In the lead-up to ShabbatUK, Shabbos is very much on everyone’s minds, even on Sunday morning. I was fascinated to see an article in the Tesco magazine which said that so many of people’s interactions now happen by text, email, etc that we are losing the ability to keep a face to face conversation going!
American psychologist Sherry Turkle suggests playing board games as a means of ‘providing rules and structures for conversation, which can ease families back into real talking.’
This is really sad – on two levels. It’s sad that people don’t know how to talk to each other and it’s even more sad that someone has to suggest “easing them back” into real talking.
We are blessed with a large, noisy and opinionated family, who don’t seem to have any problem talking! Although we regularly communicate by text, WhatsApp and email, quite often, that becomes a free-for-all as well.
Shabbos, without the distraction of electronic communications, provides a welcome space to enjoy conversation with family and friends. The Shabbos table is a fantastic opportunity to catch up on what each member of the family has been doing during the week, to discuss the sedra or current affairs, and, as often happens, to link the two.
Professor Turkle’s suggestion about board games is also Shabbos-friendly – on long winter Friday nights, or summer Shabbos afternoons, many families enjoy playing board games as a cross-generational activity.
So, take advantage of ShabbatUK to put away your phone and talk to your family, and if you run out of things to say – there’s always Ludo!