Do you regularly find yourself exhausted and in need of rest? Do you struggle with overcommitting yourself, or feeling unfulfilled by many of the activities you have to do? If so, perhaps 'freedom from all slavery to the clock' would be a needed reprieve.
Judith Shulevitz, author of the new book “The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time,” wrote in the April 16 Washington Post’s “On Faith” column that people have largely rejected the Sabbath because “there’s a light Sabbath and a dark Sabbath.”:
“The light Sabbath features community and festivity and what a famous professor of psychology once called ‘freedom from all slavery to the clock.’ The dark Sabbath bristles with rules and regulations, and at the extreme, fanaticism…Americans may recall the light Sabbath with a certain fondness, at least if they hanker after a calmer way of life. But they are mostly thrilled that over the past 50 years we’ve done away with the dark, coercive one.”“But what if I told you that we could have some of the light Sabbath back, if we’d accept just a little bit of the dark one? We could have something to which we’d probably say yes–namely, more time for self and family and neighborhood–and all we’d have to do is let ourselves be governed by a few nos, a few rules about not working at a pre-arranged time. Conversely, if we don’t accept a no or two, then the kind of time that used to be protected by the Sabbath–time during which everyone leaves the office or factory and turns to one another for entertainment and sustenance–is in danger of disappearing.
What do you think: is Ms. Shulevitz correct? Do we need a little bit of the "dark Shabbat" in order to regain the "light Shabbat"? What would that look like for individuals--what kinds of habits, practices, or rules? For communities?