A Facebook Shabbat



Earlier today, this article, “Facebook and Religion Don’t Mix,” crossed my desk, telling me that “Americans seem to not mix their social networking and religious activities.” In spite of what it says, much of my own personal Facebook use focuses on the joys of being Jewish— something many of my Facebook friends and I share with each other on a regular basis.

A few examples and anecdotes, I think, illustrate this point best.

Before leaving the office on most Fridays, I often post a favorite piece of Shabbat liturgy, and close by wishing folks a Shabbat shalom. About a month ago, here’s what I wrote:

That one got six “likes” as people signed off for Shabbat.

This past week, my Friday afternoon post said:

It got eight “likes” and three comments, mostly reciprocating my Shabbat wishes.

On most Saturday mornings, my first Foursquare check-in (which also posts to Facebook) is at Temple Shaaray Tefila, where I’m a regular at minyan. These posts generally get a “Like” or two, but by then, many of my Facebook friends have unplugged for Shabbat or are busy celebrating in their own congregations.

No worries, though…they’re back by evening when we’re wishing each other a shavua tov (a good week) and inquiring about what was most meaningful and special about the day of rest just ended.

Indeed, my Facebook posts around Shabbat are as much a part of my day of rest as are the more traditional worship, motzi, kiddush and text study.

What about you? How do you use Facebook to express your practice of Judaism? Share a comment to let us know.

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JanetheWriter

About JanetheWriter

JanetheWriter writes and edits for the Union for Reform Judaism. She recently completed a master's degree in public administration (MPA) at Baruch College, part of the City University of New York. When she's not writing and editing, JanetheWriter enjoys many of the usual pastimes of New Yorkers including hanging with friends, poking around the city, people watching, going to the movies, visiting museums, browsing in bookstores, dining out, and perusing the Sunday paper. She’s a regular worshipper at the Shabbat minyan at Temple Shaaray Tefila, New York, NY, where she also serves on several committees. Additional writings can be seen on her blog, JanetheWriter Writes.

5 Responses to “A Facebook Shabbat”

  1. avatar

    interesting blog post!

    third fridays sofla happens because of facebook. it’s where everyone is. if i’m a leader in the jewish community and i want to reach out to, well, the jewish community, i better have a grasp on new technology, including facebook.

    using technology like facebook lessens barriers to participation. it’s fish food for the masses. and it’s good.

  2. avatar

    Well, I’ve managed to fully integrate them. As you and many others can see, I try to share photos of many of our services and other events. It’s great for people who can’t be present, for relatives and friends in distant locations, and more. No flash and even the focus light (LED or other) on this el cheapo camera is not visible. On a prior camera, where it was a visible green dot, I had to tape over the light and always focus at infinity. I’m actually a bit afraid of getting a “better” camera for fear that the light will be visible.

  3. avatar

    Perhaps the piece didn’t count jews in the survey, or account for the percentages of the population. My Facebook is full of Jewspeak.

  4. JanetheWriter

    Simon, I love your Shabbat photos from Temple Emanu-El!

  5. avatar

    Thanks, Jane.

    I’ve had a couple of people, not more than that, who were “surprised” that anyone was taking photos during the service. I asked them whether they walked to the service, whether they were going home to watch television, and a few other questions. Also, during any of our kid-intensive services, there are just about as many cameras as kids. I’m just happy that I’m allowed to do it……

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