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The Gift of Rest: Rediscovering the Beauty of the Sabbath

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  228 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
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, Lieberm ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published August 16th 2011 by Howard Books
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Linda Thibodeau
May 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved, loved,loved this book. I have strong Christian beliefs so I am not converting to Judaism but Joe Lieberman's book showed me that I am missing out on the gifts of the sabbath. I read it and now feel lonely for a sabbath, if that makes any sense. I learned so much about slowing down and taking time for God, self, family, friends. One of these days I will create a sabbath like this for myself. I also got to know Joe and what a man he is. Writes beautifully. Made me cry.
Oct 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Love the message of this book. Senator Lieberman does an eloquent job of intertwining his history, religion, and message into a mostly easy to read (some of the Jewish words are difficult). And, I love his message: regardless, of your religion, taking a day of rest for the body, soul, mind and spirit, using the time to reconnect to ones God, self, family and community is something we should all do. I have been a Christian my whole life, yet I've never noticed that the first part of the 4th comma ...more
One of the best books,I have read in a long time!!
it is thoughtful, practical and interesting.
Lots of great pointers about how to make a person's life much more meaningful and purposeful.
I borrowed this from the libary where I simply found it on the shelves but there are so many useful insights in it I need to get my own mark-up copy. I am not Jewish BTW. It's useful for anyone.
Rest, naps, family, quiet, learning and good food are something even
Jun 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
I've never been a huge fan of Senator Lieberman, and I definitely didn't vote for him. :) But I truly enjoyed this book, written to express the Senator's opinions about keeping the Sabbath day holy. I enjoyed learning about the Jewish culture and pondering the ideas proffered. While, I don't agree with Mr. Lieberman's views any better than I did before reading his words, my respect for him as a man has greatly risen. A book I would recommend to everyone.
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tribe
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, because I was very uncomfortable when he began discussing religion publicly. But this is well written and compassionate, and his approaches to Shabbat and Tfilah are very similar to my own, even if I don't agree with everything he says or does. Would be a good book to recommend to someone who wanted to know more about what being Jewishly observant is like.
Molly Jae
Apr 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Insight to his practice of the Sabbath. Interesting to see how he has been able to follow his religious traditions while working in public office which requires both events and travel on the Jewish Sabbath. Much respect for anyone who works so hard to follow what he believes in. Several ideas worthy of incorporation into any life, even the non-religious.
Carl Kessler
Feb 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
The subtitle of this interesting little book by former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman is, "rediscovering the beauty of the Sabbath." Senator Lieberman is an Orthodox Jew but he wrote this book to appeal to Christians as well. The book jacket even boasts blurbs from folks like the Catholic Church's Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan, who notes, "As Pope John Paul II taught: we cannot work with God all week, if we do not rest with God on His Sabbath! Senator Lieberman’s reflections help each ...more
Mary Lou
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this book six years ago and, unlike scores of other books, this one has stayed with me. Lots of information about the history and meaning of the Sabbath in Judaism, and a whole lot to ponder about the benefits of observing the Sabbath in today's always-on-the-go society. My only gripe would be that Lieberman is a little too thorough, and sometimes the book seemed a little too long or too dry. Despite that, I'm thinking of picking this one up again for a re-read.
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Delightful, insightful read. I'm happy to see a book unapologetically, and yet without aggression, take on a topic of sacred religious practice, both personal and in community. The book is useful as a practical guide as well as a theoretical primer on sabbath theology of Judaism, and by extension many faiths.

Also, I'm curious to know more about Liebermann's career and ideas - he skirts at a few issues of his Congressional life and I'd like to know more.
Jan 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
I can't decide between 3 or 4 stars, so I guess I will just give it 4 stars. I first heard of this book when I was flipping through channels and saw Joe Lieberman on some news talk show and I heard him say something along the lines of, "if our country would observe the Sabbath and make it a day of rest..." but didn't hear him finish his thought, but saw he was promoting this book so I was curious and impressed to see a politician take a religious stand like keeping the Sabbath day holy.

