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Rabbi Arthur Green’s Ten Commandments of Shabbat

1. Stay at home and spend quality time with family and friends.

2. Celebrate with others, at the table, in the synagogue, or with those who can best share appreciation of God’s world.

3. Study or read something that will edify, challenge, or make you grow.

4. Be alone. Take some time for yourself, review your week, ask yourself where you are in your life.

5. Mark the beginning and the end of this sacred time with candlelighting and kiddush on Friday evening and havdalah on Saturday night.

6. Don’t do anything you have to do for your work life. This includes obligatory reading, fulfilling unwanted social obligations, homework for children, and preparing for work.

7. Don’t spend money. The atmosphere of Shabbat is best protected by a complete separation from commercial culture.

8. Don’t do business. No calls to the broker, no paying bills. Relax; it can all wait.

9. Don’t travel. This refers especially to long distances, involving traffic, airports, hotel check-ins, and other similarly depersonalizing commercial situations. Stay free of encounters in which people are likely to tell you: “Have a nice day!”

10. Don’t use commercial or canned entertainment. Stay in situations where you are face-to-face with those around you, rather than staring at the all powerful screen.

Suggested reading: The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel.

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