It’s Friday morning. My favorite day of the week is coming soon. Friday afternoon is hectic, with all the last minute preparations going on. Food warmed up? Check. Kids all showered and washed their hair? Check. Table set for Friday night dinner? Check. Candles prepared? Check.
The time for lighting the Sabbath candles is approaching.
As I light the candles, peace descends upon the house like a sweet, soft blanket. All mundane matters are put aside for 24 hours. Electronics and gadgets are put away, not to be seen until Saturday night after sundown. It’s my time to focus on the things that really matter, like family, without the distraction of cell phones, computers or tablets. When my daughter talks to me, I actually listen with attention.
After candle lighting, I take the time to sit on the couch with my daughter and we talk about what she learned in school that week. And when she shows me her artwork I actually look at it and not pretend to like it so I could get back to my screen. I treasure that time with her.
Not much later the men come home and we eat the one and only dinner together as a family with no distractions. It’s beautiful. The men sing and the food is delicious. It’s time to find out what the kids are thinking and feeling. There are no phones ringing, no social media to escape to, just being in the moment with the people you love.
After the meal, I actually have time to read real magazines, not virtual ones. I love the feel of paper but sadly, the lure of the virtual world takes me away from the pleasure of old-fashioned reading.
The next day is more of the same. I can sleep in a little, then we join my family for the next meal. We sit together instead of chatting on Whatsapp. My children get to spend time with the grandparents and can update them about their week.
The afternoon is spent napping and looking at old family albums and just being together. This bonding time keeps us strong from week to week.
As sundown approaches, I get a little sad. I love my sabbath. I know I’m way too addicted to technology and I’m sure my children suffer as a result. But I await my little piece of weekly heaven and know that this is what keeps the fabric of our family life together. I would not give this up for the world.
I’m not sure I would be able to do this voluntarily if my religion didn’t demand it because of my strong dependence on electronics but since I got this gift of the day of rest, I see the beauty in it and wish for everyone to experience this just once.
The disconnect is actually a way of connecting to the real thing. It’s priceless and I’m grateful for it.