The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man

The sabbath as celebration

Andy McRae, associate pastor, Sligo church, Takoma Park, Maryland

Here is a book that can be called the most important one on Sabbath published in the last 200 years. Rabbi Heschel approaches Sabbath with a spirit of celebration and joy. To Heschel, Sabbath is not just a bulwark against the world, but a "day on which we learn the art of surpassing civilization."

Rabbi Heschel is passionate about Sabbath. Consider some of his eloquent expressions: The "exodus from tension," "a sanctuary in time." "There is a song in the wind and joy in the trees. The sabbath arrives in the world, scattering a song in the silence of the night: eternity utters a day." "In the Sabbath," Heschel says, "man is touched by a moment of actual redemption."

The author is certain that the radiance of Sabbath joy would inflame all people. "There are few ideas in the world of thought which contain so much spiritual power as the idea of the Sabbath. Aeons hence, when of many of our cherished theories only shreds will remain, that cosmic tapestry will continue to shine."


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Andy McRae, associate pastor, Sligo church, Takoma Park, Maryland

May 1997

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