A sermonette on sabbathing.
When I worked in organized
religion it always seemed ironic that I worked on
Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath (Friday night and
Saturday). Technically, the point of any Sabbath
observance is to rest and desist from working.
As I had Mondays off, realized that when I was
taking time off to rest wasn’t as important as that
I was taking time off. Accordingly, I transformed my
Sunday nights into the beginning of my personal
Some believe that entrance exam to heaven is based
on conformity. I disagree. My experience as the
chief religious officer of Religion-Outside-The-Box
has taught me to understand importance of
What do you do for your time off? What makes up your
weekly Sabbath activity (or non-activity)?
Inertia is a universal law. Unless you stop, you
will probably just keep doing what you are doing —
and doing it only because it happens to be what you
A dear friend of mine whose three-week trip to
Africa was cancelled at the last minute told me that
he just went straight back to work — that is how
powerful our “work lives” are.
Parkinson’s Law, named after
20th Century British
historian Cyril Northcote Parkinson, states, “work
expands so as to fill the time available for its
completion.” That’s just the way it is.
Paradoxically for adults, it takes work and planning
in order to successfully rest.
Do you ritually create space in time? Are you
religious about regularly not-doing or just being?
If not, what do you have to lose in trying?
You know you need some time off. So, please, for the
love of yourself, be conscious enough to take some
time away from your usual doings. In other words,
schedule some time in the next six days in which you
For an excerpt on “personalized shabbat” from
the latest draft of Rabbi
Brian’s manuscript Personalized
Religion click here.
And, if you care to, click here to see comments on
site where the article went up on Friday.