Monday, May 17, 2010

Shabbat: Turn off, tune out, drop in*

"One day of the week, we should be free of the incessant demands of never-out-of-reach modern communication technology," commented yours truly here.

Sometimes I think that many of us non-Orthodox Jews simply don't understand the function of Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath. This obsession with always being chained to our computers, video games, cell phones, iPods, Blackberries, etc.--devices some of which didn't even exist as recently as 10 years ago--is ruining our lives. Shabbat should be the one day of the week when we turn off all electric gadgets, tune out the business world and the noise, and drop in to synagogue and to one another's homes. Shabbat should be a day when we hang out with HaShem and connect with one another face to face, a day to drop the WiFi and go wireless the pre-radio way. One day of the week, we should take the earbuds out of our ears and actually listen to the people we're with.

I truly believe that, whether or not HaShem created the world in seven days, the idea of the Sabbath--that there should be one day every week when we don't work--is one of Judaism's greatest contributions to humankind. Let's enjoy it.

In case I don't have time to blog tomorrow, I wish all of you a tuned-in-to-Torah Z'man Matan Torateinu. Chag Sameiach/Happy Holiday--Enjoy your Shavuot.

*For those not ancient enough to recognize the reference, see "Turn on, tune in, drop out."


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