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Shabbat: A break from living twice as fast

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

What is your opinion of the speedier version of WhatsApp? It's now possible to hear recorded messages twice as fast as before. This saves lots of time and I have already gotten used to it. It's addictive. Sometimes during regular phone calls or even face-to-face conversations I would also prefer to speed things up.

Patience, listening, concentration, waiting patiently, the capacity to be here and now and not to run ahead, the ability to fully experience the moment - all of these are significantly diminished in the digital age. Therefore, in our generation, Shabbat takes on new meaning as it is now needed more than ever.

In the near future we may play football twice as fast. After all, aren't 90 minutes too long for a match? And songs - why should we have to invest 3 full minutes listening to a piece of music? But Shabbat interrupts this endless race on the technological superhighway. All of a sudden, when the sun goes down, we're not running anywhere. For an entire night and day we just talk, sing, eat, pray, rest, and read - and everything is done at a relaxed pace. All of a sudden, there's plenty of time.

Perhaps this is an app in reverse where - instead of going twice as fast - we go twice as slow and are fully present in each moment - as soon as the sun goes down and Shabbat arrives.

Shabbat shalom.


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