Unplug and Curl Up With a Book
In order to observe Shabbat according to tradition, you are not supposed to work or engage in activities that require some version of “work.” Instead you should literally relax and “unplug,” according to the standards of Reboot’s Sabbath Manifesto. The Sabbath Manifesto strives to take us out of our modern world, filled with devices, cars, and all sorts of electric necessities on which we depend (all of which require some form of “work” to use). It may seem impossible to turn it all off – especially for your grandchildren, who are growing up in an era when parents can use an iPad like a pacifier! However, if you would like to introduce your grandchildren to the joys of a peaceful Shabbat, take it upon yourself to unplug together. Plan to meet your grandchildren beforehand. Make a point once you are together to commit to a quieter, relaxing visit.
Then, pull out some books. They can be your grandchildren’s favorite books that you always read together, or you can give them new books (whether from the library, just bought, or used) to read and establish a new tradition of reading specific books on Shabbat. In order to introduce them to Shabbat, try some of these books:
1. Sylvia Rouss, Sammy’s First Spidey Shabbat, Kar-Ben Publishing, 2001.
Told from the point of view of a spider watching his family prepare for Shabbat, this book will introduce young grandchildren to the concepts associated with the weekly holiday and grab their with the bright mixed-media illustrations.
2. Amy Schwartz, Mrs. Moscowitz and the Sabbath Candlesticks, Jewish Publication Society of America, 1991.
This book tells the story of an older woman who revisits her past and the times spent with her family during Shabbat. It’s a warm book about family, Judaism, and lifecycles.
3. Leslie Simpson, The Shabbat Box, Kar-Ben Publishing, 2001.
The Shabbat Box tells the story of a little boy who finally has
the opportunity to bring the Shabbat Box, with ritual objects to celebrate the holiday, home from school. While the story does not explicitly explain Shabbat, it illustrates the power of the holiday is infused with lessons as well.