Go Green and Go Offline For Green Yom Kippur

uncross-your-wires-yom-kippurDoes  your relationship with technology give you feelings of impatience and narcissism? Go offline.

Along with numerous other bloggers, we have argued that a culture of doing and spending creates an impetus to do and spend more than the earth can provide. What happened to the simplicity of art to ease our earthly cares? Or simple earth-based architecture that celebrates and enhances its natural surroundings?

The Industrial Revolution happened, and more recently, an explosion of technology without which people believe they simply can not live. Certainly some technology makes life easier – like these solar stoves used in Darfur – but how often does your boss need to contact you on your shiny new iphone while you’re supposed to be having dinner with your friends or family?  


A pair of marketers working on a public service campaign in New York argue they don’t. Our busy-ness has encouraged us to neglect rather than prioritize family, to nourish addictions to cellular phones and nifty new laptops the same way we worship our morning caffeine and evening downers.

We need to slooow dooown. Disconnect.

Asked why Eric Yaverbaum and his partner Mark DiMassimo chose Yom Kippur to highlight our desperate need to step off the whizzing world of breakneck information, Yaverbaum told the Jerusalem Post:

It just seemed to be the perfect holiday for anybody to make amends, to atone, to do something different…It’s a great time to think about their behavior and what they’ve done during the year, whether they’re Jewish or not.

Everyone can go offline

The pair make it clear that their campaign (http://offlining.com) to go offline and experience ten device-free days during the Jewish High Holidays has gathered 10,000 signatures, and not all of them are Jewish.

“You don’t have to be Jewish…to atone for your texts on Yom Kippur,” one ad reads, featuring a picture of shamed golfer Tiger Woods.

Everyone trying to compete has become more susceptible to narcissism, forgetfulness, and impatience, and it’s because we’re trying to do too much with too little time. So everyone can benefit from switching off.

Take back your self determination

Some New York rabbis are supportive of the measure, though some wish for something a little more meaningful than a fly-by-night ad campaign to get people to put their feet back on the ground.iphon

Rabbi Dan Ain, rabbi in residence at 92YTribeca, told Jordana Horn:

We need to ask for more than a time-out every now and again…We need to think bigger and ask whether or not the price we pay – in the loss of our freedom, our privacy, and our self determination – is worth being able to watch the latest episode of Modern Family on the way to work.

This Yom Kippur, whether you’re Jewish or agnostic, why not take the opportunity to wean yourself off your favorite techno tool, and give yourself the chance to experience the peace and quiet of being. You might just like it.

:: image via jenny downing and story via Jerusalem Post

Read more lifestyle and culture:
Rehabilitate and Detox Your Lifestyle in Time for the New Year
United Arab Emirates Scholars And Imams Speak Up For The Environment
Understanding Breastfeeding in the Middle East (Part I)

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