Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook and newly appointed Time Magazine’s person of the year, has never been on a Birthright trip — or to Israel at all, for all we know. At 26, he’s only eligible for another six months – here’s what we imagine would happen if he went.
Day 1: After five hours of being trapped on a bus with 39 screaming teenagers from Long Island, Mark is reminded of why he invented Facebook in the first place — to feign friendships with people he doesn’t like without having to actually see, hear, or smell them. The odor in the bus is like a shaken-up can of Axe exploded inside of a bear carcass.
Day 2: Mark brainstorms an app that will disequate dating an Asian girl with singlehandedly imperiling Jewish continuity.
Day 3: Mark drinks a Dixie cup of sweet tea in a Bedouin tent drumming circle. He wishes he clicked through a photo album instead – sometimes “actually being there” really is overrated.
Day 4: Mark contemplates the ways in which Facebook improved on the Book of Life. The message-delivery system at the Western Wall reassures Mark that God is no competition.
Day 5: Mark rides a camel. He has a sudden epiphany and develops a lasting spiritual connection to the tradition-filled, tumultuous history of the Jewish people. That, or his butt’s asleep.
Day 6: Mark listens to a dozen girls explain that they used to think being Jewish wasn’t sexy, but all it took was sleeping with an Israeli soldier to become a proud, empowered Jewish woman. Mark wonders if subjecting Facebook users’ every move and preference to public scrutiny had anything to do with eradicating a generation’s self-esteem.
Day 7: Mark frowns at checkpoints and borders – why is the IDF getting in his way of trying to make the world a more open place? Another lame government that just doesn’t get him.
Day 8: Mark isn’t saying Facebook would’ve prevented the Holocaust, but it definitely wouldn’t have hurt.
Day 9: Mark realizes Israel is Alpha Epsilon Pi all over again – just another Jewish fraternity.
Day 10: Mark shrugs at the whole geopolitical crisis and dreams of a virtual world with unlimited bandwidth for all. All this squabbling over a misshapen scrap of desert – it’s so Human 1.0.
Ilya Khodosh is a writer, performer and Tablet contributor. You can read more from Ilya in the new Nextbook Press’ anthology What We Brought Back: Jewish Life After Birthright.