Google has become a Verb – On the Ethical Consumption of Intellectual Resources

Rabbi Julie Pelc Adler
February 1, 2012
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We are blessed (I think) to live in an age of an endless supply of information on any given subject.  “To google” something means to know, somewhat definitively, an overabundance of perspectives on a topic.  In the Information Age, there is no down time from the possibility of knowing.

It’s possible to research a question throughout the night, seeking more and more potential ideas, results, or opinions.  It’s possible to communicate with colleagues on opposite corners of the globe, in disparate time zones, literally, anytime.  We search the internet at the dinner table, check statistics from bed, and send text messages as we’re driving (even though it’s illegal in many states to do so).

What does it mean, in a society wherein more is more to say “enough”?  It is to say, in the language of our Jewish tradition, V’Achalta V’Savata U’Verachta: you shall consume, you shall be sated, and you shall bless.

Can we create a bracha, a blessing, for having ENOUGH information to make a decision, to turn off the smart-phone, to truly be with the people sitting beside us, rather than always striving for more?


How do we determine how much is enough?

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Rabbi Julie Pelc Adler works at the Aitz Hayim Center for Jewish Living in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. She also serves as the Director of the Berit Mila Program of Reform Judaism. She received master’s degrees from the University of Judaism and from Harvard Graduate School of Education and was ordained as a rabbi by Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion in 2006, where she found deep meaning writing and researching her Rabbinic Thesis on the Book of Job: "Talk to Me: (Or, When More Bad Things Happen to Good People)." She is married to Rabbi Amitai Adler (also an S Blog contributor) and this year became Michael Zachary Joel Adler's mother.

1 Comment

  1. I think enough is also a verb. When is enough? I assume the reason we return every year, or third year, to the same passages in the Torah is not because we’ve not gleaned enough information about the subject but because our place in space has changed. The earth never really returns a year later to the same place. Same for our takes on Torah. Same for our takes on knowledge.

    Posted by
    Todd Jacobs
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