Four Lessons to learn from the world_record_egg

As I write this post, the world_record_egg has over 40 million likes on Instagram far surpassing the previous world record of 18 million held by Kylie Jenner. You can even now purchase world record egg merchandise.

I didn’t know who Kylie Jenner was but according to Wikipedia she is an “American reality television personality, model, entrepreneur, socialite, and social media personality.” She is on a show called “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” This in itself is somewhat strange to me because why did Kylie Jenner get so famous? She seems to be famous for ... well... being famous.

What makes certain Instagram posts or YouTube videos go viral is not clear to any of us. Why the video of the song “Baby Shark,” a children’s song, went viral with over 2 billion views recently,

or why videos of a little boy reviewing toys earns him 11 million dollars a year is similarly puzzling.  The question is— does it really matter? 

Lesson Number 1: In a time when an individual’s feelings of self-worth can be affected by how many “likes” they have on social media posts, I think it’s important to remind ourselves that what is popular one minute can fade into obscurity the next.

Lesson Number 2: “Influencers”* are only truly successful if they withstand the test of time.

Lesson Number 3: Remember that the people and things that can remain “relevant”* over thousands of years (like Judaism!) are probably worth more of your attention than fads. I hope my children are reading this when I implore them to measure influence and value based on long-term relevance rather than a moment of fame.

Lesson Number 4 (for rabbis and Jewish educators): I implore us to remain “relevant” in our teachings. I have no doubt that we will, but we need to compete in a marketplace where “viral” is a positive description (not a kind of illness) and what is “relevant” needs to engage an audience that seems to value popularity above all else.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a few bits of trivia about eggs in Judaism.

 These my friends have stood the test of time!

1)  The egg, being round, is a symbol of the cycle of life and therefore a comfort to mourners.  It is served to mourners after a funeral along with other round foods. (Learn more here) from Chabad.

2) The egg on the seder plate is a symbol of the chagigah (festival) offering which was offered on each of the three pilgrimage festivals during Temple times.  As a symbol of mourning for the destruction of the Temple, an egg replaces the chagigah offering on the seder plate. Learn more here from my jewish learning dot com.

3)   An egg with ashes is the traditional meal that precedes Tisha B'Av, the fast day on which we mourn the destruction of both Temples.  Learn more here from Aish HaTorah.

4)  An entire tractate of Talmud is named is referred to as "Tractate Egg/ Masechet Beitza," also known as Masechet Yom Tov.  It's name "Egg" comes from the first word of the tractate which opens a debate on whether an egg laid during a festival can be eaten on that day. Learn more here from the O-U.

5)  According to the laws of kashrut, eggs should be checked for blood spots before they are cooked, and if a blood spot is found, it should be removed and discarded.  If the egg was from a free range farm and there is a possibility it may be fertilized one needs to be particularly careful.  Read more here from the O-U.

6)  "Beitzim," or "eggs" are Hebrew slang for what we in English call "nuts" or "balls."  Learn more Hebrew slang from this Tumblr account.

7)  Shakshukah is a popular Israeli breakfast made of eggs with tomato sauce.  This recipe from the New York Times has a lot of positive reviews but I can't personally vouch for it as I don't personally like anything with any gooey eggs whatsoever.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and found it "relevant" to you as well.  If anyone has any wisdom as to why certain things go viral and others don't, I'm happy to take your comments below.

*Influencer- A social media user who has established a following for their opinions on a certain industry such as fashion or travel.  Because they influence trends they are called "influencers."

*Relevant- Besides the usual usage, an actual person can be described as "relevant" if their social media content is of interest to a lot of people.