I went in
Hannah Kartagener
A wonderful book! I enjoyed it very much:

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

We honor Shabbat by preparing ourselves and our homes beforehand.

Preparations for Shabbat Eve- Flowers, Tidy up, Dining Room dinner, Plan meals ahead, Invite friends sometimes, set aside special Shabbat treats, Set reading aside for Sabbath hours, bath/shower.

Marital Focus: Read Song of Songs, Dress nicely, relax, date night, at home date night even, welcome your spouse to enjoy the Sabbath.

TV, computers, cell ph
Angela Boland
Sabbath: Just Because You Aren’t Jewish Doesn’t Mean You Are Exempt

Synopsis: Senator Joe Lieberman explains the deep meanings behind the Sabbath traditions, and how all of us can find ways to implement more Sabbath rest in our lives.

A lot of times when I go to those insane Half Price Book clearance events, I look for books written by public officials I admire, no matter what the topic. When I saw a book by Senator Joe Lieberman titled “The Gift of Rest”, I figured it would be about finding our
Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is written by a politician. But it was obviously not written for political purposes. This is, simply, an intelligent, humble, and thoughtful man who wants to talk about his observations about a tradition that is sacred to him, that he believes would be beneficial to many lives if practiced by others.

As a Christian, hearing the perspective of an Orthodox Jew on this matter was quite interesting. The Sabbath was a point of contention during Jesus's ministry. But keep in mind, it was onl
Apr 18, 2012 rated it liked it
I often find myself feeling as though I'm a victim of the responsibilities of my job. So to read a book by a senator who's found a way to establish & maintain a sacred, weekly sabbath is fascinating to me! That, in and of itself, makes this a good book to be considered. It's written by a man with an orthodox Jewish history who desires to raise up the next generation of sabbath-observers and even bless gentiles with the gift of rest. That being said, it paints a clear picture of the elements ...more
Sep 26, 2012 rated it liked it
The Senator shares his commitment to Sabbath observance as he understands it.
In spite of his rigorous schedule as a Senator, he shares how he placed importance on taking time once a week to set aside secular activities, and focus on his walk with God through his sabbath rituals. His book gives us an interesting insight into the Jewish Way of life and the emphasis they place on what he calls the The Gift Of Rest.

He gives a literary entrance into the specifics of how they observe the Sabbath in
Jary Welker
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
While I worship the Sabbath on a different day (Sunday) Joe Lieberman shares important insights in his worship that cross all lines of faith and make this a great read for anyone who wishes to understand the history of the Sabbath and worship on it more faithfully. A quote from his concluding chapter is shared below as an example. "The Sabbath and the six days of labor together give us the greatest gifts of all: the gifts of meaning, purpose and destiny. Rest without work would be meaningless. W ...more
Oct 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
A charming little book, which tells how the author, through his life, has found joy and peace through his observance of the Jewish Sabbath.

Senator Lieberman laments that the practice of taking a day off for rest and reflection has nearly disappeared, both among Christians and Jews.

