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The Chabad.org Blog

This Shabbat Is Special

June 11, 2018 11:07 PM

Dear Friend,

This coming Shabbat marks 24 years since the passing of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory.

Shortly after the passing of his father-in-law, the sixth Rebbe, the Rebbe remarked, “The sun is always shining. Even when it is night on one half of the globe, there is sunshine on the other. And even where it is dark, the brightness is present through the stars.

“In the same way,” the Rebbe concluded, “my saintly father-in-law is still present and radiant through the stars: the Jewish people.”

Throughout the decades of his leadership, the Rebbe touched the lives of many thousands. He taught, advised, encouraged, and brought meaning to people’s lives. He loved everyone. He celebrated with them and mourned with them.

The Rebbe still continues to touch lives—but now it is through us. It is our duty to become the “stars” that convey the love that the Rebbe radiated.

The Chabad.org Editorial Team

P.S.: In honor of this special day, please do an extra mitzvah, and encourage another to do the same. You can also send letters to be placed at the Ohel (the Rebbe’s resting place).

Apple's Newest Feature Is Taken Right Out of Judaism

June 5, 2018 12:54 PM


Taking a break is cool again.

At its Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced a new interface with their products. This new feature isn’t a boost to processing power or a new form of video, audio or tactile connection designed to get us to use Apple products even more. Just the opposite: The latest feature in iOS 12 is designed to get users to limit the time they spend on their device.

Called Screen Time, it lets users see how much time they spend on each app (“I spent how many hours on Instagram?”), and set limits and breaks to apps, either individually or by category.

Apple isn’t alone in this quest for quality over quantity of engagement. In May, Google announced that its Android P update will give users similar features, and just weeks before that Facebook made changes to its algorithm to allow users to focus on a smaller number of “important” interactions on the social network over the digital inundation of previous years.

The trend to create better balance between the “on time” and unplugged time has been growing for a while now.

But there’s something particularly unique about this recent focus to carve out moments in the day to take a break from screen time.

In Jewish tradition, we take a break three times a day from our engagement in the world, both physically and spiritually, to connect and recharge. If Shabbat is the day we completely disconnect from the world to focus on its Divine elevation, then the three prayers—Shacharit, Mincha and Maariv—form a bridge through which we elevate the work we’ve done that day.

So take a few moments throughout the day to put down your phone—or at least snooze some of those more time-consuming apps—and connect to something transcendent. That can include prayer to Jewish study to helping someone in need.

Hey there’s even app for that.

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