Eternal Life For Sale On eBay?

Those who read Milton Steinberg’s novel “As a Driven Leaf” will remember that eternal life is a reward given for the fulfillment of two mitzvot (commandments), namely the honoring of one’s parents and the mitzvah to shoo away the mother bird from the nest before taking her eggs. However, yesterday those who wanted to taste eternal life could have simply logged into the auction website eBay and bid on heaven.

 

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Ari Mandel of Teaneck, New Jersey listed his place in The World To Come on eBay for a mere 99 cents. Titled “My Portion in Olam Habaah (Heaven)”, Mandel says he did it as a joke and didn’t expect that bidders would bid it up to $100,000.

Since the auction “item” violated eBay’s terms of service, it was quickly taken down from the website. Mandel told the Jewish Daily Forward that “it was a joke that ran away from me … when it reached $100,000 I didn’t really expect to get that money. It was nice to fantasize, but I didn’t think it was going to happen.”

Mandel, 31, included several references to the Jewish concept of Olam Habah (the World to Come) and used common Yiddish phrases in his auction listing. He claims to have simply done this as a joke and tells those who took it seriously or were offended by his harmless prank to “chill out.”

The Forward reports that Mandel was raised in an ultra-Orthodox community in upstate New York, but left the community about seven years ago. He is now a divorced father of one child and a student who works as a part-time translator. For those who held out hope that they could really get a spot in heaven by a simple click of a computer mouse button and a six-figure payment, keep hoping. You’ll have to go back to honoring your parents and shooing away mother birds.

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Jewish Techs: The Jewish Technology Blog

This blog looks at how modern technology affects Jewish life, particularly the impact of the Internet on Jews across the globe. The Internet has made the Jewish community seem smaller. The Jewish Techs blog, written by blogger Rabbi Jason Miller (The Techie Rabbi), explores the places where Jewish culture, education and faith intersect with technology. Of course, like anything, Jews will continue to ask if technology is good or bad for the Jews – the age old question of our people. Good or bad, it is undisputed that technology has changed Jewish life. If you’re Jewish or interested in technology or both… you’ll enjoy the conversation. Thanks for reading the Jewish Techs blog.

The Techie Rabbi – Rabbi Jason Miller

Rabbi Jason Miller, the Techie RabbiJason Miller is NOT your typical rabbi. Known as the Techie Rabbi, he launched Access Computer Technology in 2010 and has grown it into a full-scale technology firm that provides social media marketing consulting and web design in addition to IT support. Ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary a decade ago, Rabbi Jason has made a name for himself as a popular blogger, social media expert, educator and entrepreneur. Based in Detroit, his congregation includes more than a million people who read his blog and follow him in Cyberspace. He began the Jewish Techs blog in January 2010 as the New York Jewish Week's technology expert.

An entrepreneurial rabbi and an alum of Clal's "Rabbi Without Borders" fellowship, Jason Miller is a rabbi and thought leader whose personal blog has been viewed by millions. The Detroit Free Press called him “the most tech-savvy Jewish leader" and the Huffington Post ranked him among the top Jewish Twitter users in the world. A social media expert, Rabbi Jason is a popular speaker and writer on technology and its effect on the Jewish world. He writes the "Jewish Techs" blog for The Jewish Week and the monthly "Jews in the Digital Age" column for the Detroit Jewish News.

Miller won the 2012 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the West Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce and is one of the winners of a Jewish Influencer award from the National Jewish Outreach Program.