Mudhouse Sabbath
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Mudhouse Sabbath

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  2,069 ratings  ·  217 reviews
"After her conversion from Orthodox Judaism to Christianity, Lauren Winner found that her life was indelibly marked by the rich traditions and spiritual practices of Judaism. She set out to discover how she could incorporate some of these practices into her new faith. Winner presents eleven Jewish spiritual practices that can transform the way Christians view the world and...more
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Published December 1st 2009 by Paraclete Press (first published October 2003)
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Angela White
When I first read this book, I was involved deeply with my church and teaching in an off-campus semester-long program for college juniors and seniors from Christian colleges and universities. The contents supported my work in both of these areas, giving me a greater sense of how to promote spiritual formation.

Now, seven years later, I'm re-reading this as a means of connecting with what many would consider pagan or women-centered religions, about which I know little, but which, I suspect, connec...more
Leslie Wilkins
I like to think of myself as a Christian with a better-than-average knowledge of Jewish faith and traditions. (Some of my best friends are Jews! :) ) In that vein, I found this book fascinating. It was presented in a factual and anecdotal manner, without judgement - just a commentary on what Jews do/believe/have/say versus what Christians do/believe/have/say. Had I not split this audiobook between two different road trips months apart, I may have enjoyed the book even more / rated it even higher...more
Kelly Hager
As detailed in her memoir Girl Meets God (which is amazing and a must-read, in the world according to me), she was an Orthodox Jew before converting to Christianity. In this book, she talks about 11 specific things Jews do that would possibly enrich Christian lives.

For example, she says that much of Judaism is an action--specific prayers, for instance, and rituals--and there tend not to be counterparts for that in Christianity.

So she compares and contrasts things like weddings and the Sabbath/Sh...more
Marilyn
Oct 29, 2007 Marilyn rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in the rites of faith
I was curious about what this girl, raised Jewish in NY, currently living out Christian Faith in North Carolina. While I despise religion, and even Jesus says in Luke 15 that religion is more spiritually dangerous than overt immorality, I also find that adhering to certain dictates, rites is important, especially one like Sabbath day observance. "the Sabbath was made for man, not man for Sabbath." It is for our own good that we have a day of complete focus on nothing. No errands, no shopping, no...more
Katy
What a fantastic book. Lauren Winner realizes that her Christian faith, while sustaining and wonderful, is missing something, and turns to her Jewish upbringing and the rituals and traditions found there to fill the gaps. Exploring traditions such as Sabbath, Kosher eating, hospitality, prayer, and fasting, Lauren explains how they are practiced by Jewish people, then ties it together with how Christians specifically can look at and potentially incorporate these rituals into their faith. The boo...more
Jane Hoppe
Lauren F. Winner's Mudhouse Sabbath is a great tune-up. We Christians putter along life's road with church and disciplines and spiritual gifts. We're so on autopilot that we don't hear our engines sputtering. What we need is to learn the heart behind our traditions. Winner's simple approach ~ showing through stories the reasons behind certain Jewish customs ~ effectively adjusts understanding to open the heart. Before I read this book, I thought my life was centered around God. I found out it wa...more
Mindy Worley
A great read I pick up from time to time. Easy to read a chapter here and a chapter there when you have a few spare minutes. Shares how her past faith (Judaism) affects the way she views and lives out Christianity. Which I think Christians could use a lot more of, seeing as our faith came from Judaism to begin with. Great for expanding the way you look at things like death, hospitality, and aging.
linnea
I really like Lauren Winner's integration of Judaism and Episcopalianism. She is somewhat rule-oriented, or at least "I'm not going to do this" oriented, which I find disturbing at times, but on the whole I found this little book rather encouraging. She's an academic and a Christian and she really cares about studying her faith(s). I love that there are notes at the back of the book.
Stephanie
In Mudhouse Sabbath, Lauren Winner explores ways to apply Jewish spiritual disciplines to modern-day Christian practice. Winner was raised Jewish but converted to Christianity in young adulthood, and it is this background that pushed her to write Mudhouse Sabbath. Despite her new-found love of Christ, Winner admits that there are elements of the Jewish tradition that she misses now that she is a Christian, such as Jewish ways of observing the Sabbath, mourning, and hospitality. She does not deny...more
Drew
interesting read. i may read it again. Raised a Jew and now an Episcopal priest, she discusses Jewish ritual that would add so much to any spiritual life. Much to think about here and even to pit into practice.
Jennifer
I picked up Mudhouse Sabbath after thoroughly enjoying Girl Meets God and its mixing of musings of Judaism, Christianity and Humanity. Mudhouse Sabbath is certainly more a book about fine print. A quick look at the title suggests, it is more about sabbath, but the subtitle is very clear that it is an invitation to spiritual disciplines. These disciplines follow the italicized Jewish words marking each chapter. Do not expect to pick up this book and learn the disciplines, rather be inspired by th...more
Julieta
It's a study of the importance of rituals in our faith and in our lives. The writer was an Orthodox Jew and converted to Christianity. She goes into the historical/bilblical reasoning of areas from the Sabbath to mourning to candle-lighting, weddings, etc.
Some of the areas that stood out for me were:
*The Jewish schedule for mourning. They are disciplined in their approach to grieving which must be helpful.
*Hospitality--reminded me of the importance of welcoming people into your home and into yo...more
Ragan
I read this book aloud to me and my husband on a day trip yesterday. We both loved the book. Currently we are in a pentaostal denomination which is great, however, I am missing some of those basic disciplines that I grew up with that seem to be non existent in this denomination. This book reminded me of those things and why we need to have stable constant actions that keep us not to be too plainly put but in a routine. Repetition at it finest will bring us closer to the thing we are repeating. I...more
Nathan Eilers
Jun 03, 2010 Nathan Eilers rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians
Recommended to Nathan by: Jen
Winner is a Christian convert from Judaism, and in this book she takes up 11 traditions in the Jewish culture that she wants to incorporate into Christianity somehow. Some of them are already a part of the church--weddings, caring for the elderly, fasting--but others are foreign to Christians (hanging scripture on the door frame, keeping the Sabbath). I very much enjoyed hearing Winner's insightful combination of analysis, comparison, narrative, and spirituality.

