Shabbat, the Remix

You know the Sabbath Manifesto — the project that seeks to introduce people to relax, rest, and get back to basics, and to “tune out” for one day? It’s basically what us Hebrews refer to as “Shabbat” — but a sort of modernized, remixed Shabbat for the 21st century.

Shlomo Carlebach once pointed out that Orthodox Jews pray for Jerusalem every day, but the people who actually founded the modern State of Israel. And this new video — which is a cool, strange hybrid of a public-service commercial and a bunch of right-wing yeshivish Orthodox Jews in an insurance commercial — is moving and curiously spot-on.

I mean, my first instinct is to say, what in the name of G-d is going on? My second instinct is to say, ALL OF THOSE PEOPLE LOOK EXACTLY ALIKE. (Bearing in mind that, with very minor cosmetic distinctions, I pretty much look exactly like all of them.) But the more I think about it, the more I realize that (a) it’s a targeted ad campaign, (b) those people are exactly the target, and (c) it’s really freakin’ effective.

We all need to spend less time on our computers and our various gadgets. Or, forget that — we need to spend less time in our own self-involved pursuits, stet. Yesterday I got distracted from playing with my kids while doing some weed-whacking. I had a moment where I realized, Oh, crap, garden shears are the prehistoric equivalent of a BlackBerry. So our yard isn’t quite as hazardous as it used to be, which is good for my kids (and anyone else who comes over). But it’s still no replacement for quality time with the folks.

(hat tip to my mother-in-law for sending this)

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