Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Shabbos Goes Global

Esther Teichtal

The morning after South African Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein’s wildly successful Shabbos Project last year — in which a majority of South Africa’s 75,000 Jews kept Shabbos, many for the first time ever — he set his eyes on the entire world. Would it be possible for Jews across the globe to keep one Shabbos together? In a little over a month we’ll find out.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

It’s so profound, yet so glaringly obvious. Observant Jews have been keeping Shabbos since Har Sinai, and every frum Yid knows the Gemara (Shabbos 118b) that if the Jewish People were to keep two Shabbosim the world would experience Redemption. And who can forget that old MBD hit, “Just one Shabbos and we’ll all be freeeee…” Is it possible for the world’s Jewish community to keep one Shabbos together? South African Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein believes it is. When he launched the Shabbos Project this year — in which Jews across the globe will celebrate an authentic Shabbos on Parshas Noach of 5775 — he was inspired by the wildly successful local version of program, which galvanized the South African Jewish community on Parshas Lech Lecha of 2013. On that Shabbos last year, the majority of South Africa’s 75,000 Jews — from religious to unaffiliated — came together to mark the day from the eve of October 11 through the 12th. The campaign, the brainchild of Rabbi Goldstein and his wife Gina, used billboards, mass media advertising, and social media (which went viral) to rally the entire gamut of South African Jews. Now he has his sights on the entire world. So, is all of this a gimmick to bring Mashiach? “We’re not talking about playing games to bring Geulah,” Rabbi Goldstein says, explaining that there is something deeper happening. “What is geulah?” he asks. “Chazal teach us that geulah means transformation, and the mitzvah of Shabbos has a redemptive quality that is transformational. Of all the mitzvos, Shabbos has the power to transform Klal Yisrael — culturally, as a matter of identity, as a declaration of emunah, and as a gateway to a Torah way of life.” He adds that the ills of modern society have wrought a grave fragmentation of family and self, and that Shabbos has the particular power to help heal those fissures. “People have a deep need nowadays to connect to their family and their inner selves. People are searching for togetherness in a splintered world.”

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you