Minute #480: Rearview Camera

It was quite a few years since Mr. Sanders had purchased a new car, so his excitement over his new vehicle was understandably high. The new car smell, the clean interior, the soft upholstery — all added to his enjoyment. But what really got him talking were this car’s new technological features that had not even been available when he bought his last one.

“You see this button?” he pointed out to his commuting partner, Mr. Eliyahu. “It raises a screen to protect against sunlight in my rear windshield. And this little tab on the steering wheel turns on a voice system with which I can verbally control many different functions. But what I like most is the rearview camera.”

He put the car in reverse and the screen on the dashboard came on, showing him a real-time view of what was behind his car. “I can park better and it’s a safety feature showing me what’s behind the automobile when I back up.”

“That’s really important,” Mr. Eliyahu acknowledged. “I hope all these gadgets don’t distract from your safe driving. It’s more important that you keep your eyes on what is in front of you.”

When one is hurt by another, the Torah expects one to be forgiving. It’s called vatranut. Rambam says: “The other nations are not this way — forgiving; rather, their anger remains forever” (Hilchot Teshuvah 3:10). Yet when one is the victim of another’s wrongdoing, it is difficult to forgive and forget. The best way to move on free of anger is to look ahead to the future and not back at the past. The past is to learn from but not to dwell upon. Look ahead, and use the rearview camera only when necessary for safety and progress.

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

Just as most food served in the world’s restaurants is not kosher, likewise, it should not surprise us that most of what goes on in the world is not too kosher, either. The more we can insulate ourselves from the influences of the outside world, the better chance we have of retaining our spiritual health. (Rabbi Dovid Weinberger, Step By Step, p. 217).