Keep and guard everyone's humanity. Including your own.
“Rest and be like God.” That is so empowering!
NapMinistry has a book?!?! Also, loving the distinction of guard/ remember.
I got this same perspective from a rabbi whose college course I took years ago. It's still amazing to me how much we who were raised or practicing as Christians never got the "rest" aspect of the Sabbath. It was more "Go to church, honor the Lord, etc." But I always liked a day to truly unwind and connect with God quietly.
FROM A RECOVERING WORK PRODUCING FEELING VALUED IF CONTRIBUTING RECOVERING EVANGELICAL.
Love the "new" perspective of principles. I will REMEMBER TO GAURD.
Out of curiosity, how does the "don't work"/"avoid tech" part of Shabbat guidelines work with disability? (I realize there will be different answers, both in the sense of different types of Judaism having different rules and in the sense of "ask ten Jews, get 12 answers" individual opinions.) If I use a power wheelchair, does using the wheelchair count as work in the same way that turning on lights is? If I need care, is that work for them?
(If it matters I'm asking this not to nitpick rules but as ... trying to find space for myself in Jewish practices that I'm vaguely familiar with since childhood. I've been wrestling with the Sabbath-while-disabled thing for a while.)
Just taking this opportunity for anyone who missed it last time: there's a 37-minute TV interview with Rabbi Heschel on youtube recorded shortly before his passing, and it's essential viewing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEXK9xcRCho
It seems a shame Christians have lost touch with the concept of a true Sabbath (beyond church attendance). Blue Laws were an attempt to legislate Sabbath observance (I think); e.g., no liquor sales on Sunday. Both those have largely fallen away - even in my Bible-belt home state.
We might hear G-d's voice more clearly if we stopped hustling so hard, and serving Mammon more than the Holy One.
Remember, guard, rest—simple and profound.
In the recorded event linked below, Rabbi Alan Lew talked about the subject of leave-taking, in Torah stories, in the practice of meditation, and through the practice of Shabbat. This talk is very close to what he wrote in his book, "Be Still and Get Going."
Five Steps for Spiritual Transformation
Presenter: Alan Lew
Event: Eilat Chayyim Advanced Meditation
Link: The Awakened Heart Project
audio: 52 min 59 sec
"In this Jewish meditation talk, given at the Elat Chayyim Advanced Meditation Program, Rabbi Alan Lew speaks of patterns observed in the Torah that reveal the essential experienced ingredients for spiritual transformation. This is the moment of leave-taking that life and meditation pushes us to. The moment when we realize that we just can’t go on the way we’ve been going, when we feel we have to do something and we have no idea what to do or even how to endure the next moment. And this according to the Torah is what we should do: Stop running around in a panic, trying to run away from phantom stories that we’ve been telling ourselves. Be with the moment, fearful or not. See what is really there. Feeling the calm from seeing the truth. Take the next inevitable action which rises of its own accord, out of the stillness."
Friends once asked me how they could start bringing more Shabbat into their lives when they hadn’t paid attention to it before. Intuitively, I told them to begin by adding the fun stuff: lighting candles, having meals with friends, reading what they were interested in for learning and for enjoyment (not for work), making love, going for walks, and yes, resting (including taking a nap). The more you bring those things into your Shabbat, the less time you have to be distracted by the workaday world.
If you come to appreciate the day of rest, you might start planning the rest of your week so you don’t have to work, do the laundry, go shopping, etc. on Shabbat.
If you have remembered to guard Shabbat and you’ve been interested in Jewish text study, prayer, song, or meditation, now you have the time to explore them.
As Rabbi Ruttenberg’s explanation shows, it’s a natural progression, and one thing can lead to another.
This was such a big shift coming from (mostly Protestant) Christianity to Judaism. I came from traditions that said that the Sabbath was set aside to honor God with an attitude of humbleness. You didn't work because you were worshipping. To go from that to a Sabbath treated as a day of genuine rest and *refreshment*, to even intentionally enjoy the life God has given us, is really something else. At this point my Sabbath observations are relatively minor: I stream erev Shabbat services and attend a Zoom Torah study Shabbat morning, and I usually stay off Twitter. I'm early enough in the conversion process that even lighting candles feels off. But even though I'm not an overly busy person to begin with, I really appreciate it.
The Sabbath is one of my favorite books of all time - don't remember what page or ed. its on, but the idea of creating time "out of time" always struck me as sublime. I was taught it was keep and remember; but guard and remember actually makes more sense. Like, put a bug light on that flame (I've done it while traveling) to make sure the candles don't go out.