Shabbat philosophy

A Different Consciousness of Time

This is not a sentimental story about how Shabbat observance immediately made us happier, or even more spiritual – no sound and light show, no fireworks, no revelation on the way to Jerusalem. It’s a story about blessings.

by William Kolbrener
Jonathan Safran Foer

The Shabbat Project’s Simon Apfel chatted to celebrated novelist, Jonathan Safran Foer (author of Everything is Illuminated, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and, most recently, Here I Am), quizzing him about his professed love of Shabbat, social changes wrought by the explosion in technology, and the nature of Jewish identity.

by ​Jonathan Safran Foer& Simon Apfel
Nikki Elbaz

Here’s a secret you won’t hear anywhere else: Shabbat is not synonymous with peace and quiet.

by Nikki Elbaz
Yaakov Lehman

But, Shabbat is a day of immersive mindfulness.” - Discover how Yaakov Lehman taught a group of high-flying executives from Facebook, Google, Twitter, and LinkedIn an appreciation for the power of Shabbat – the ultimate mindfulness experience.

by Yaakov Lehman
Simon Shear

“Shabbat, at its very best, is a kind of cosmic bebop.”

South African journalist Simon Shear puts up a surprisingly convincing argument that Shabbat is “the Miles Davis of days”.

by Simon Shear
Marion Isaacs

I’m just going to come out and say it: I’m a bad Jew. A very bad Jew. A colleague who is the daughter of a priest made this observation last week. When someone of a different faith – albeit one who works in a predominantly Jewish office and is familiar with the particular neuroses and psychoses of the Jewish way – is able to recognise your shortcomings in the religion and culture of your birth, you know they are a speaker of truth.

by Marion Isaacs
Sandy Levenstein

“For me, Shabbat is an awareness of being present; a reminder, not just to be where I am, but to really swim in every moment.”

In this intensely personal piece, Humans of South Africa curator Sandy Levenstein offers her reflections on the connection and comfort of Shabbat.

by Sandy Levenstein
Emily Bobrow

“Now, as a parent myself, it is my turn to craft traditions that will help teach my son how to live in the world. It is my turn to figure out how to guide him to be good and feel grateful; how to find meaning and question received wisdom. It is my turn to pass on the lessons and experiences I have felt nourished by in my own life. It is my turn, it seems, to find a way to celebrate Shabbat.”

The Economist’s Emily Bobrow on parenthood and how her feelings for Shabbat have “taken a turn”.

by Emily Bobrow
Robert Aumann

Shabbat Project writer/editor Simon Apfel spoke with renowned game theorist Robert Aumann about his Nobel address that doubled as a d’var Torah, his relationship with Oliver Sacks, and his lifelong love affair with Shabbat. You may even learn a thing or two about game theory!

by Robert Aumann& Simon Apfel
Gayle Apfel

Hi, my name is Gayle, and I’m a perfectionist. But at least I’m in recovery now.

by Gayle Apfel
Blessed
I watched my third son put his hands on his little “cubs” heads and say the words of blessing that Jewish parents have said to their children for thousands of years.... “Yvarechecho V’Yishmorecho” Hashem should bless you and protect you...
by Rabbi YY Rubinstein
Featured Blog
Simon Shear
Sketches of Shabbat
by Simon Shear