The Gift of Rest: Rediscovering the Beauty of the Sabbath

4.67 out of 5
(6 customer reviews)



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The Gift of Rest
by Senator Joe Lieberman

The Sabbath is a gift that Senator Joe Lieberman, as an observant Jew, received from his parents who, in turn, received it from their parents, who received it from generations of Jews before them. According to ancient tradition, the line of transmission extends back to Moses at Mt. Sinai, who received the Sabbath as the fourth of the Ten Commandments. In this book, Lieberman will offer the gift of Sabbath observance—a gift that has anchored, ordered, and inspired his life—to readers of all faiths.

In the past century, the Sabbath has fallen on hard times. It is thought of as just another day or as a time to squeeze in some extra errands or recreation that you may have missed during the workweek. The weekend passes in a blur of often meaningless activity. Combining personal and political memoir with history and broadly informed religious reflection, this book is a practical how-to guide, with simple suggestions for introducing the Sabbath into your own life. It will be a very personal book, yet also one animated by reflections on history and larger social trends. It will also include profound reflections of both classical and modern Jewish sages, from the Talmud and the ancient Jewish prayer book, the Siddur, to Maimonides, to Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and Rabbi Soloveitchik.

Additional Information

Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 8.75 × 6 × .75 in

Hard Cover, Soft Cover

6 reviews for The Gift of Rest: Rediscovering the Beauty of the Sabbath

  1. 4 out of 5


    Senator Joseph Lieberman takes us along with him as he experiences Saturday, the Jewish day of rest. Despite his grueling schedule he takes 25 hours out of every week to celebrate Shabbat with his family, friends and synagogue congregation. The Senator explains every step of the Sabbath – food preparation, prayers, teachings etc., and gives instructions to both Jews and Christians on how to make ‘Simple Beginnings’ in bringing this essential day of rest into our lives. Of particular interest were many anecdotes from his political life on how he balances the demands of his work with that of shunning cars, computers, television and the internet on the Sabbath. Senators Kerry, Graham, Dole and McCain, Vice President Al Gore and Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush figure in these interesting anecdotes.

  2. 4 out of 5


    This is a great book for anyone interested in learning more about how observant Jews spend their Sabbath. It’s also ideal for Jews, like me, who need a bit of a reminder about all the reasons we do so many of the ritual acts on the Sabbath.
    Written in an easy, uplifting and conversational tone, this book was a quick and interesting read. I loved all the personal anecdotes Lieberman included, as they really helped illustrate why the Sabbath is so important to him.
    Mostly, though, I appreciated Lieberman’s philosophy about the Sabbath, its place in his life, and the manner in which he observes (or reasons he sometimes needs to violate the Sabbath for the good of his community).

  3. 5 out of 5


    I used this as a textbook for a Basic Judaism class that included even non-Jews. The reaction was fabulous. I truly recommend this book!

  4. 5 out of 5


    Although written examining the Sabbath through the eyes of a Jew, it should be read by Christians also. I enjoyed this book so much that I bought it for several friends, Jews and Christians.

  5. 5 out of 5


    Just get this book. at the end of each chapter he helps you move towards practicing more Judaism and Shabbat at whatever level you can begin to accomplish. It is an easy read and he shares so much good information.

  6. 5 out of 5


    This little book was a nice, elementary guide to the Jewish Sabbath. For those of us who already observe it, it pretty much tells us what we already know. There were a few not-so-obvious insights here and there. For example, Lieberman explains why the Saturday Musaf service is slightly different from the morning service. Because the Musaf service is patterned after the additional offering in the Temple, it describes the sacrifices in that ancient service, thus enabling the prayer to be effectively a substitute for the sacrifice.

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