September 19, 2019

How the Rebbe Made Judaism Accessible

“After Steve Jobs died in 2011 a one-line obituary in a mainstream media outlet read: “Steve Jobs put a powerful computer inside a phone and that phone into 120 million pockets.”

It struck me then that throughout history the people who left the greatest mark on the world, and became household names, were not necessarily those who created life-changing inventions, but were those who gave the public access to those life-changing innovations.

Access seems like an innocent enough word, and an uninspiring enough concept – after all it suggests that the giver of access created nothing of his own, and merely distributed someone else’s genius – but in fact it is access that has been behind some of the world’s greatest transformations and revolutions.

Just think of recent household names like Mark Zuckerberg from facebook, Sergei Brin of google, Jan Koum of what’s app, Peter Thiel of paypal, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, and the list goes on.

The common denominator of them all, and the reason we know their names, is not because of their academic genius or political or technological prowess, but because of the access they have given us all, changing the way we shop, transfer money, research, and keep in touch with family and friends.”

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