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THE GIFT OF REST by Joe Lieberman


Rediscovering the Beauty of the Sabbath

by Joe Lieberman with David Klinghoffer

Pub Date: Aug. 16th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4516-0617-1
Publisher: Howard Books/Simon & Schuster

A Connecticut lawmaker finds inspiration in the Sabbath—and wants to share the love in this "inspired" tome. 

Separation of Sabbath and state? Humbug! Lieberman makes no bones about his affinity for the Jewish Sabbath and its rich tradition as a weekly return to "freedom, redemption and salvation." At the outset, he writes, "I love the Sabbath and believe it is a gift from God that I want to convince everyone who reads this book to accept." The senator builds his case by blending religious reflection with personal history, recalling how when he’d arrive home from school on a Friday to a home redolent with "chicken soup, meat, or kugel (a sweet baked noodle dish)," it was hard not to look forward to the Day of Rest. He even echoes Proust: "When it comes to the Sabbath, we taste or smell or see or hear, and immediately we are transported to Shabbatland...with all its religious, mystical, and sensual meanings and memories." But it’s not all ideology and sound bites, with Lieberman offering practical advice on how to keep the Sabbath and best elevate and isolate the special day from the rest of the week: "Try to make your Sabbath conversations different from that of the weekdays. Elevate your talk. Rather than gossip, discuss ideas. Seek peace with your spouse. Avoid talking about business." The author deftly weaves his experience as an observant Jew on Capitol Hill into the readable exposition.

Appealing for true believers and politicos alike.