Actress Julia Roberts Shares Poem on Shabbat Observance, Coronavirus Quarantining
Amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, US actress Julia Roberts posted on Instagram on Sunday a poem about quarantining and social distancing that begins by discussing Shabbat.
“What if you thought of it as the Jews consider the Sabbath — the most sacred of times?” the poem by Lynn Unger asked. “Cease from travel. Cease from buying and selling. Give up, just for now, on trying to make the world different that it is. Sing. Pray. Touch only those to whom you commit your life. Center down.”
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Unger wrote the three-paragraph poem, titled “Pandemic,” last week. She said thinking about the “restrictions” observant Jews face during Shabbat helped her form her poem.
“We generally think of restrictions as being a negative,” she told the Chicago Tribune. “But the idea of the Sabbath is that accepting these restrictions — you can’t exchange money, drive a car, work — can be a spiritual discipline that is a source of beauty, a source of the holy, as opposed to just being a pain in the ass.”