Remembering the Sabbath

I have a pretty good feeling I will be writing a lot about the Sabbath over the next couple of months. I am currently taking a class called Sleep Surrender and Sabbath. I originally signed up for it because it fulfilled one of my last requirements to graduate. I knew I would like it because the ideas of rest and the sabbath are not things I ponder on often. Perhaps they should be.

I started my assigned reading out of a book entitled The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel. Wow. That's all I can say. Tonight is the first time I have actually sat to think about what the Sabbath truly is, and what it really means to keep it holy. I highly recommend this book. It's only about a hundred pages. It could be read in one sitting. It was published in 1951, therefore it is one of those that has passed the test of time. Being Jewish, Heschel gives wonderful insights into what the Sabbath is. Here are only a few of the passages that I have highlighted in my book:

"Observance of the seventh day is more than a technique of fulfilling a commandment. The Sabbath is the presence of God in the world, open to the soul of man. It is possible for the soul to respond in affection, to enter into fellowship with the consecrated day."

"To the Romans technical civilization was the highest goal, and time for the sake of space. To Rabbi Shimeon spiritual life was the highest gal, and time for the sake of eternity...This, then is the answer to the problem of civilization: not to flee from the realm of space; to work with things of space but to be in love with eternity."

"The faith of the Jew is not a way out of this world, but a way of being within and above this world; not to reject but to surpass civilization. The Sabbath is the day on which we learn the art of surpassing civilization."

Please pick this book up and read it. It will allow you to wrap your mind around the idea of the sabbath.

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