Late last year, I finally got around to reading A.J. Jacobs’ Year of Living Biblically. One thing that stuck out for me was Jacobs’ struggles with not checking his e-mail on Shabbat. While he struggled with tougher assignments, like never touching women, his addiction to technology was the toughest to break.
And he isn’t the only one. I’m lucky that I’ve grown up keeping Shabbat, because otherwise, I’m not sure I would be able to get through an entire day without checking my Facebook or Twitter (@JeremyMoses…the funniest twitter account that no one reads).
But there is a group that is trying to counter this…at least for one Shabbat. Reboot, one of those cool, young people, Jewish non-profits, is holding it’s first annual National Day of Unplugging this Shabbat (starting tonight).
The idea is based off of the “Sabbath Manifesto,” created by Dan Rollman (who works for the Universal Record Database…more about them next week). Rollman’s idea was to “reinvent the Jewish ritual and make Judaism a little more modern and contemporary.” So where did he look to first? Technology, of course.
What Reboot wants you to do is, this Shabbat, if you aren’t shomer Shabbat already, try to not use technology. That means computers, Facebook, Twitter, iPhones, etc. You can do it to varying degrees.
Give it a try. It can be tougher than you think.
Pronounced: shuh-BAHT or shah-BAHT, Origin: Hebrew, the Sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.