This version of “Know-how and Society” will deal with an vital function of Society: Faith and extra particularly, how know-how has affected our observing the Sabbath.

As a largely non-practicing cultural Jew, I’m not normally within the follow or principle of most religions. Nonetheless, this text in Wall Road Journal, “What we’ve Misplaced in rejecting the Sabbath” by Sohrab Ahmari, roused my curiosity due to its declare that, as residents, we do our selves hurt by letting the observance of the Sabbath die, and the way it’s demise has been hastened by, you guessed it, Know-how. One might even go as far as to say that, for a lot of Know-how has grow to be the identical form of Faith that infects Politics.

In the course of the 1800s, within the US, a service provider may very well be jailed for opening store on Sunday. It was not till not too long ago, in 2019, that North Dakota voted down the Sunday ban on commerce. The argument was two-fold, “folks need to be free to make selections for themselves” and (observe the cash), it could be good for enterprise. Ahmri factors out the myriad of tech units that compete for all of our time day-after-day, not simply on the Sabbath.



I’m reminded of a previous “Calvin & Hobbes” cartoon the place Calvin is beneath the microwave studying the directions on a bag of popcorn and exclaiming, “Three minutes! Who’s obtained that form of time?” That just about encapsulates our present instances. Unarguably, know-how affords us the means to work quicker, smarter and extra economically but it surely additionally is usually a deterrent to simply plain resting. And if we ever do take time to relaxation — to simply be — we are inclined to really feel responsible about it.

There was an outdated 80s difficulty of “Psychology At present” that had the duvet banner headline, “Don’t simply Do One thing, Sit There” as an admonition to get off the treadmill pushed by the inverse trendy philosophy, “Don’t simply sit there, Do One thing!” The article urged the reader to analyze the consequences of how pushed and unbalanced we had grow to be and actively take time to be current and permit ourselves to be curious explorers of life like we have been as kids and switch away from being exploiters continually worrying and planning for the longer term. Not too completely different from “Cease and scent the roses”, No?

“Who however just a few scolds might complain? The share of People who don’t determine with any faith continues to develop, and even many believers reject the idea of the Sabbath as a divinely ordained day of relaxation. As a substitute, we’re inspired to pursue lives of fixed motion and goal, and we do. Sensible units enable white-collar professionals to freely mingle work and play. The gig financial system and the Covid-19 work-from-home development have additional blurred the road between the 2. The Sabbath doesn’t match into the rhythm of our lives. It appears like an imposition— it’s an imposition.”


Ahmari goes on to look at the philosophy of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heshel, (Born: January 11, 1907, Warsaw, Poland; Died: December 23, 1972, New York, NY) who lectured about residing in “the realm of time” vs “ the realm of house”. Briefly, this implies:

“…we’re inspired to pursue lives of fixed motion and goal, and….The Sabbath doesn’t match into the rhythm of our lives.” He calls this phenomenon, “the realm of house”. He continues, “Fashionable life is all about conquering house: profitable geopolitical territory, rising and prospering economically. However “the hazard begins,” Heschel fearful, “when in gaining energy within the realm of house we forfeit all aspirations within the “realm of time.” In that realm, the aim is to not have however to be, to not personal however to present, to not management however to share, to not subdue however to be in accord.”

That is sage recommendation whether or not you might be Atheist, Agnostic, or Non secular.

Dr. Stewart A. Denenberg is an emeritus professor of pc science at Plattsburgh State, retiring not too long ago after 30 years there. Earlier than that, he labored as a technical author, programmer and marketing consultant to the U.S. Navy and personal Business. Ship feedback and strategies to his weblog at, the place there may be extra textual content and hyperlinks. He can be reached at

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