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December 11, 2018 2:36 pm

WeWork CEO and Co-Founder Explains How Observing Shabbat for First Time Changed His Life

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Adam Neumann speaking Monday night in New York City at an event hosted by the UJA-Federation of New York’s Wall Street and Financial Services Division. Photo: Jewish Insider.

Adam Neumann — co-founder and CEO of the workspace company WeWork — recently observed Shabbat for the first time and said on Monday night that the experience had changed his life for the better.

Giving the keynote address at an event in New York City hosted by a division of the UJA-Federation of New York, Neumann talked about his first time keeping Shabbat, while in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Jewish Insider reported. The “most amazing thing” happened to him when he returned to work the following day, he said.

The 39-year-old entrepreneur told the crowd of over 2,000 people, “I went to work and suddenly the thoughts [regarding ego and others] weren’t coming up. I was looking at everyone around me and I can tell that we’re all people and we’re all in this together, and God gave some of us more blessings than the other, and you can never judge or measure where other people are at.

“And for the whole week, I was feeling really good,” he continued. “Until about Thursday, when those thoughts started coming back again, and I was judging again. And I said, ‘Wow, this Shabbat thing is amazing, but it only lasts for about five days. You gotta do it again.'”

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Neumann, who now keeps Shabbat with his wife and five children, added that “technology takes over our lives” and humans are “addicted to the phone.” Shabbat helps people “disconnect from technology,” he noted, and connect to their loved ones and friends.

He said, “You connect to something greater than yourself. You suddenly remember why you are here and what it is all about…When you’re disconnected from your soul, when you’re disconnected from the people around you, you cannot be happy. You cannot be fulfilled.”

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