The Value of Shabbat

3 months ago Leighest 0

Recently a guy in my school asked me what I do without my phone on Shabbat. I told him that I spend Shabbat having intimate conversations with my family and friends. He responded by telling me that I am missing out on so much that life has to offer because of my religion.

I then asked him what he does on Friday nights. He responded with “Friday nights are crazy: I party with my friends and enjoy my life.”

The thing is, I don’t believe that I am actually missing out on much. The opportunity cost of keeping Shabbat and spending Fridays and Saturdays with family and friends is simple getting drunk and wasting your time doing absolutely pointless things. Seriously, ask any successful person how they reached their goal, and they will NEVER tell you that they accomplished anything through partying and wasting as much time as possible. Like if you ask Bill Gates his secret to success, I promise you he will never answer with “go to the club every Friday, chill with your friends, and make sure you waste as much time as you possibly can.” Life is honestly sooo short – in my opinion we need to live through it carefully by acting upon our values, as opposed to drinking every day while saying “YOLO.”

This brings me to the question of “What are our values?”  

Sadly, today’s modern society values the amount of instagram followers you have. “I can’t talk to people who have less than 500 followers on instagram.” “Did you see what Kylie Jenner was wearing?” “OMG Ashley is totally wearing too much makeup in that pic.” Although this might sound funny, those are actually quotes I hear from real people. In our lifetime, more people probably know about the Kardashians than about the government. I recently watched a video on youtube of a guy asking simple questions, such as “what are the 3 branches of the US government?,” and people had no clue. Those exact same people were able to name all of the Kardashian sisters, their broken relationships, and even their favorite food.

The one thing I hope all of you guys can take away from this is that there are more important things that we can do with our lives than watch “I love North and Kanye.” I truly have nothing against Kim Kardashian but come on. What is really important in our lives is spending time with our family, building relationships with our friends, and putting quality effort into such important things in life. For that reason, I find Shabbat very important: I get to enjoy special moments with my friends and family. On regular days, when all of us have our phones out, we spend time together, but if we hang out for 1 hour, at least 20 mins will be spent taking selfies, showing each other cool things on instagram, and the like. That is why we as Jews are blessed to have this gift of Shabbat, a single day when we can just reflect on what is important in our lives.