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The Sabbath and The Rest

The Sabbath is the day of rest.  

Rest from our work.

This morning I struggled to get my spiritual self in harmony with the Sabbath, a day set apart from the “profanity of clattering commerce, of being yoked to toil.”  Especially since it is fast Sunday, I am struggling to get my physical self in tune with the day.

I have this little book called “The Sabbath” by Abraham Joshua Heschel.  Yes, he was a Professor of Ethics and Mysticism at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.  The tribe of Judah often has pearls of truth in their ancient teachings.

Herschel talks about the commandment, “six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work.”  He admits that your work is never done.  You always have unfinished work that needs to be done.

He then emphasizes that you should “Rest on the Sabbath as if all your work were done...Rest even from the thought of labor.”

As an example he shares this little story:

There once was a pious man who took a stroll in his vineyard, and finding part of his fence down decided that he would mend it when the Sabbath was over.  But at the end of the Sabbath day (sundown Saturday) he decided that since the thought of repairing the fence came to him on the Sabbath, he would never repair it.

I had to laugh, seeing I have already spied two clothes baskets of laundry and “thought” about doing them.  I have also thought about washing the window in my bedroom. 

And then I went to stroll in my "vineyard" and found that my son's dog had torn apart my dog's bed. So without thinking about it,  I hollered to him that he needed to pick up the bed and foam pieces that his dog destroyed--after all some things can't wait when you have kids and dogs involved.

But I did leave the laundry...until tomorrow...even though I thought about it. If I never did that because I thought of it--we would be in trouble. In just a hand full of Sundays my home would be a wreck of unfinished work.  But I get the idea.

"Six days a week we seek to dominate the world, on the seventh day we try to dominate the self."--Abraham Joshua Heschel

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Deila is the mom of five kids who looks for the deeper meaning of life’s joys and struggles on planet earth. You can find her in: Eve out of the Garden, at


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