Half Shabbos, Half Truths, Half Solutions

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Just because everyone else is talking about it, doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t…

The Jewish Week became relevant for a few minutes this week with a scintillating indictment of modern orthodox Judaism. It seems the Jewish Week just found out that lots of orthodox teens struggle with Shabbos and many of them are texting on Shabbos.

The phenomena has a name. It’s called keeping “Half Shabbos”. Which is just like the question of whether someone is “shomer negiah” in that it seeks to validate a halachically impossible choice. There is no such thing as a “Half Shabbos in halacha”, nor is there a non-shomer negiah option in halacha. But teens are teens and they need labels and molds by which to sort confusing or difficult things and themes. So teens invent ideas like “Half Shabbos” and shomer negiah to give context to their struggles.

My thoughts on the article? Read…