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Thou Shalt Unplug Thyself – Reboot Your Week On Shabbat

San Francisco-based conceptual artist Jessica Tully designed this cell phone bag as a way to resist the temptation of the distracting electronic glow of our cell phones and cameras.  Limited  Edition, 4″ x 6″ Hemp with soy based ink. Logo design by Lucie Kim. (Out of stock!)

San Francisco-based conceptual artist Jessica Tully designed this cell phone bag as a way to resist the temptation of the distracting electronic glow of our cell phones and cameras. Limited Edition, 4″ x 6″ Hemp with soy based ink. Logo design by Lucie Kim. (Out of stock!)

Unplugging from the wired world sounds ideal, but impossible. We have never been more connected than we are now, and taking a break even for a nano-second can seem unconscionable. But now, fresh from creative minds at Reboot, and the feature of a popular NY Times article is the Sabbath Manifesto – a clarion call to those caught up in the face paced, hectic world, to observe the ancient call of the Day of Rest:

And the Children of Israel observed the Sabbath, to make the Sabbath for their generations an eternal covenant. Between Me and the Children of Israel it is a sign forever, that in six days did HASHEM make the heaven and the earth,and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’

Ok, that was not the Sabbath Manifesto, per say, it is a passage from the Torah, recited during prayers Friday Night and Saturday, and recited during the ritual blessing of the wine on Saturday afternoon.

The Reboot Manifesto is right now: 1. Avoid Technology, 2. Connect With Loved Ones, 3. Nurture Your Health 4. Get Outside 5. Avoid Commerce 6. Light Candles 7. Drink Wine 8. Eat Bread 9. Find Silence 10. Give Back

Reboot are far from being Luddites. These are hyper-connected folks. Rather they are advocating one day of keeping the Sabbath as a means to better our lives (and make Bubbe proud.)

Join us in fighting back against the tidal wave of technology taking over society and our lives. Are you sick of having conversations with people with their noses buried in an iPhone? Are you that person?

Put down the cell phone, stop the status updates on Facebook, shut down Twitter, sign out of e-mail and relax, as part of our National Day of Unplugging.

Amen.

With the huge success of the getting the word out about the Sabbath Manifesto – I really do hope that tens of millions of people join – I would like to recommend that Reboot take on some addition modern issues with ancient Jewish ideas.

To heal monotonous, romance-less marriages, create a project advocating marital abstinence one or two weeks a month

to help rekindle that missing spark: MikvahManifesto.org

To feed the poor, protect the widow and orphan, cloth and shelter the homeless, create a project advocating tithing ten-percent of our net earnings for donations to the poor. See the tzedakahmanifesto.org

That is just for starters – we can do a lot to help improve our lives, and those around us, with some of that Torah stuff.

We will be making a L’Chaim to Reboot tonight. Shabbat Shalom!

Will The Jewish People Let This School Fail?

From Seth Cohen at Boundless Drama of Creation Blog – a discussion about a school in North Carolina that is 40k short and will close.

There are nineteen Jewish children in Asheville, North Carolina, far from the Jewish centers of life in New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Atlanta. These children are getting a daily dose of Jewish education, culture and language, and they are sharing experiences that will help cement their identities for years to come.  They may go elsewhere in life, far from Asheville – perhaps even to our own communities. We know this.

So with all we know, let me ask this – will we, the Jewish people, let this school fail?  And if we do, what does it mean about what we say?

This issue is huge – there are many facets. Perhaps they are better off in a public school with a really good afterschool program?

From a halachic perspective it is fairly clear that these children’s education comes before even paying the mortgage on a shul, or any other program, except giving out food and money to the poor – it is that important.

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Foot in Mouth Disease or Worse?

biden_footWe all knew that Biden had a serious life-long case of foot-mouth disease. The man cannot help but make guffaws. But this trip to Israel was to be a make nice party, a chance for the US and Israel to rekindle their strong friendship and worry about BIG PROBLEMS like Iran.

Israel announced on the eve of his visit that it was halting the project that was causing so much fuss in East Jerusalem – Sheik Jarrah hood. (Remember that fake Purim video purporting to be Jews celebrating with songs in praise of Baruch Goldstein?)

UPDATE – Apparently the remarks were in response to 1600 homes in Ramat Shlomo, Wiki writes :Ramat Shlomo was founded in 1995. As of 2000, it had a population of 18,000, mostly Haredi Jews. Ramat Shlomo borders Ramot to the west, Har Hotzvim to the south, and Shuafat to the east.

Apparently, that is all the “provocation” that was needed for Biden to dump a ton of rotten shwarma on Israel.

Leave it to Joe. This from the JTA:

Biden says Israeli housing starts ‘undermining’ trust

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Vice President Joe Biden denounced a decision to authorize new Jerusalem housing starts as “undermining the trust” that he needs to advance peace while in Israel.

“I condemn the decision by the government of Israel to advance planning for new housing units in East Jerusalem,” Biden said in a statement issued Tuesday, the second day of a visit that had been aimed at underscoring the closeness of the U.S.-Israel relationship. “The substance and timing of the announcement, particularly with the launching of proximity talks, is precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now and runs counter to the constructive discussions that I’ve had here in Israel.”

Let me expand – Israel rules Jerusalem, and should be able to decide when and where it builds. The left wing in Israel fights these moves vehemently, thinking that these are “provocations.” We don’t need JOE coming to Israel and inserting himself into a debate among Israelis and btw Israel and it’s neighbors. If it’s wrong then let Israel make that choice. Who is Joe Biden to take some mythical moral high ground?

Last I checked, the USA was occupying BY FORCE two sovereign countries that do not border America, did not ask for American intervention, and would like America to leave – yet there we are enmeshed in a everlasting occupation of foreign land. Even after Biden and Obama promised to stop the wars — there we are as occupiers as ever.

Now, that is assuming that this is a moral issue, although I am not convinced that it is. This is an issue of a sovereign nation making internal decisions. The enemies of Israel don’t want Israel to build anything anywhere because that shows that Israel owns that land.

The lands that Israel is building on in Jerusalem belonged to no sovereign nation. They were not annexed as part of Jordan. Israel conquered the territory in 1967 and made that part of the city of Jerusalem.