Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Creative Project to Use When We Discuss the Sabbath and Technology

I love this idea in this blog post by Rachel Barenblat.  And what a great first sentence!  She says, "It really wasn't my intention to base multiple Hebrew school lessons this year around repurposed undergarments. But sometimes this rabbinic life takes me into places I didn't exactly expect to go."

She describes being in line at the dollar store to buy tube socks for her fifth grade students.  She wanted something that would work as a cell phone case, but it needed to be cheap.

What impressed me was the larger lesson that she was trying to teach.  She was teaching about Sabbath, about work and what kinds of work are allowed on the Sabbath.  She pointed out that some more traditional Jewish populations don't even use electricity on the Sabbath, and they had a good discussion about that.

But her point was larger than that.  She was attempting to teach what we all need to learn:  how to manage technology so that it doesn't rule our lives--because, of course, the One who should rule our lives is not our cell phone.

Then they decorated the socks to be cell phone covers/bags.  They used spiritual symbols and phrases.  I would also love to add reminders to turn the phone off or to be present to humans that are physically present, not just on the other end of a phone.

I LOVE this idea, and I love the larger lesson, which seems SO important.  I love that this project should be fairly cheap--and since the socks won't be going in the washer, one wouldn't need to use the more expensive fabric markers.

And though Rachel used the idea with Jewish students, it's an idea that would translate across spiritual disciplines, which could lead to an interesting discussion of Sabbath practices across religions.  I could see this working equally well  in a secular setting--I don't know many people who feel they are well balanced when it comes to technology use.

I hope to use this idea at the first possible moment.  And I'm tucking it away for Vacation Bible School.

No comments: