Tuesday, July 20, 2010

In Lew of Working

President Obama has nominated Jack Lew to run the White House Office of Management and Budget after departing director Peter Orszag. But it seems some are concerned Lew may not be the best fit for the job, since he refuses to work on the Sabbath. After sundown on Fridays, Lew sits at home and observes the strict orthodox Jewish tradition of doing absolutely nothing for twenty-four hours. Once, when Lew worked for Bill Clinton’s White House, he refused to answer a Saturday phone call from the president, as he believed himself prohibited from using electronic devices. His rabbi has since convinced him using the phone is okay in case of emergencies. But it’s worth noting that having a government official take a day to just cool his heels and do nothing might be a net positive for the country. Perhaps if our congress took a day each week to just sit and contemplate the tragedies of their existences, we might find ourselves with a more introspective, self-aware legislature. On the downside, though, a day of rest would probably wreak havoc on D.C.’s rentboy industry. More details here.