Friday, August 14, 2009

Shabbat and Respectful Blogging

Anyone who has read my blogs and other writing over the years has almost certainly figured out that I am not religious and certainly not Orthodox. I went to a mixture of Conservative and Orthodox congregations growing up and I was part of a modern Orthodox congregation for a time when I was in my twenties. I am not ignorant when it comes to Orthodox Judaism but there are elements of it that I am just not comfortable with or which just do not match up with my own beliefs. I do feel comfortable with the Conservative (Masorti) movement.

A couple of years ago I wrote posts for this blog whenever I had time. If that was on Shabbat then that was when I posted. Some of you may have noticed that I haven't posted on Shabbat for quite some time now. No, I haven't begun observing the sabbath in a religious sense. My work pretty much requires me to be available 24x7. So long as I want to succeed in IT (computer work) in the U.S. that won't change.

Religious views in my family range from pretty much atheist, albeit with a Jewish ethnic identity, to ultra-Orthodox. When I was in Israel I stayed with a modern Orthodox cousin and his wife over Shabbat. I must say that I think a day each week without computers or cell phones, without driving or work, without shopping or television, without all the stress of modern life, is actually very refreshing. I think being Shomer Shabbat is probably very healthy. I have written before that I believe that when I make aliya I may very well observe the sabbath. I think it would be a very positive change in my life.

In the meanwhile, though, I still do what I need to do. I do post to other blogs whenever I have time. However, I will continue to refrain from my Zionist writing or publishing on Shabbat out of respect to my Orthodox readers. I look at the divisions between religious and non-religious in Israel and in the wider Jewish community and I think that all we really need is a bit more respect for each other to get past our differences. We are all Jews. The anti-Semites out there don't make such distinctions.

Shabbat Shalom!

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