20 Tishrei 5782 / Sunday, September 26, 2021 | Torah Reading: Sukkot
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Shema Yisrael in HTML    

Shema Yisrael in HTML

Mercy is like HTML. Whatever you do, you will get immediate results for your efforts. In coding, you troubleshoot. In life, you repent.


Hear, O Israel, Hashem our G-d, Hashem is One.  


The first mention of G-d’s Name in the core prayer of the Jewish People is Hashem, the Name that represents His attribute of mercy.  


Mercy is like HTML. Whatever you do, you will get results.  


What is HTML?  


It’s the most basic language we use to code internet pages. Its a language with no errors. When you create a web page in HTML, no matter what you code, something will emerge on the screen once you hit RUN. It’s kind of like baking a cake. Put together the ingredients, cook it in the oven, and 45 minutes later, you will have something in the pan  


Even if it isn’t what you planned. Even if it isn’t what you want. You will get immediate results for your efforts.  


That's mercy.  


The HTML of Life 


If you code properly in HTML, you will see on your web page exactly what you want to see. If you miss, the page won’t look the way you want and it’s up to you to see what’s wrong and where you need to fix it. 


When we perform mitzvot, Hashem blesses us in everything that we do. What appears in our life is something we, ultimately, are happy with.  


When we commit sins, Hashem also gives us something – consequences. Our lives don’t turn out the way we want. Deep inside we feel off, or wrong. It’s up to us to figure out what is not right and fix it.  


In coding, you troubleshoot. In life, you repent. 


The back end of a web page can take up to 20 revisions, changing your code, rendering the page, seeing what is still off, and trying again until the results are the way you like it. Repentance and improvement can take more than 20 retries, davening to Hashem, speaking to Him in your own voice, making changes to your life, making them stick, and re-evaluating yourself until you are happy. No different than a developer who doesn’t give up in the middle – you shouldn’t give up in the middle of the process, either! 


The 2.0 Version of Yourself 


Sometimes you get what you want, and once you see it on the screen you decide that it can be better. You go to a few web development sites, find out about some new features, code it in, and enjoy a rush of adrenaline once it becomes digital reality 


How many times do we reach our goals in life, only to feel unsatisfied? That’s a blessing: Once we reach a new height, we want to climb even higher.  


When Hashem knows that we can do better, He will send something our way to stir us into moving forward. We learn more than we ever did. We push ourselves in a single character trait beyond our comfort zone. We put in more effort towards something than we ever tried before.  


The most amazing sensation of inner peace sates our insides as we reach places we’ve never been. The makeup of our soul looks better than the new webpage.  


That's mercy. Whatever you do, good or bad, something will happen. You can immediately see the results and keep improving on them.  


* * * 

David Ben Horin lives in Israel with his wife and children. 




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