Sabbath Manifesto: Unplug, Connect

If being an innovative, creative Jew meant unplugging from the interwebs and turning off your cell phone for 25 hours, could you do it?
Sabbath Manifesto is a creative project that is designed to bring the spirit of observing Shabbat to our networked, short-cycle world. A world where our friends and family aren’t just our people, but also our social network. A world where we might click “like” on a family photo that just has been uploaded to Facebook by our partner from the other end of the sofa. Or a world where we walk through a park on a sunny day while talking on the phone. Where our attention span drifts capriciously.
Hey, “ADD” would make an awesome band name, let me Google and see…
Perhaps I have made my point. Or maybe this YouTube video from Sabbath Manifesto makes the point even better.
The people behind the Sabbath Manifesto invite folks to slow way the hell down, in a uniquely modern and uniquely Jewish way. They have re-framed Shabbat observance into a list of ten principles:

  1. Avoid technology.
  2. Connect with loved ones.
  3. Nurture your health.
  4. Avoid commerce.
  5. Get outside.
  6. Light candles.
  7. Drink wine.
  8. Eat bread.
  9. Find silence.
  10. Give back.

These all look pretty good. Except for #1; that could be hard….and then there’s #4. However, unplugging from all of our technological distractions and channeling our energy to acquire stuff may create some space for us just to be.
That brings us to the National Day of Unplugging, Sabbath Manifesto’s challenge to all of us to slow down our lives, reconnect with loved ones, and engage in small acts that make the world a better place. From sundown Friday, March 4th to sundown Saturday, March 5th people across the country will turn off their computers, their cell phones and recharge themselves. The goal is simple, but enormous: to gradually reboot our culture in order to connect people to each other.
Are you up for it? With some trepidation, I’ve decided to give it a shot. What’s 25 hours, anyway? I promise to come back and let you how I do with the challenge.
Are you up for unplugging on March 4th and 5th?  Share your thoughts in the comments.