Perhaps an overall theme of the...more
Beth Peninger
Lauren Winner is a rabbinic Jew converted to Christianity and writes about her experiences and how her Jewish roots have influenced her Christian faith. This is the first book of hers I have read and in this one she specifically discusses some of the practices of the Jewish faith that as she says, "....about Christian practices that would be enriched, that would be thicker and more vibrant, if we took a few lessons from Judaism. It is ultimately about places where Christians have some things to...more
Jamie Cain
Lauren Winner (Girl Meets God) writes a friendly introduction to the spiritual disciplines of Judaism, suggesting that they might also inform the Christian's disciplined life. I like Winner's style, for the most part: It's inviting, witty, and full of words you don't read everyday but wish you did. (Well, I wish I did.)

I particularly liked the inclusion of disciplines I wouldn't have really considered. Hospitality and aging, for example, don't usually make the list, but they are really crucial i...more
Shannon
I received this as a Christmas gift, based on both my faith in Jesus and also my fascination with the devotion of Jewish practice. Lauren Winner had already won my respect and admiration from her book Real Sex, and in this study she examines the ways that Jewish tradition and rituals enhance spiritual life. Having fallen in love with Chaim Potok's masterpieces when I was in high school, I was amazed by how Jewish people invited God into every crevice, every moment of their lives, and how garment...more
Teri Peterson
I enjoyed this little exploration of practices of Judaism that Christianity has, in many ways, lost. The rituals of Sabbath, of the mezuzah, and of grieving in particular resonate with me. I also totally get Winner's description of fasting as something she probably needs to do but is terrible at. It's refreshing to read someone admitting they aren't good at something but they're going to try it anyway--that seems like a lost art in the church these days.

These are important practices--and as one...more
Steve Lee Sr
Faith and Practice, they go together.

This book is a pretty quick, easy read... but it could end up taking a big bite out of your current allotment of "free time." That is if you decide that you want to implement any of Winner's suggestions, especially in relation to Sabbath or Lord's Day observances. I admit I am intrigued by her description of Jewish Sabbath practices.

I appreciated her observation on the liturgy:

"Even my friend Meg, who left the too-liturgical Episcopal Church for a praise-song...more
Cheryl
Winner's Mudhouse Sabbath is a relatively short book in which she reminisces about the spiritual disciplines of her Jewish upbringing; traditions no longer practiced since her conversion to Christianity. She mourns their loss, and I can see why.

