To RabbiNot unlike the handwritten letter, voicemail is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Leaving voicemail (not to mention checking voicemail) is a cumbersome task. You’ve got to push a few buttons, wait a few seconds, and then endure the sound of the human voice, all the while wondering how said human voice is going to require you to do something. That’s why lots of people are letting the voice mailboxes fill up. That’s why lots of people are texting instead. That’s why some companies have removed voicemail from their communication systems.

But like the handwritten letter, voicemail has the opportunity to delight and connect. I recently received a lengthy voicemail from a former professor now colleague. The moment I heard his voice it evoked any number of fond associations. And even better, as I listened to the voicemail I experienced the delight of discovering that I was being invited to attend a symposium and share my experiences as a rabbi working at a Jewish day school.

My colleague followed up his voicemail with an email providing more details. And while the email does a more than satisfactory job of explaining the invitation and the plan, it’s the fact that I can hear my colleague’s voice extending the invitation that makes me happiest.