Leaning Forward

Shavua Tov. We’ve had a wonderful Shabbat in New Jersey, with the members of the Yavneh student organization. Each of them study at different campuses throughout the USA, and runs Jewish programs on his/her own respective campus.
During the Shabbat I heard the following idea from OU President, Rabbi Moshe Bane: “I sat once for a meeting with a senior executive at Sony. I wanted back then to create videos about Judaism. He told me something interesting: Video games are much more popular today than movies are for watching. Why? Because people prefer an active game over passive watching. In the industry they call it ‘lean-back entertainment’ vs. ‘lean-forward entertainment’. People prefer leaning forward, playing, feeling like they are doing something. It seems to me like a proper allegory for Jewish identity today: we have grown accustomed to receiving everything while leaning back – there is a shul, a rabbi, shiurim: everything is available and accessible and all we need to do is choose. But you cannot compare it to active participation, to active learning, to feeling like you are part of the game. Towards the coming new year, each of us should think how we don’t only enjoy all that already exists, but also how we can lean forward, change things and become an active Jew.”

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סיון רהב-מאיר

Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.
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