Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mourning Meaningful Missed Memories

What will become of all the memories -
Are they to scatter with the dust in the breeze?

So begins the chorus to the mournful melody composed by Abie Rotenberg.

One of my favorite childhood memories was occupying myself on long Shabbos afternoons either reading the Jewish Observer, playing board games, or leafing through the family photography albums.

Years ago, when film was necessary to take pictures, each picture was costly. Kodak used silver in the film making process, and hence photography was a sport for those with means.

In today’s digital era, picture taking has become a lost art. Everyone and anyone can host a little gadget in their pocket, that not only snaps still-lifes, but can even record movement. These same pictures and videos can then be instantly transported around the world, for all to see. As I’ve said before, although past generations may have wondered how the entire world will know of Moshiach's arrival simultaneously, our generation can easily grasp this concept.

Yet the sad trend that I’ve noticed in my family and therefore I assume it exists by others also, is that now that we are flooded with photographs, we rarely make the effort to transform the digital into hard-copy. To confound the problem, those who have all their pictures stored on their computer risk losing everything if their hard drive crashes.

One childhood friend told me that his mother said if there were ever a fire in his house, after making sure her children were safe, the first thing she would save would be her photo albums. How true. All else is replaceable.

Please take this moment to ensure that you have a backup plan. Periodically backup your files to disk or an online backup service. Also, make sure to print a few pictures every month to ensure lasting memories for Shabbos and the coming generations.


  1. If your hard drive crashes, at least there will be google. You could retrieve your blog, your photos (that you shared via gmail) and your address book!

  2. Did something happen which promted this post?

  3. No. Nothing happened. This post is my way of sending myself a wake-up call to be more proactive in my backup regimen. Similar to the Magid of a bygone era who preaches fire and brimstone and tells his audience that he doesn't mean them, he is really talking to himself.


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