May 24, 2019

The Sabbath Manifesto

“March is a month that celebrates quiet. From sundown on March 1 to sundown the next day, people in the US celebrated the National Day of Unplugging. Just days later on the other side of the world, on March 7, Balinese people celebrated the new year by observing Nyepi, a day of silence.

As social media and other tech offerings grow ever more pervasive, and eat up more of our time, the thought of days dedicated entirely to unplugging is particularly appealing.

Thankfully, there are tried-and-tested models for how to unplug, such as the Jewish tradition that inspired the National Day of Unplugging: the Sabbath.

The Sabbath is, in Judaism, the day of rest and contemplation. It corresponds to the seventh day of the week—the day when, according to the Book of Genesis, God rested after creating the world. On this day, which Jewish people observe from Friday evening to Saturday evening, one is supposed to abstain from work to dedicate time to prayer and meditation. Some Christians, too, observe a similar abstention from work on Sunday, but the Sabbath is characteristically a Jewish prerogative.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"The results were surprising. The center-right coalition, led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, remained in power against the opposition Labor party, which had led in every poll for years."

"Anger seldom works against Trump; he owns the currency and can always issue more of it. In addressing the rogue President directly, or speaking about him in the third person, Pelosi usually adopts a tone that is more sorrowful than angry..."

"I am Mizrahi, as are the majority of Jews in Israel today. We are of Middle Eastern and North African descent. Only about 30% of Israeli Jews are Ashkenazi, or the descendants of European Jews."

"Kids are exposed to plenty of controversial social issues on a daily basis. And if parents don’t want their kids to watch “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” they can turn off the TV."

"Are public-school teachers really underpaid? It’s a claim often made during teacher pay disputes, but the same data and statistical methods that produce the “teacher salary gap” lead to some ridiculous conclusions..."

"Tech companies are getting into the business of making cities. We need to stop Silicon Valley social engineering before things get even worse."

"Having a Library or Cafe Down the Block Could Change Your Life: Living close to public amenities—from parks to grocery stores—increases trust, decreases loneliness, and restores faith in local government."

"“What name . . . shall we give to the darkness of hell...?” The question of how we can name a place such as this is at the center of scholar Scott G. Bruce’s new anthology The Penguin Book of Hell."

"She had all six of her kids — ages 5, 4, 2 (twins) and 10 months (also twins!) in her 10-seater van. To get the kids a quick snack, Curry parked in front of the Cobbler’s Café."

"Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said they grew up typically eating dinner at a kitchen table, but a little less than half said they do so now when eating at home."

"If you tied a rope tight around the Earth’s equator and then added a single yard of slack, would the extra material make any noticeable difference to someone standing on the ground?"

"While American Jewish women face attacks on our freedom and rising anti-Semitism, abortion opponents are appropriating Jewish history in order to push an agenda that hurts women."