Saturday Sabbath? – Israel (Back To ’97)

Back in ’97 I spent the whole summer in a Dimona kibbutz in Israel‘s Beer Sheva desert. I stayed with the Hebrew Isralites, a movement of African Americans who trace their roots back to the original Hebrews who settled in the ‘Holy Land‘. They practiced the ‘Shabbat‘, where there’d be no electricity or food to be eaten from friday sunset til saturday sunset. I thought it was weird at the time but looking back, it was great to practice spiritual abstinence and observation. I’ve actually been thinking about applying this to my lifestyle…

A whole lot has changed in the fourteen years since I visited, but here’s part of a documentary filmed by South African film director, Tarryn Crossman of Black Rage Productions. Tarryn travelled to Dimona and stayed for three days, hardly enough time to win their trust to get a well rounded story but more than enough time to document parts of the culture. Having lived with the Hebrews in that very settlement, I wish she would have buried her western perspective and observed using the ethnography approach -participant observation, rather than ethnology -constant comparison to western culture and stating obvious self absorbed opinions. As I said before, three days is hardly enough time to carry out a socio-cultural anthropological study.

My life’s always led me on somewhat of a spontaneous path because it’s always been openly diverse and spiritual: Rastafarian Father, Christian Mother, Parents embraced Islam in the early ’80s, didn’t force us into any particular path but instilled a sense of self exploration to find our own truths through getting to know ourselves and the spirit externally and within… I have a great set of parents.

At the moment I can’t exactly implement my ‘No business on weekends’ policy because I’m not in a position to take days off yet. When I’m on my feet I shall simply switch off all technology such as the phone and laptop on 00:00 on a saturday, and switch back on 09:00 monday morning.

I can’t front watching that vid brought back memories but my biggest regret, if I ever had one would be missing the coach trip to the Dead Sea…

I’ll be back soon.



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