Join TORCH as we will keep the Shabbat Together from sundown to stars out. We will endeavor to keep it in its entirety. In all of its detail and splendor as set out in the Code of Jewish Law. Its rhythm will unite us with each other, with Jews around the world and throughout the ages. On this day we will create a warm and loving space, holding our families together. On this day we will lay down the burdens, distractions, demands and pressures of daily life. On this day we will renew ourselves, emerging spiritually, emotionally and physically invigorated. On this day we will own our precious heritage, wearing it as a badge of pride and honor. Together we embark on this great adventure to rediscover our G-d-given gift of Shabbos.
The Shabbos Project rests on five foundations:
1 - Unity
At the forefront of The Shabbos Project is the idea of Jewish unity. One of the unique aspects of the initiative is that all factional identities – all denominations, affiliations, ideologies and political differences – are put to the side. The tagline of The Shabbos Project is Keeping it together. As Jews around the world, across divisions and denominations, we will be doing this together. The power of that shared experience is unimaginable.
2 - The Power of Shabbat
Keeping it together is also an allusion to the unique restorative powers – the opportunity for deep physical, emotional and spiritual rejuvenation – that the full Shabbat experience affords. This is especially relevant in a modern world in which we are bombarded with technology and gadgetry. Shabbat enables us to set aside time to revisit and reinvigorate our most important relationships – with G-d, with our families and friends, and with our inner selves. Through Shabbos, we keep it – our lives – together.
3 - A Social Movement
The Shabbos Project is a social movement with Shabbat at its core; a movement that unites Jews all over the world through one common, achievable goal. While The Shabbos Project is coordinated and managed through formal communal organisations and partners, the project is essentially a grassroots movement that is driven by the people for the people.
4 - An Undiluted Experience
The call of The Shabbos Project is to observe an entire halachic Shabbat together. Shabbat has been kept this way for thousands of years. Undoubtedly, it is the undiluted Shabbos experience from which we can draw its full power and inspiration. The pilot in South Africa saw an extraordinary proportion of “first-timers” – far exceeding expectations – responding enthusiastically, perhaps not despite, but because of the challenge. Judging by the level of interest and enthusiasm to date, this phenomenon looks likely to be replicated around the world.
5 - Just One Shabbat
Because this is just one Shabbat, it is very achievable. Dan Ariely, the world-renowned behavioural psychologist (whose conversation with South Africa’s Chief Rabbi Dr Warren Goldstein sparked the idea for The Shabbos Project) explains that people are ready to commit to new projects if they are for a limited duration. People are open to a trial run. Truly, anyone can do this.