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“When a vital resource has to be shared by different groups of people who each need to use that resource in profoundly different ways, it’s only natural that each group will claim that resource as its own while trying to delegitimize the claims of all others. Great rivalry is sure to ensue as a result of this competition, as each group attempts to prove the validity of its claim by showing how this resource is integrally connected to the group’s value system.
In Israel we have a resource which different groups try to claim as their own – Shabbat. Shabbat is viewed in totally different terms by different groups in our society, who each try to prove to all others – unsuccessfully – that their philosophy of Shabbat is the valid one.
For some, Shabbat is expected to supply all the functions of a “weekend” in a Western society – a day for rest and relaxation, for shopping, for pursuing hobbies, for cultural and social activities, for get-togethers on a family, national and even international level. Then there’s another group that sees Shabbat as a spiritual, regenerative day, a day of turning inward to self, to family, to community. This group feels that the spiritual nature of Shabbat preserves the uniqueness of the Jewish people and is concerned that allowing the official national dilution of the essence of the day will divest the country of all vestiges of spirituality.
There’s clearly little room for compromise or sharing in this situation. But more importantly, it’s not healthy that Israelis should have to choose between one type of day or another. Relaxation, recreation, and spirituality fulfill different needs in a person, and Israelis mustn’t be forced to choose between them; rather they need to be able, if they wish, to choose all of them.
Shabbat is a wonderful spiritual day, but in the reality of our lives today, a relaxed Sunday following Shabbat is a basic necessity for all of us.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"Historic buildings and structures dating from the Byzantine era to the 20th century have been subjected to disastrous restorations in recent years here, prompting public outcry and fostering a cynical attitude toward planned projects."
"Fox News, normally the object of presidential praise on Twitter, was subjected to an unusual tweet-lashing over the weekend when the president went after three of its anchors."
"Opinion: I am not willing to cast a ballot for this current crop of scandal-mongers, gossips and PR-obsessed dilettantes who are tearing the country apart - don't we deserve better?"
"Listening to The Joe Rogan Experience is sort of like crashing an intense, intimate dinner party in which the only courses are whiskey and weed."
"At the Jewish Museum in London called “Jews, Money, Myth.” The show explores the ways in which Jews have been associated with money over the past 2,000 years."
"Footage of last week’s massacre in New Zealand, which the shooter streamed in real time via Facebook Live, quickly proliferated. The original 17-minute webcast was viewed fewer than 200 times and wasn’t immediately reported, Facebook says."
"When I hear that Jews are too powerful, my response is, we are not powerful enough. When I hear that AIPAC is too influential a lobby, I say it must become even more influential."
"Lost in migration: When Walter Benjamin fled France in 1940, he took a heavy black suitcase. Did it contain a typescript? Where is it now?"
"Someday my daughter will be asked if she wants to have a bat mitzvah. I’m inclined to let her make up her own mind... It's a lot of work to learn Hebrew, memorize parts of the Torah and prepare for a pressure-packed performance at such a young age."
"Tablet's Unorthodox Podcast: Gail Simmons, Shalom Auslander, Jill Kargman, Gil Hovav, and more on the Jewish foods that mean the most to them."
""Hitting someone is a foundational moral violation," Yale University Psychologist Paul Bloom wrote in a comment to the paper. "Indeed, these sorts of physical infractions are found to be morally wrong by the youngest babies we can test."
" Ilhan Omar in particular has garnered attention for tweets widely viewed by the Jewish community as trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes. The result has been the most media coverage of anti-Semitism in a decade..."