How Prayer Helped Me Detox from the Internet

How Prayer Helped Me Detox from the Internet
AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill, File

I was raised to pray daily. Orthodox Judaism values routine above all — there are specific windows of time for morning, afternoon, and evening prayers, in order to ensure consistency. As a teenager and in my early 20s, I loved this ritual dearly. The practice gave my day structure, purpose, focus. Wherever I was, I could open my prayer book and create a sort of force field around me, swaying and confiding in God about my day, my fears, my hopes.

But before long, I grew up, and I found myself praying less and less. The demands of the daily New York City grind were too consuming: I became a rabbi's wife, with all the communal obligations that role entails, and then had two babies in two years, while working full time throughout.

As a journalist working in American Jewish media in the era of Charlottesville and Pittsburgh, I am increasingly immersed in the daily churn of the news cycle. Practically, that means I'm on Twitter all day long, reading takes about awful events in order to turn it into content. At any given time, my inbox is full of hate mail from readers. When I'm commuting or cooking for the Sabbath, I'll listen to podcasts about the state of the world, directly streaming the rage of the day into my ears.

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