Just in case you missed it on Twitter or Facebook, tomorrow (March 20th) has been declared the National Day of Unplugging by Reboot, a “a growing network of thought-leaders and tastemakers who work toward a common goal: to “reboot” the culture, rituals, and traditions we’ve inherited and make them vital and resonant in our own lives.”

I can raise a glass to that. (Kiddush?)

Their Sabbath Manifesto project is geared towards slowing down and taking a human breath in a world that has grown increasingly synaptic, virtual and – while super-connected – somewhat removed from the actual essence of connection. That they chose to do so as a type of renewed Shabbat observance is, I think, a double blessing: It reinvigorates both the concept of Shabbat (for Do It Yourself first timers and lifelong by-the-Bookers alike) – as well as those observing it.

As a regular Shabbat observer, I often resent that fact that my week, particularly Thursday and Friday, often feels like a headlong rush into Sunset on Friday afternoon. However, I can not help but experience bliss every Saturday morning when I wake up and realize there is nothing I can write down, essay-ize, edit, record, send, receive, download, update, tweet….not to mention cook, bake, bleach, scrub, or create, other than perhaps a new kind of salad for lunch or the occasional poem I write in my head and commit to memory by muttering to myself like a lunatic.

Of course, this also carries with it the anxiety of forgetting everything that meanders through my mind those 24 hours. My list mania edges on the insane, but on Shabbat, even non clinical OCD must rest. (It does actually strengthen my quickly dying grey cells to have to stretch to capacity and retain information and ideas on the Seventh Day, rather than pissing everything out on paper / screen immediately. So…yay, God, I guess.)

Neophyte Unpluggers: Enjoy! As the Reboot people note on the Manifesto website, if you enjoy it, it’s happening again March 27th. (Also April 3rd, 10th, 17th…….)

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  • A modern-day mizmor shir shel yom hashabbat, indeed! Excellent, piece; I now await to read what the virgin unpluggers have to say about their recent Shabbat experiences.