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Faith and Observance for Millenials

A rabbi and a minister talk about a resurgence of the Sabbath

by
Adam Chandler
October 12, 2012
Shabbat Candles(Fickr)
Shabbat Candles(Fickr)

Today in the Washington Post, Adam Greenwald and Geoffrey Nelson-Blake, a 28-year-old Conservative rabbi and a 30-year-old Seventh-day Adventist minister, have some compelling thoughts about the observance of the Sabbath and its increasing popularity, especially among the younger, constantly plugged-in set. They write:

An insistence on creating sacred time and space is one of the key components of nearly all faiths. Traditional Jews and many Christian denominations observe one day a week of sanctified rest. Muslims around the world pause five times a day to bow in prayer. Many religions derived from Eastern traditions include a daily meditative practice. While many Americans feel distant from religion, establishing fixed times for personal renewal has universal appeal.



In spiritual communities across the country — from Jewish worship groups such as Washington’s DC Minyan and Los Angeles’s IKAR to churches too numerous to count — young people come together each week to collectively “power down” from the busy world. The ancient act of gathering in a house of worship on the Sabbath now carries a distinctly countercultural tone: It’s a declaration of independence from the iPhone, a defiant assertion that an e-mail can be left unanswered for a day without causing disaster, a formal protest against the social media machine. It’s a quiet revolution but one of enormous power.

It’s a great read and a very good thought.

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.

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