After the failure of the global Shabbat Project to usher in the Messiah, organizers have had an urgent rethink of their strategy, and released their startling new initiative.
Tradition tells us that if all Jews keep just one Shabbat, then the Messiah would come. This was in fact the secret agenda of the Shabbat Project organizers, even though they are not affiliated with Chabad. South African Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein admitted in a candid interview that despite his Litvish affiliation, he too believes in the coming of the Messiah, and pines daily for his arrival, as expressed in much of the prayer liturgy. “When I conceived the original Shabbat Project in 2013, it was just about uniting our community, but after its success, I figured if we went global it could just be the trigger to bring the coming of the Messiah”, he said.
While the global campaign was wildly successful, with over 340 cities around the world participating, it became clear late in the piece that a group of saboteurs had emerged. “It seems our message of unity cut both ways”, continued Rabbi Goldstein, “and there was a secret collaboration of Bundists, Progressive Jews, and neo-Orthodox feminists who were irked that men were not invited to the challah bakes”. These diverse groups suspected there was hidden agenda to the Shabbat Project, and united against it, deciding they would all switch off the lights in their homes at exactly midnight on Friday night, thus thwarting the Messiah plan.
As the Jewish world celebrated the global success of the project in terms of people reached and increased engagement with Jewishness, the South African organising committee were secretly brooding. “Missed it by that much!” said Get Smart fan and Chairman Clive Blechman.
But after further research revealed that Messiah would come either if all Jews kept the Shabbat, or if all Jews did not keep it, the committee had a brainwave for a follow-up campaign to encourage Jews all around the world to not keep the Shabbat on the weekend of 17/18 April 2015. “We figure the week after Pesach, people are feeling pretty washed up, and it’s long enough after Yom Kippur and before the next one that they won’t feel too guilty about participating”, said incoming event Chair Monique van Buren.
Rabbis around the world have acknowledged that it’s far easier to encourage people to break the Shabbat than to keep it. Van Buren continued: “Our ‘Community Disengagement Committee’ is already talking to the developers of the ShabbosApp – if we can get everyone using that, they will all be mechallel Shabbos!”. Also trending on Twitter is #breakingItTogether, with people fantasizing about the one thing they will do to break Shabbat, with the two most popular suggestions being watching live sporting events, and using perforated toilet paper. Rabbi Goldstein was very pleased at the initiative, saying “I don’t know why the Chabadniks didn’t think of this years ago” with a grin.
In related news, Mordechai Ben David and Shwekey are collaborating on a cover version of the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers classic “You say Shabbat / I say Shabbos / let’s call the whole thing off!”
For more articles by David about this topic, see here.