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March 14, 2017 10:21 am

Vogue Touts Benefits of Keeping Shabbat, Even For Non-Jews: ‘It’s an Ancient Antidote to Our Modern Ailments’

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

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Shabbat candles. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Shabbat candles. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Observing Shabbat is something everyone — even non-Jews — should do for their well-being, according to a recently published Vogue magazine article.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Catholic, Christian, agnostic, atheist. Shabbat — the concept of spending quality time with friends and family while taking a break from scrolling on Instagram — is for everyone,” Ariel Friedman wrote last Thursday. “It is an ancient antidote to our modern ailments.”

The article quoted Rabbi Benjamin Spratt — associate rabbi of Congregation Rodeph Sholom and rabbi-in-residence at Rodeph Sholom School in New York — who explained that many of the practices involved with keeping Shabbat help people become “more present and aware for the blessings in our lives.”

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Furthermore, the rabbi noted, “The custom is that the tone of the conversation [on Shabbat] should be different; it’s a time where we focus only on gratitude. Many people look back on their weeks and highlight those good moments — even something as small as acknowledging the food or the drink we put in our mouths.”

Leandra Medine — the Jewish founder of the popular humorous fashion website Man Repeller — told Vogue about Shabbat, “It really nourishes the soul to step away from social media for a little bit. Kind of the way choosing a book over a movie does — hard at first, but you’re always better for it.”

Medine called her Friday evening subway rides to her Shabbat meals “the highlight of my weekend.”

She explained, “I don’t use my phone on Shabbat (even though I do turn on lights and use other forms of electricity), so this ride has sort of become emblematic of the beginning of my weekly technology cleanse. Once we’re seated at the table, we speak briefly and superficially about our weeks and then get to the guts of whatever is on our minds.”

“I actually don’t think you have to be Jewish to install this sort of boundary in your week; you just have to stick to it and set expectations so people know when they can and can’t reach you,” Medine further said.

The Vogue article concluded by listing five ways people can integrate “acts of mindfulness and gratitude” into their Friday-night meals.

This was not the first time Vogue has published an article about Shabbat. As reported by The Algemeiner, Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, praised the benefits of keeping the day of rest in the magazine’s March 2015 issue.

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