06 A Shabbos Together
Chananya Weissman

March 17, 2020

I am calling on all Jews in Israel (and elsewhere) to unite in keeping this coming Shabbos according to Halacha. Perhaps not since the 40 years in the desert was it this convenient to do so. We are hunkered down at home anyway in the midst of a plague. There is no pressure to go to work. There are no soccer games, malls, movies, bars, clubs, or beaches to go to.

All the reasons and excuses people normally have for not keeping Shabbos have been taken away. Forget about the fights over public transportation on Shabbos. We're staying home, trying not to get sick.

The "sacrifice" to keep Shabbos this week has been reduced to refraining from using your phone, your television, and your computer, and preparing food beforehand (which we will all have plenty of time to do). Other than that you don't really have to give up anything that you aren't forced to give up right now anyway.

So take this perfect opportunity to connect to your roots and the marital bond between God and the Jewish people -- the holy day of Shabbos. The "cost" of keeping Shabbos has never been lower, and the reward is everything we want as a nation.

This is the time. Please spread this message.

March 18

I have been kicked out of the Secret Jerusalem Facebook group by one of the admins for posting the following message, which quickly became very popular among members of the group. It received numerous likes and shares in a matter of minutes, before suddenly being censored. His pretext was that it was not relevant to Jerusalem (!), and therefore violated the group's rules. When I messaged him privately and asked him to restore the post he was terse and standoffish, then removed me from the group.

Some people are very small, and they use the tiny authority and control they have to validate themselves, at the expense of everyone around them. Think of the person at the DMV who gives you a hard time and makes you wait just because she can, or the flack who hides behind corporate mumbo jumbo instead of helping you with a problem.

Yesterday Torah-phobic censors at the Times of Israel, today a gatekeeper from Secret Jerusalem, little people acting smaller than ever when the times call for people to rise up out of their pettiness. Unfortunately the situation has brought out the worst in some people. The Pope can encourage people to keep Shabbos, but if you do so in a Jerusalem-based Facebook group they ban you!