She starts off the book with her thoughts on Shabbat; i.e. the Sabbath. It's the practice she misses most, but she writes Sabbath should also be "the piece I should most easily be able to keep." (pg. 3). Shabbat/Sabbath is a time of slowing down, of dise...more
Joy
Apr 06, 2011 Joy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Friends looking for ways to enhance their spiritual practices.
Recommended to Joy by: The Salt Project, on-line blog by my friend Liz et.al.
This is a great book and I loved it. Winner took different spiritual disciplines--observing the Sabbath, mourning, eating, praying, body-image, etc., explained the Jewish disciplines associated with them and then made practical, concrete suggestions about how these disciplines might be adapted by practicing Christians. Winner presents her ideas as if she was sitting next to you in the Mudhouse Coffee Shop, one of her haunts in Virginia and the place where she got the idea for the book, in a frie...more
Laura
I know that my fellow "Okras" out there weren't too fond of the Lauren Winner book on our list, but I was intrigued enough by the Jewish rituals, celebrations, etc. that I wanted a little more. Hence this pick. Mudhouse Sabbath is divided into topical chapters which compare Christian and Jewish tradition (in areas such as marriage, prayer, fasting...). Her basic point is that in some areas, we Christians could learn a thing or two by adopting a modified version of some Jewish traditions. General...more
Stephen
Mudhouse Sabbath: An Invitation to a Life of Spiritual Discipline
© 2008 Laura Winner
162 pages



Increasingly, Christian religious scholars are examining Jesus in the context of his Jewish roots. While the works I'm familiar with have done this primarily to understand his teachings as portrayed in the New Testament, Laura Winner's Mudhouse Sabbath asks: how can Jesus' Jewishiness inform contemporary Christian spirituality? In Mudhouse Sabbath, she examines eleven aspects of Jewish spirituality and...more
Emilia P
What possessed me to read this. Oh gee I dunno all I do is read about Jews and Christians so why not combine it. The idea of this book was really good -- what Christians can learn from Jewish rituals and rites, what we can emulate, what we can't or don't or should. Winner grew up Jewish and converted to Episcopalianism as a 20-something, so, she's got a pretty good handle on both. And the things she does say are pretty astute -- points about hospitality, taking care of your body, mourning, espec...more
Norma Malfatti
I loved this book the first time I read it 3 years ago and love it just as much now with my most recent read. Lauren gives a really honest and faithful reflection on the things she misses from her life in Judaism along with making suggestions for how Christians might go about enhancing their spiritual lives and disciplines. My favorite chapters remain the ones on Sabbath, Fitting Food (Kosher Laws), Fasting and Mourning. Keeping Sabbath is hard for me but she continues to inspire me to find time...more
Allison
Update 7/6/11: I read this again as a sort of "spiritual discipline" refresher, and also because we are studying Hebrews in my church circle, which reminded me of this little guide to enriching our spiritual lives through various practices.

9/21/10: Refreshing take on what it means to be doers of the Word and not merely hearers. Lauren Winner (author of Girl Meets God), who converted from Judaism to Christianity, discusses the practices of her faith as a Jew and how they offer examples of discipl...more
Hanaan
I loved Winner's memoirs but this little volume was terrible. Firstly, this is a girl who is seriously in love with ritual. She loves Judaism, she loves Christianity, but mostly she seems to love liturgy and tradition. This is only a problem because she is supposedly writing about how Jewish tradition can be helpful to Christian life, but she doesn't give I believe even one single suggestion about how that can actually be done (also, her unusual love for ritual reduces her credibility when she g...more
Ramón
A lovely meditation on the power of ritual and communal practices to shape our spiritual life. As a former student of Judaism, I am always appreciative of Winner's unique perspective on how her roots in Orthodox Judaism shape her experience of Christianity. Beyond her specific experiences, I find her gentle critique of modern American Protestantism's failure to comprehensively integrate liturgy with all facets of communal life to be incredibly salient, particularly within modern Evangelicalism....more
Steve Watson
A neat little book about a Jewish woman, now a follower of Jesus and steeped in Christian traditions as well, who sees plenty to appreciate and sample from in both her Jewish and now adopted Christian spiritual traditions. The focus here is habitual action and ritual, or spiritual discipline. For someone without much ancient tradition in my life, it functioned as an invitation to sample from and live within some traditional spirituality and to live attentively and joyfully.
Dee
This was a short easy read about a young woman who has converted from being a Jew to a Christian. She loves being a Christian but misses some of the "rhythms of life" that go with the rituals of Judaism. I loved the chapter on how Jews grieve a death. It made so much sense and I think she's right on. I thought there were little bits of observations she made that I've thought about and so agree with...like, "you'll never find lit candles in a frenetic house." I've since noticed that when I have a...more
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Lauren F. Winner is the author of numerous books, including Girl Meets God and Mudhouse Sabbath. Her study A Cheerful & Comfortable Faith: Anglican Religious Practice in the Elite Households of Eighteenth-Century Virginia was published in the fall of 2010 by Yale University Press. She has appeared on PBS’s Religion & Ethics Newsweekly and has written for The New York Times Book Review, The...more
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