I have written here on Kveller many times about the importance of stopping once a week to recharge one’s batteries. I have written generally about spending more face-to-face time with your kids when you’re not working, and specifically about the lessons of the Jewish Sabbath in setting aside a day of the week free of the trappings of technology.
The “traditional” (Orthodox) Sabbath involves refraining from any of the 39 melachot or creative labors which were used to build the great Temple in Jerusalem thousands of years ago. These 39 categories are re-envisioned for modern times in the types of restrictions we place on ourselves on Shabbat: no turning lights on and off, no cooking, no driving, no TV, no cell phones; it’s a real vacation meant to be spent with family and friends just hanging out, taking walks, playing games, talking, and going to synagogue if that’s your thing.
I have been blessed to celebrate the Sabbath this way with many wonderful religious friends and family in my life, both in Israel and here. It’s powerful to shut everything down and just BE. We are, after all, human BEings and not human DOings, right?
There is a rabbi in South Africa who has taken on a Shabbos Project. He got most of the entire religious and non-religious South African Jewish community to celebrate Shabbat together in a giant party/festival/Shabbos extravaganza. Check out this video. It’s amazing.
This rabbi and his awesome, smart, super duper neat wife managed to appeal to every kind of Jew to create this Shabbat and it was supposedly incredible.
They are now trying to do this on a global scale.
On October 24th-25th, please join us in celebrating Shabbat. You can do it. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Go to this website to find more information.
The power of the Sabbath is infinite. Try one Shabbat. It’s going to be awesome in the most peaceful, quiet, restorative, and unifying way possible. Join us!