How many times a day do you check your Facebook notifications? How often do look to see how many likes you got on your last Instagram picture? When was the last time you put your phone down and unplugged from the world?
According to Judaism, G-d created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. Many see it as a day filled with stifling restrictions; however, it is really of rest and spiritual enrichment. The point of Shabbat is to not exert any energy from Friday night until Saturday night, leaving a complete day for you to do anything, but work. You shouldn't use writing utensils, drive your car, or touch money. This time period is strictly about you.
It's really a beautiful concept if you take the time to think about all that Shabbat entails. The entire week, you must be so preoccupied with important tasks and phone calls. It must feel like you're on autopilot and just being driven through your days, knowing your routine by heart. We become like machines, robots actually. We forget what distinguishes one day from the next, and sometimes we even neglect to take the time to sit down and reflect on what even the purpose is behind all that we are doing.
The one thing that differentiates humans from any other type of living organism is our control over our thoughts and actions. If you are conscious of what's right or wrong, these morals will lead u to act in a certain way. An animal acts on impulses, if they are hungry, they find the nearest source of food and satisfy their appetite. Machines and robots are programmed and designed in such a way that enables them to automatically perform a task without a thought process necessary, and there are no negative consequences that could play out and affect the machine. Us humans are lucky. We get to use our senses to guide us towards our actions. We are able to restrain ourselves from things and we are able to work towards goals that are meaningful and rewarding. With this gift comes a heavy weight of stress and work. Our days sweep by so quickly that it become almost impossible to not get caught up in all that's going on. Shabbat is there to break up our week in such a way that we are reminded of how we are all human and deserve some time to ourselves. We deserve to take a nap, read a new book, have a nice table conversation with no phones or tablets involved.
We live in an age where we all have become self-involved. This isn't always a bad thing, but it is definitely a fact that we must deal with and handle with care. If we are all set on autopilot at all times, there is a good chance that we might crash due to our lack of action. We cannot become slaves to our work and demanding schedules. We shouldn't become so accustomed to our routines that we don't make time for ourselves. It's important to remember that the time spent not doing anything is just as valuable as time spent doing things. This is why Shabbat brings so much meaning into my week. Even though I don't keep all of the laws, when Shabbat comes around I am always reminded that I need to relax and let myself have some "me time" before I get back to my school work. Whether you celebrate Shabbat or not, you deserve to make time for yourself to unwind and enjoy the blissful essence of doing nothing.