What is the most visited website in the world?
If you said Google, you are wrong.
Sorry, let me clarify: You were right in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. But in 2021, the most visited website was….
Yes, TikTok .com was the most visited website in 2021.
I had to read it twice to make sure I read it correctly. Really? I mean, everyone goes to Google all the time. Do you need to find information about anything? Google it. Looking for a business nearby? Google it. And when people want to check if these very-minor-headaches are a sign of a much worse disease? They go to Google (beware, Google always says yes!).
The difference between the two websites is quite obvious.
Google is a utility. We use Google when we need to. It’s useful and helpful to our lives.
On the other hand, TikTok – and some of the other most visited sites in the world, such as Facebook, YouTube and Netflix, are all about entertainment. It’s not something we need, it’s something we enjoy.
Interestingly, this data was published around a Jewish holiday, which speaks of the importance of harnessing human pleasure.
This holiday is Tu BiShvat.
Here is a beautiful lesson from the Rebbe about this holiday.
We are all familiar with the “seven species of Israel”: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.
The Tu BiShvat celebration focuses exclusively on the fruits. Many have the tradition to hold a special Tu BiShvat “Seder”. Although this “seder” includes eating the five types of fruits, it does not include baked goods made with wheat and barley.
Compare the two categories: grains are usually associated with a necessity and nourishment, while fruits are consumed for their pleasant taste.
By focusing on the fruits, Tu BiShvat reminds us that pleasure is an important force in our lives. We cannot just live a life of “doing the right thing”, we need to make sure we enjoy doing the right thing.
Often, we might be doing a Mitzvah begrudgingly, just because G-d said so. That’s better than nothing, but doing it with joy and excitement is so much better! When we turn the Mitzvos into an enjoyable experience. we will always look forward to do more and more Mitzvos.
Now more than ever, the word is shifting towards a greater focus on enjoyable and pleasurable activities. So now is the best time to harness the power of pleasure, not for TikTok and Netflix, but rather to propel us to become better Jews, better people, and to form a deeper and more enjoyable relationship with G-d and Judaism.
I would love to hear from you suggestions on how to make Mitzvot more enjoyable!