Thursday, February 9, 2012

Scrutinized, Recorded, and Judged....עין רואה, ואוזן שומעת, וכל מעשיך בספר נכתבין.

We all carefully construct and protect our public facade.  Who would want their private behavior and thoughts publicly exposed?  We all know, as a matter of faith, that eventually, all our secrets will be revealed and we will be judged on the basis of who we really are and what we've thought and done.  But oddly enough, we, and I speak from personal experience, have sturdy denial mechanisms that help us to fool ourselves about who we are.  We convince ourselves that our facades are our true selves, and conveniently forget whatever we're uncomfortable remembering.  About 100 years ago, the Chofetz Chaim suggested that motion pictures were invented to help man visualize Divine judgment. We will all give an accounting for our actions after seeing a “movie” of our past.  I think that many of us will be surprised when we watch our movies; teshuva and Toheh al Harishonos can make a difference, of course, and some of what we've done might end up on the editing room floor or even modified via CGI.  But your movie is being recorded right now.   

From an article by Frida Ghitis on CNN:

Google has every e-mail you ever sent or received on Gmail. It has every search you ever made, the contents of every chat you ever had over Google Talk. It holds a record of every telephone conversation you had using Google Voice, it knows every Google Alert you've set up. It has your Google Calendar with all content going back as far as you've used it, including everything you've done every day since then. It knows your contact list with all the information you may have included about yourself and the people you know. It has your Picasa pictures, your news page configuration, indicating what topics you're most interested in. And so on.
If you ever used Google while logged in to your account to search for a person, a symptom, a medical side effect, a political idea; if you ever gossiped using one of Google's services, all of this is on Google's servers.


  1. As does Homeland Security + all of your telephone conversations, etc.; which is appropriate, because the head of said agency matches my conception of what the satan is.

  2. Once, as part of my legal job, I had to review a mass of emails produced in litigation (sent by various members of the company). It is astounding how much of what we do is now recorded. When I saw that, I thought of the Chofetz Chaim. Perhaps email was invented to remind us everything is recorded -- even the littlest thing.