference of opinion was offered as to the technical details as to how it is performed followed by a brief discussion as to the ethical components.
If teleportation is achieved by copying data and then destroying old data and transporting the data to reappear elsewhere, as Mayer Gabor proposes, then could we consider that murder? Similarly, if one were to replace that data into a virtual world, a two dimensional computer figure for example, would that character be considered human? What does Judaism say about it?
Andras, based on Einstein argues that teleportation is the result of transforming matter into energy and then returning it to matter in the desired location, which would not necessitate destroying the first, hence no murder and no ethical question.
Would teleportation be permitted on Shabbat? These and other such questions, lea to the question as to whether one is allowed to kill a golem. Rabbi’s have been known to deal with similar strange and far out questions, and I thus took on the challenge and delegated the Meyers brothers the topic for Shavuos night. Definitely looking forward!
The topic of the drasha was why Jews like cheesecake. Actually it wasn’t but who would know that? The question posed was why does the Torah promise physical rewards and not spiritual ones and why indeed the need to mention reward at all.
Steiner Peter answered, “G-d knew who he was talking to” – which although was said tongue in cheek actually is the answer of many commentators. Another answer was that physical rewards such as rain etc., was not in fact a reward but merely enabling one to fulfill the Torah’s requirements without extra worries.
The Kiddush had a very family feel, without much fanfare. Zelig posed the question why is Shavuot on the 50th day, i.e., the day after seven weeks? Would it not make more sense to be on the forty-ninth day, the seventh day of the seventh week? To which we answered that the significance of seven is nature, or the perfection of nature, whereas eight, or fifty the number after seven (eight after seven days and fifty after seven weeks) represents transcendence. The forty nine days between Passover and Shavuot, we dedicating to perfecting our personal nature, and once we are complete we get an uplift and reach transcendence on Shavuot when we receive the Torah.
Good Shabbos, until next week.