You may (or may not) have noticed that I don’t blog on Saturdays. Not only do I not blog, I also don’t read blogs, browse facebook, read or respond to emails…I actually don’t get online at all between sundown on Friday night and sunset on Saturday night. Have you heard of social media fasts? Well, I take one every week. And that’s not all. I also don’t turn on and off lights, cook, drive, spend money, do any type of work, write, craft, watch TV, etc. Why? Because I observe the Jewish Sabbath – or Shabbat.
Because we believe that God created the world in 6 days and on the 7th day he rested, we too rest on the 7th day. In the Torah, there are 39 categories of forbidden acts described, all of which are types of work that were needed in the building of the mishkan – the traveling sanctuary built by the Jews after they left Egypt. These categories include sowing, kneading, baking, weaving, extinguishing a fire, kindling a fire, and more. (see Judaism 101: Shabbat). All of these tasks are prohibited, as is any task that operates by the same principle or has the same purpose.
I recently read a blog post which discussed whether smart phones should be brought along to church. The two sides were that obviously they are a distraction, but some people like to use them to take notes on the sermon or for reference purposes. We don’t have that option at all!
So what can we do on Shabbat? We spend time as a family. We eat meals that we prepared in advance. We attend synagogue services where we pray and learn. We sleep. We play. We nap. We read. We hang out with our friends who live close to us. It’s a lot of fun really. When else are you required to stay close to home (or wherever you may be staying), eat a lot, be with your family, and relax?
Why am I telling you all of this now? Well, there are certain holidays with similar restrictions to Shabbat. This Thursday and Friday is Rosh Hashanah. I will not be posting or be online at all for all of Rosh Hashanah, all the way through Saturday night. This will occur again two more times this month over the holidays of Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah. I will be sharing more about these holidays when they get closer!
Do you think you could disconnect completely for 3 days in a row? It’s actually not that hard for me, but catching up afterwards is difficult!