For Joe Lieberman, Shabbat is a day that gives him inspiration and has also taken on a new significance in the age of smartphones.

“A lot of people are yearning for a reason, an external norm that says to them you have to stop for 25 hours one day a week. And Shabbat is it,” said Lieberman, speaking to Arutz Sheva at the Shabbat Unplugged first Israeli Conference on Shabbat, Society & Economics.

Living in the digital age, in which smartphones and technology make it possible to work “all the time every day,” the former longtime US senator said that “unplugging” for one day a week is all the more significant these days.

“The eternal truth and value and beauty of Shabbat has a unique contemporary meaning in allowing people to unplug from the world and step back and appreciate what we all have quietly.”

Lieberman’s book that he wrote on Shabbat eight years ago is being published in Hebrew by Shabbat Unplugged. The book, according to Lieberman, is about, “Why I love it. Why I hope more people will participate in Shabbat.”

Having his book available in Hebrew “is a great honor for me, and I’m grateful for it.”

Lieberman praised the conference and the work Shabbat Unplugged is going to encourage more people to observe Shabbat.

“The idea of trying to use Shabbat as a way to create more unity in Israel and among the Jewish people is an inspiring idea,” he said. “The important thing is there is already 50 percent and more of the Israeli public that says they observe Shabbat in some way. That fact is a source of unity and we should get the number up to 75 percent and some day 100 percent.”

He added: “The origins of Shabbat are at the base of our life and how we view our life.”

Noting that G-d created the heavens and the earth and human beings, and then rested on the seventh day, he said: “We rest in gratitude for that. That’s timeless.”

Looking back on his political career, Lieberman said that his Shabbat observance was never a hinderance, and that his Congressional colleagues were always respectful.

He found that his Christian political colleagues were “extremely respectful of my Shabbat observance.”

For many it was the first time they had ever worked with someone who observed Shabbat.

“Their religion mattered to them and the Torah matters to them. They were very interested and very respectful,” Lieberman said. "People really respect people who stick by their faith, that's the path that my rabbis and my parents put me on. I'm grateful to them in a way that they didn't expect. By preparing me to observe Shabbat they actually helped my political career."