Powering Down on Yom Kippur

yom kippur israelYom Kippur, which starts tomorrow evening, is a time of reflection, atonement, and looking forward to the year ahead.  It is also the only day of the year in Israel when everyone universally powers down – no cars are driven, no TV is broadcast, the radio waves are silent and no businesses are open.  It is also, then, Israel’s greenest day of the year.

It is a day that reminds us of simpler ways of living that connect us more deeply to those around us rather than the machines around us.  Yom Kippur is a day that families go for walks and ride bikes together, spend time reading together, and stay close to home.  (Check out the photo above taken by fellow Green Prophet Jesse Fox from Yom Kippur 2008 in Tel Aviv.)

While this powering down might not be sustainable over an extended period of time, Yom Kippur can certainly remind us that being green by steering away from electronic distractions can improve our quality of life.

So how can we implement a little “Yom-Kippur-ness” in our everyday lives for the rest of the year?

Spend a little less time surfing the net or watching garbage TV a few nights a week – this means more time connecting with the people around you and also fewer carbon emissions.  Win-win.

Try walking or bike riding instead of driving a few times a week – this may take a little longer, but your body will thank you for it.

Make an effort to find more electronic-free forms of entertainment – this could be as simple as reading a book or playing a board game.

Read more about Yom Kippur::

Yom Kippur: A Day Without Cars in Tel Aviv

Yom Kippur, The Greenest Day of the Year in Israel

Green Your Repentance

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7 thoughts on “Powering Down on Yom Kippur”

  1. daniella says:

    Some people spend their Yom Kippurs surfing the Web and watching TV. Check out this thoughtful account: http://www.tabletmag.com/life-and-religion/16681/dark-night/

  2. Besides powering down, an integral part to Yom Kippur is fasting for 26 hours, and asking forgiveness. As a day of repentance, some might want to look back and include their impact on the planet from the past year.

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  5. “Yom Kippur is a day that families go for walks and ride bikes together, spend time reading together, and stay close to home.”

    A large number of Israelis spend much of Yom Kippur in their neighborhood synagogue, a very green activity.

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