"Shabbat is not a problem, it's a solution." These words were spoken by Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein, the Chief Rabbi of South Africa. Regarding Israel, he stated: "Shabbat is not something that we need to put up with in order to make this a normal country, but an absolute value that makes this country unique." Rabbi Goldstein recently published a book titled: Shabbat. A Day To Create Yourself: Building character, shaping perspectives, and finding happiness through Shabbat. Here are several additional thoughts that he shared with me when we met:
"Jewish identity in the world today rests on three pillars: the pillar of Zionism, the pillar of the Holocaust, and the pillar of contemporary anti-Semitism. Yet I meet young people throughout the world and see that this may have been true for their grandparents, but it's not enough for them. They want more. They want spirituality, inspiration, holiness. We are obligated to add to Jewish identity another pillar: the pillar of Shabbat."
"There are communities where Shabbat observance has become the latest trend. It's considered fashionable to turn off your cell phone and not to be available one day of the week. The idea of making Shabbat plans with friends and preparing tasty food ahead of time has proven to be a revelation. Not because of reward in the world to come, but because of reward in this world. To transition from a two-dimensional to a three-dimensional perspective once a week."
"Whoever is connected to social media 24/7 never has a chance for quiet contemplation. If we never step outside the digital loop, how is it possible to visit new places and discover creative solutions? My goal is to look at the world all week long with Shabbat eyes. The thought of Shabbat brings humility, wisdom, security, optimism, and meaning into everything I do. Ultimately, Shabbat shapes the greatest creation that we can create in life: ourselves."