It's worth noting that there was a time in pre-history before DVR. Program the way-back machine to go a little farther back into the 1990s and there was even an age before TiVo.
Don't get me wrong. I love DVR. Despite my attempts at time alchemy I haven't figured out a way to increase the number of hours in a day, so I'm stuck trying to cram in every activity, sport, work endeavor, and (gasp) time with my wife into that damned 24-hour construct. The DVR allows me to imbibe NCIS: LA, Champions League soccer, pop culture, and almost all Patriots games at times and hours that work for my schedule.
The football fans among you no doubt recognize the #FOMOF (Fear Of Missing Out on Football) hashtag that Verizon has cleverly adopted for its service that allows NFL addicts to watch football games live on their wireless devices. The hook is that all those diehards can be at weddings, showers, and other activities-that-interfere-with-watching-football and still sneakily watch their teams play.
My obvious question is “why don't you just DVR it?” but for the #FOMOF folks the football experience is meant to be watched live.
It's not exactly my place to judge them. Just because I'm into football on DVR doesn't mean everyone else should be. Some people like the real-time experience, commercials included. In fact the majority of fans that watch games live, have a deep-seated passion and zeal for doing do that has wired them to Never. Miss. A. Game. Ever.
In my line of work I hear all about the competing demands on people's time when it comes to not just teen Jewish education, but any Jewish involvement. The reality is that it's more and more infrequent to find particular people whose drive to engage with Judaism in an ongoing, participatory way is as compelling as their devotion to watching the Patriots play live. And I am including present company.
People might fear missing out on football, so much so that they are surreptitiously glancing at their iPhones during lifecycle events, but the Jewish parallel is certainly not nearly as common. After all, when's the last time you saw a parent sneaking a glance at their tablet to watch a shabbat morning service on 4G? Better yet, how often do people say “No” to the unholy trifecta of soccer, sleep, and socializing and “Yes” to doing Jewish instead? Is there no fear of missing out on Judaism?
It's time to look around, and look inward, to find ways and create things that are as can't-miss in Jewish life as we have in our regular ones, or challenge ourselves to make our Jewish interests, at least once in a while, trump our secular ones. Judaism is not a religion meant to be experienced peripherally, on a tablet, from a distance, or on tape delay…it's supposed to be lived.
After all, we can't DVR Judaism, but we can DVR football.