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Ctrl C, Ctrl V or Ctrl Z?

Ctrl C, Ctrl V or Ctrl Z?

What your computer's buttons can teach you about yourself


According to Chassidic teachings, there is no such thing as coincidence, and everything one sees or hears is a lesson that can be applied to one's life and behavior.

This is true even to the extent that in every technological innovation one can find lessons that help one understand life better – how it works, and how to better take advantage of it.

Allow me to share an example.

One can copy thousands of pages in seconds with just six clicks of the keyboardA very useful tool that makes life much easier are "Windows" shortcuts. "Control C" allows you to copy texts, "Control V" allows you to insert copied texts, etc. These tools introduced the "Copy and Paste" option, which means, in other words, the capacity to transfer words and ideas from one place to another without having to transcribe them. All you need to do is to press "Control C" in order to copy the text and then "Control V" to insert it wherever you feel it belongs...

What does this teach us?

A few things.

First of all, it pays to learn how things work, because that way you save lots of time. Someone who doesn't know how to copy and paste would have to type each letter of the desired text. By knowing the shortcuts, one can copy thousands of pages in seconds with just six clicks of the keyboard (Ctrl A, Ctrl C, Ctrl V).

The same is true in one's personal life. There are many people who spend much time trying to reinvent the wheel. If they were to take the time to read the "Users Guide," they would not have to waste time trying to discover what has already been discovered. They would be able to dedicate their time to build upon that which has already been built. For a Jew, the Torah is the Users Guide, and it pays to acquaint oneself with it in order to have a more productive and efficient life.

Another idea:

One of the most useful Windows short cuts is "Control Z." By pressing it, one can undo his last actions. Did you write or erase too much? No problem. Just type "Control Z" and you will return to where you were before your mistake. (And if you "corrected" yourself by mistake, don't worry... just type "Control Y" and you will undo your "correction"!)

This is an important lesson regarding repentance. Many understand repentance, Teshuvah, as a radical change in one's behavior or an importation of something foreign, to "Copy and Paste." Instead of leading a "normal" life, they incorporate seemingly strange behaviors such as kosher, Shabbat, tefillin, Torah study. To some people, these changes their loved ones have incorporated into their lives are threatening and create resistance.

The true idea of repentance does not imply change as much as it implies return. To return to what one really is. It is not just "Copy and Paste." Rather, it is "Control Z" – undoing mistakes, and returning to an original state of being.

Rabbi Eliezer Shemtov is the Chabad-Lubavitch emissary in Montevideo, Uruguay, and a contributor to
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Randa November 12, 2016

where will the information goes after ctrl + c? Reply

Leana Riverside, CA February 9, 2016

Ctrl C, Ctrl V or Ctrl Z? I'm glad I Goggled "Ctrl Z" today. I was not aware of the "Ctrl Y" shortcut. The information you provided saved me valuable time from having to start over.
Thank you for taking the time to share this information. Reply

suzi mechanic November 13, 2014

I too never cease to be amazed by the non-coincidental overlaps between technology and spiritual matters, as if Hashem is taking us by the hand and saying, So, Nu, now you get !

Thank you for your insight,

P.S. By no coincidence again, I took the time this morning at 5 am just to figure out how to learn more in order to streamline my work, and look at what I find. Streamlining with Chasidut. You have to love the architect of theuniverse. Reply

Misschameleon Murrieta, Calif USA June 25, 2012

Keyboard tips Thank you for sharing the keyboard Ctrl C , V, and Z tips. You accidently omitted Ctrl A but I figured that out. Let me in turn tell you this that may help you. Ctrl + will enlarge a page. You can do that several times to make it readable.To reverse this, type Ctrl - to step down each step finally returning this the the original type. I found this out in my post work days and do wish I had known this then. I hope you can pass this on as well and find it helpful. Reply

Loise Hoogeveen, Netherlands July 16, 2011

Saving Time Method Thank you for sharing these. It is going to help me alot saving time.

Thank you! Apreciated Reply

eliezer montevideo, uruguay September 21, 2009

to ben That's exactly the point of the article... Kashrut, Shabbat, Tefillin, Torah study is what we really, originally are all about. Incorporating them into our life is not "copy and paste", it is "Ctrl Z". Reply

Anonymous Joburg, SA September 21, 2009

Genious! This Rabbi, is an amazing writer! His message is always so clear and to the point. Reply

ben New York September 21, 2009

Interesting ..But, isn't "kosher, Shabbat, tefillin, Torah study" "control Z" not "control C control V" ?? Reply

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