Our humble attempt to combat the forces of half shabbos http://www.jewishtimes.com/index.php/jewishtimes/news/jt/local_news/a_college_park_shabbat/168

Making half shabbos into full shabbos

When reading the half Shabbos article I was reminded of an episode that happened when I was at YU. There were a bunch of MYP guys who were caught cheating on finals and it came to the attention of the Roshei Yeshivah that there was a lot of cheating going on by MYP guys. A kol korei was signed by most of the roshei yeshivah declaring that if you see somebody cheating you are obligated to report the offender. I remember coming into shiur and Rebbe Reichman went on to tell us that he had refused to sign the letter. He explained his rationale for resisting the peer pressure. He said we need to get to the root of the problem. By responding in this fashion we are cutting off one branch and another will grow in its place, rather then uprooting the entire tree. He felt that we are prohibiting cheating but permitting slander, while not addressing the real problem which is that there is no yiras shomayim. His answer was to double the dosage of Rabbi Cohn's burning mussar in the freezing snow. When reading the half shabbos article I felt the same way. Rather then figure out how to blot out texting on shabbos by teens, we have to figure out how can we give them a full shabbos experience? when high school and college students are keeping half shabbos it's because they have never been presented with a full shabbos. Presenting full shabbos is the only way to get rid of half shabbos! But who to present it? How can we as parents , educators, rabbis, mentors give an experience that we ourselves don't possess? Kids pick up on everything and can smell it a mile a way! We occupy a barren half shabbos wasteland where as rav shlomo says if the queen of England were to walk into a shul and hear kabbalat shabbos she would ask "Is this an advertisement for coca cola"? When the sanctuary is devoid of divine inspiration what should a young soul do to satisfy the double dose of kedusha that they need to fill the black hole? When they are not taught to converse with Hashem in their own words they will seek that intimate connection with another. The conversation around the shabbos table focuses around pop culture, mortgages, the latest frum white collar criminal and the style of rabbi's wife's sheital, how then can our teens who's souls are hungry for spiritual satiation be held accountable for conducting their own versions of the shabbos table conversation on their mobile devices? After all this is what shabbos is all about?! It is a miracle that many still associate with the "orthodox community" when They are taught that the way to fill their void is through kiddush club, kugel and a snooze during the rabbi's amazingly boring speech. To see these products who have been vaccinated in the day schools inspires nothing short of despair. Perhaps the most perplexing and inspiring part of it all is seeing them come back for more. Like a battered puppy these spiritually deprived youngsters believe that the only place that they can hope to find the answers, get the love that they need, and satiate their divine spark is through a Torah community, and lifestyle. communally and as individuals we need to contemplate how we can begin to offer our youth the full shabbos experience that they so desperately crave.