In the photo with me is my closest friends Alex and Nate. Alex was also a member of the same birthright trip that I went on. Since going on birthright, Shabbat has developed a different meaning to me. Shabbat is truly a day of rest and relaxation. It is the kind of day that everyone could use once a week. What I began to realize after my trip was that Shabbat is so important due to the busy lifestyle that we live. I know at school I am constantly pounded with homework, tests, and other assignments. Having one day of relaxation a week could make a huge difference in my overall stress levels as well as my overall happiness. The dedication that the Jews in Israel have to Shabbat is amazing. Everything is closed, phones are away, and life is all about enjoying the natural world. For a day each week, there is peace. Peace is what everyone should have once a week. Such relaxation and rest is healthy and essential to beginning the upcoming week. A calm and unstressed mind can spawn new and innovative ideas much better than a cluttered, tense mind. In the future, I would like to try to take more steps toward celebrating Shabbat every week. To me Shabbat is a necessity. It is a time to celebrate a hard worked week by taking a day off. If enough people celebrated Shabbat I think that happiness levels would really spike. Without a day off people go crazy. Shabbat in a good way forces you to relax. With my new respect for this weekly occurrence, I hope to incorporate more aspects of Shabbat into my lifestyle.