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Book of the Week: “The Sabbath World”

In her new book, The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time , Judith Shulevitz begins with ambivalence about the Sabbath and ends in that same place. As a child, she is profoundly alienated by her mother’s version of enacting Jewish rituals and as a grown-up, she enforces the rules only halfway for her own children. But in the meantime, Shulevitz goes on a fascinating intellectual journey to discover why the Sabbath has an enduring pull not only for Jews, but for Christians and for any of us who are looking for some holy respite from mundane workaday time.

Shulevitz’s book explores the Biblical and also mythical origins of the Sabbath. She explores how Jews, Christians, and secular philosophers have embraced and reacted against it. Most importantly, though, she explains the urgency of a Sabbath in our own age, when mobile time makes it near impossible for us to carve out any discreet space to connect with family and community, or even just the concrete world. She makes you conscious of time and its moral implications in an entirely new way.