I Began to Observe the Sabbath and Found It Takes Care of Me

The countdown has begun. All the clocks in the world are set for this sacred moment, that the Jewish people have been awaiting for a long time, perhaps too long. One Sabbath when all of us are together. Religious, traditional and secular, large and small, rich and poor. The excitement is bubbling and overflowing.

The enthusiastic response to the first, important project of this kind — which was spearheaded by Rabbi Warren Goldstein, the Chief Rabbi of South Africa — have not stopped coming. We’ve compiled only a small part of these responses to show how Jews from all walks of life, opened their hearts and shared with the whole world what they think and feel about this exciting joint Sabbath around the world:

Isaac Bitton: “In the mad world in which we live, the Sabbath is a quiet island that I get once a week. The question everyone asks me is, ‘What do you do all day on the Sabbath?’ And the simple answer is: I recharge. All week long we are racing to plug in the battery of devices that don’t give you a moment of rest, but what about the mind / spirit / soul, that needs to recharge also? It needs a current to fill it too — the additional soul that we’re promised if we honor this day. An extra soul that enters with the Sabbath and disappears when it ends but leaves us with a 100% fully recharged battery. Sleeping, playing, reading, talking, laughing, going for a walk, praying, singing, visiting, hosting — actions that I don’t get to do much of on a weekday — but on Saturday I do them as part of my battery recharging.

“My dear brother — the Sabbath is quality of life. For quality of life one does not have to be religious. It’s enough that you’re Jewish and you received it as a gift. The first Sabbath requires planning — to give it some content, to ask the children to prepare something, to give something of yourself to make them anticipate the Sabbath, because on this day Dad is more with us than during the weekdays. I grew up with a father who was a workaholic businessman; he was not at home the entire week. But the reason I did not feel shortchanged was due to the Sabbath.”

Liat Ben-Lulu: “After I began to observe the Sabbath I found it takes care of me.”

Tal Ashkenazi: “A nice idea. Sitting down with the family and playing Land of Israel monopoly seems a cool idea.”

Ricky Mandel Almakias: “I recommend that religious families should host secular families so they will experience a proper Sabbath according to Jewish law and see how much fun it is to keep the Sabbath.”

Ronit Wurtzel Lerner: “I downloaded the app and shared it with most of my friends on Facebook. I’m keeping it up … for the public’s sake.”

Gadi Sagiv: “Although I am not observant – walla, it could be lovely.”

Michal Nidam: “I love the idea and of course I am joining in with the whole family, with G-d’s help.”

Sigal Dothan: “Kudos to you. You are really emissaries. Who knows how many Jews will begin to observe the Sabbath thanks to this initiative.”

Sarah Cohen: “Stunning. Well done! Unity of the people makes me shiver. Well done on the initiative.”

Shay Alon: “Give a hand to a new beginning. Bring all of us Jews together from everywhere in the world, no matter what language we speak. Congratulations for this, and I wish you success.”

Neriah Cubani: “Brilliant initiative! Excellent example of the right way to reach out to people.”

Nurit Goldenberg: “When you attach yourself to the Creator, you get flashes of light and protection for the whole week. Recharging your energy and joy to fill your soul. The sanctity of the Sabbath recharges us, and it’s no coincidence that G-d Almighty gave it to us.”

Rachel Brosh: “I highly recommend to keep it out of joy, and not out of pressure / duty. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. When the Sabbath comes, rest for the body and soul comes too.”

Benjamin Croituru: “I want to be hosted with an Orthodox family.”

Yaffa Rabbah: “I’m very excited to be part of this heartwarming spiritual experience. One weekend a year, we have the opportunity to experience unity with Jews from all over the world – this is a powerful unity. The Jewish people lives!”

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