Jewish Journal

10Q Project: Answer life’s big questions online … Then reread next year

It might seem odd that 10Q, a project bent on promoting deep personal reflection and penetrating spiritual insight, would engage Joel Stein, a somewhat nihilistic humor columnist, as one of its endorsers.

“I find it hard to believe that anyone in our present society needs to spend any more time thinking about themselves,” said Stein, who writes for Time magazine, about the 10-day online journal exercise that is taking place this year between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, asking participants to answer “life’s big questions.”

“All I do is write about myself — maybe that’s why I’m less interested,” Stein said.

The 10Q project was conceived and organized through Reboot, a countercultural network of artists and innovators, and is, in its essence, an online version of cheshbon ha-nefesh, the ritual “accounting of the soul,” that Jews undergo each year during the 10 days of repentance. This iteration, however, is organized around 10 major questions, the answers to which are submitted electronically, then are secured in an online vault for one year, to be returned to participants on the eve of the following High Holy Days. It is also, the organizers say, designed for a universal audience (Reboot strangely employs the term “ecumenical”). To that end, Reboot has been promoting the project through bicoastal events and, yes, even celebrity Tweets, promising to deepen High Holy Days reflection beyond 140 characters, the Twitter limit.

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