The book also has some little interesting bits of information. One is that there is a difference between sundown and nightfall (three stars visible), which makes some sense after you think about it. The Sabbath begins
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: inspirational
This book inspired me to keep the Sabbath commandment better. I believe that the Sabbath Day was set aside by God for a day of rest for Man, but I haven't always been good about keeping the Sabbath Day holy. I gained a whole new respect for Joe Lieberman. The stories he tells about how he and his family look forward each week to keeping the Sabbath were heartwarming. He manages to keep the Sabbath throughout most of his congressional career with very few exceptions. I didn't know much about the ...more
Kris Siegel
Aug 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jewish-books
This book has a beautiful message for everyone. Taking a break from computers, phones, and work is restorative and necessary. Here's a quote: "The truth is that we - and the world - will survive just fine if we stop working or shopping and stay home with our families one day a week. Our lives will continue. Our careers will go forward...The fact is that none of us is essential every minute of the week. I am here to testify that laying your work aside for one day a week is a responsible and ultim ...more
Becky Roper
Jan 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Senator Lieberman takes us step by step through a Jewish Sabbath day and shows what each part of the Sabbath is about and tries to teach. It was interesting to learn more about Jewish beliefs and traditions, but it did get a little long for me. The best part of the book is a page at the end of each chapter where he gives suggestions on incorporating the theme of the chapter into your own Sabbath practices. I do have a new level of respect for the Senator, and hope there are others like him servi ...more
Feb 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
I gave this 4 stars because I love the subject matter and his courage in expressing this view in a world that is increasingly secular. His writing isn't smooth in some places and some the the exact details of the prayers get slightly long, but I love his enthusiasm about keeping the Sabbath day holy. A beautiful tribute to a life with values and self-control. I also liked his personal insights. I also appreciated his thought and explanations of instances when he felt he needed to "break the Sabb ...more
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Love. Love. Love! I've always considered this man my enemy, as I am a conservative Christian. And I do disagree with many of his beliefs, namely, the modern holocaust of abortion. However, I am shocked how much I agree with him on many other things, after reading this book. It's amazing how much can be accomplished by getting to know others with another point of view besides yourself! Perhaps, if we showed more compassion and empathy toward those who disagree with us, we could get a lot further ...more
Kelsey Grissom
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Gift of Rest is an enjoyable and informative book. Highly practical, it outlines each element of the Jewish Shabbat and explains its significance in an accessible way. Even beyond the Shabbat explanations, though, it is a pleasure to read Lieberman's accounts of his own choices regarding observing the Sabbath, and I enjoyed the anecdotes about many other American government leaders concerning Sabbath. Most of all, Lieberman's kind commitment to writing for all faiths is beautiful and much-ne ...more
Beth Jusino
Nov 06, 2011 rated it liked it
A good book to read on a quiet Saturday afternoon. Lieberman stays mostly ecumenical while walking the reader through the traditional Jewish-American Sabbath, and makes a good case for why an obligatory rest from the everyday is as important now as it was thousands of years ago. The book is short and tends to repeat itself, but it is a good blend of Washington anecdotes and thoughtful histories of the text and traditions that make the Sabbath.
Linda Abraham
Apr 01, 2012 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the book, but at various times found it a little slow. I found it interesting that he took a completely utilitarian view of the Sabbath, as something everyone could benefit from. I also believe, however, that ultimately, the Sabbath has to be experienced to be understood and appreciated. You can't really describe it.
Michael Vincent
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
This is a very well written and insightful book concerning how one modern Jewish family practices the Sabbath. Lieberman tells many good stories of his history and political career throughout the book. It helped me as a Christian to understand Jewish practices and sources as well as understand more about Jesus as a Rabbi.
Aug 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
A beautiful book about the tradition and practice of honoring the Sabbath, which has become somewhat lost in our secular culture. It's emphasis on the importance for our health, well-being and relationships is significant, regardless of the religion you practice. In our hectic, fast-paced world of distractions, this is an important message. Be still....
Ali B
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Jewish sabbath, Shabbat, is more than just 25 hours of rest. It's a day of holiness, where families invite God into their homes. Technology is turned off, elegant meals are served and families come together. Lieberman's writing and praise for Shabbat will cause you to start creating your own day of rest.
Sara Cat
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, religion
Well, it was perfectly ok. Judaism for Dummies, sort of, but pleasant, and probably a good guide to Shabbat for the non-Jewish world. Otherwise, it kind of left me wondering if Lieberman was a lot less intelligent than I thought or this was intentionally a simplified, popular book. Probably a lot of Christians would like it.
Edwin Martin
Dec 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Nice little book to read a few pages at the time to remind all believers of God how He desires for us to honor his Day of Rest and in so doing be more productive and living according to our Creators desires the rest of the week throughout our time on earth. Also nice to get to know something about this nice guy politician.
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“God gave us the Sabbath as a gift, and He meant for us to enjoy it. We begin the holy day with darkness so that we can more fully appreciate the light of the Sabbath day when it dawns.” 0 likes
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