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Everyone Loves New Technology

December 15, 2019 | by

Mr. Gross, the wealthiest man in shul, went up to Rabbi Feinstein and said, "I want you and the Rebbetzin to take a three-month trip to the Land of Israel at my expense. When you come back, I'll have a surprise for you".

The rabbi accepted the offer, and he and his wife went off to the Holy Land.

Three months later they returned home and were met by Mr. Gross, who told them that while they were gone, he had a brand new shul built. "It's the finest building money can buy, Rabbi Feinstein," said Mr. Gross. "All the latest technology. No expense was spared."

And he was right. It was a magnificent edifice both inside and out. But there was one striking difference. There was only one pew, and it was at the very back.

"A shul with only one pew?" asked Rabbi Feinstein.

"You just wait until Shabbos," Mr. Gross said.

When the time came for the Shabbat service, the early arrivals entered the shul, filed onto the one pew and sat down. When the pew was full, a switch clicked silently, the gears meshed, a belt moved and, automatically, the rear pew began to move forward. When it reached the front of the shul, it came to a stop. At the same time, another empty pew came up from below at the back and more people sat down.

And so it continued, pews filling and moving forwards until finally the shul was full, from front to back.

“The new shul has been outfitted with many high tech contraptions,” said Mr. Gross, “But don’t worry Rabbi, they were built by religious architects and everything is done in accordance with the laws of Shabbos.

"Wonderful!" said the rabbi, "Everyone loves new technology!"

The service began, and Rabbi Feinstein started his speech. He launched into his text and, when 12 o'clock came, he was still going strong, with no end in sight. Suddenly a red flag went up and a trap door in the floor behind the bimah dropped open.

Mr. Gross walked up to the bimah and down at Rabbi Feinstein who had been safely deposited to the basement. He called out below, “Everyone loves new technology!”

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