Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Reboot works to rekindle tradition and culture

Sometimes religion doesn’t seem so attractive. The long sitting times in shul, things you can’t and can eat and the restrictions of Shabbat. One innovative Jewish organization in the United States has some unique ways of changing that. Enter Reboot, the organization with a mission to reboot traditions, riturals and culture. They comprise a network of incredibly innovative people who shed a new light on Jewish practice. I want to walk you though some of those amazing things.

The Sabbath Manifesto
Reboot (or Rebooters, their fan club of thinkers) saw that lives were going to fast paced. We needed... well... Shabbat. And so, they created the Sabbath Manifesto, principles, for one day a week to slow down. And the principles seem very close to that of Shabbat. #8 is “Eat Bread”. #5 is “Avoid Commerce”. The Manifesto team says that the principles can be interepreted in different ways. #1 is “Avoid Technology” which can mean to not turn on the TV or listen to your iPod. The principles are very personal. Reboot also organizes a “National Day of Unplugging” which receives a lot of press by the likes of The Wall Street Journal, CNN and PC World. They have even designed a little sleeping back to put your phone into for the 24 hours. There is also an app to help you unplug. The founders don’t claim to be religious. This is an event to help you fight the effects of this ever to constant and pervasive workaholic life.  The Sabbath Manifesto might be one of Reboot’s biggest hits but it is not its only one. 

Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur are a time to reflect. Who truly reflects in today’s fast paced age? 10Q is a program designed by Reboot to help you do just that. You answer one question a day in an allotted time period in September. You submit them to a secure site. One year later, the questions get mailed back to you. See if you have changed.
Its a really smart idea. It gets people to really change and if not, see that and embrace it. It integrates technology and values in a seamless manner. Some of the questions are “Describe an event in the world that has impacted you this year. How? Why?” 

Reboot is just so innovative. How would you change this in your life to rekindle culture and tradition?

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Phone sleeping bag: 

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