Friday, March 26, 2010

The Sabbath Manifesto: Shabbat, unplugged

My friend Ilana DeBare, who you may recall is studying for her Bat Mitzvah as a middle-aged adult, posted an item last week that I don't want you to miss. Today is a good day to read this because tomorrow is Saturday.

Ilana wrote about the "Sabbath Manifesto" to get off the grid for sabbath (and Saturday is the sabbath), and refraining from some other modern addictions. See what you think, maybe give this a try. Ok, in all honesty, I'd like you to read my blog tomorrow because it is about Holy Week, and then get off the grid.

Here is Ilana's item from her blog:

March 19, 2010 by Ilana DeBare

A few weeks ago my dear hubby Sam wrote a guest post about how he tries to observe Shabbat — no email, no meetings, and no work-related reading, but lots of biking, napping, and socializing.

This weekend a new national group is encouraging everyone — Jews and non-Jews — to celebrate Shabbat with a National Day of Unplugging. The idea is to “slow down lives in an increasingly hectic world.”

Sabbath Manifesto, a project of a group called Reboot, has suggested that from sundown on Friday March 19 to sundown on Saturday March 20, we:

Artist Jessica Tully designed this cell phone "sleeping bag" to tuck away your electronics on Shabbat.

  1. Avoid technology. (Yep, including this blog!)
  2. Connect with loved ones.
  3. Nurture your health.
  4. Get outside
  5. Avoid commerce
  6. Light candles.
  7. Drink wine.
  8. Eat bread.
  9. Find silence.
  10. Give back.

Here’s a little insider’s tidbit: The person responsible for publicizing Sabbath Manifesto (including getting a write-up in the New York Times!) is my friend Tanya Schevitz, another emigrant from the land of the downsized Chronicle. This was her first big foray into the world of public relations. Way to go, Tanya! More proof that there is life after newspaper journalism.

Meanwhile — and totally independently, I believe — my synagogue is organizing a cool 25 Hours of Shabbat celebration this weekend.

Temple Sinai is asking members to get out of their work/shopping/household-chore routines, and offering a slew of Shabbat activities — from family nature walks and bike rides, to a challah baking lesson, to programs about Ladino music or the influence of Yiddish culture on Tin Pan Alley. And of course a variety of Shabbat services and community meals! You can find more information about it here.

Which activities will we be doing? Ironically, none — although I love the idea.

We have an opportunity to use our new beach house — which we bought with two other families — every third week. And this is “our” weekend there.

So we’ll be at Stinson Beach — Sam biking for some 40 miles or so, me walking on the beach for a much shorter distance, and Becca (most likely, being a teenager) sleeping late.

It sounds very unplugged, and very Shabbat.

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