Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
This coming Shabbat marks the 9th anniversary of the international "Shabbat Project," in which participants in 1,688 cities workdwide take part. Each year sees an acceleration of excitement around this event. Numerous Jewish organizations all over the globe strive so that every Jew will take note of this Shabbat in some fashion. In Hangar 11 in Tel Aviv a Shabbat dinner will be held for a thousand people. On college campuses n the United States, Shabbat will be welcomed on a grand scale. And in neighborhoods everywhere, one Jew will invite another into his home. The goal is for Jews to connect to Shabbat wherever they may be, and to help those around them make this connection as well. That everyone should add something to his Shabbat experience, affecting an "upgrade" to it.
This week TV host and presenter Rotem Sela publicized a video in which her daughter reads a short text message in which she begs her mother to put away her cell phone and give her a little attention. Rotem's daughter did not time the video to coincide with the Shabbat Project, but it would seem that many feel like she does, that they are in an endless struggle to have someone listen to them. As the speed it takes for a WhatsApp message to arrive is now twice as fast as before, the pace in which we live our lives has sped up accordingly.
Shabbat is an opportunity to return to a sensible pace of life. To eat, to sleep, to converse, to pray, to sing, to read. To disconnect - in order to connect.