A group of Jewish artists who are members of Reboot, a non-profit designed to “‘reboot’ the cultures, traditions and rituals of Jewish life” have developed a Sabbath Manifesto to create a modern way of observing a day of rest (the Sabbath).
I believe that the ten principles of their manifesto can serve as a helpful restorative to all of us modern folks–Jewish or not–if we observed it at least once a week. Here’s the list:
1. Avoid technology.
2. Connect with loved ones.
3. Nurture your health.
4. Get outside.
5. Avoid commerce.
6. Light candles.
7. Drink wine.
8. Eat bread.
9. Find silence.
10. Give back.
Number 2 on the list, “connect with loved ones” could be achieved through snail mail! And writing a letter also counts toward the first item on the list: “avoid technology.” This weekend, send a note to someone you’ve been meaning to reach out to and have been putting off. Send a thank you card. Write your grandmother. Just you, some pen and paper, and a little bit of time to unwind is all that’s necessary.
If you need a reason to put this on your calendar, Sabbath Manifesto has designated sundown next Friday, March 4th to sundown Saturday March 5th as “The National Day of Unplugging.” It is an opportunity for every one of us to take a break from our constant connectivity–to computers, smart phones, televisions, etc. I’ve chosen to make that time a technology-free zone in my life. You may be feeling the need to make it one in yours, too.
Use all that glorious technology-free time to prepare your garden for the season, take a long walk with your dog, have lunch with a close friend, read a book, give your partner a back rub, or–if the mood strikes you–write a letter!