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Mudhouse Sabbath

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  4,239 ratings  ·  340 reviews
In her groundbreaking book, Girl Meets God, Lauren Winner described her path from Orthodox Judaism to Christianity. Now, with characteristic wit, intellectual sharpness, and passion for authenticity, Winner illuminates eleven spiritual lessons that Judaism taught her. By reflecting deeply on these religious practices and how they shape and inform her faith as a Christian, ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by Paraclete Pr (first published January 1st 2003)
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Carol Bakker
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember loving this little book. I gave it one more read before I mailed it to a friend.

Winner writes about bringing her former Orthodox Jewish practices into her Christian faith. She underscores the differences between individualism (most Christians) and living in community with shared rules (most Orthodox Jews).

I especially liked the rhythms of Jewish grieving: aninut (the time after death, before burial); shiva (seven days of intense mourning); shloshim (the first month after death, edgi
Jul 04, 2016 rated it liked it
I liked this book very much but I have to admit that my first impression was that she was pining away for her former religion, even once to say ' Jews do this better ' and wondered why she ever converted to Christianity when it was so clear she definitely had one foot in her former life.

Then I had an 'aha' moment. I moved to England and lived there for a year, one of 8 trips across the pond over the decades, and I loved my home, my long distance country walks, seeing pheasants and hares, sheep,
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
Shemaiah Gonzalez
Sep 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
The third or fourth time I have read this little jewel of a book, reminding me to make life holy. A quick but rich read.
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-reads
Just what I needed. Highly recommended by a good friend. Review to follow.
Kyle Johnson
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-books-read
An Orthodox Jewish woman converts to Christianity, then proceeds to share with her fellow Christians about the riches of Judaism's approach to spiritual formation as opposed to Christianity's. This is the unique tale of Lauren Winner and her memoir Mudhouse Sabbath, written just seven years after her conversion to Christianity. She had not yet gone on to earn seminary degrees, be ordained in the Episcopal Church, or become a professor of Christian Spirituality at the prestigious Duke Divinity Sc ...more
Oct 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My introduction to Lauren Winner's writing came more than a decade ago. My wife had read and liked Girl Meets God and loved it. I picked up her other book, Mudhouse Sabbath because I loved the premise. Winner's turn toward God took her through Orthodox Judaism to Christianity (the story recounted in her first memoir). Mudhouse Sabbath was about the nourishing spiritual practices she found in Judaism and missed after her conversion to Christianity. She wrote appreciatively about what she found in ...more
Kaitlin Kline
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

I just adore Lauren's work. The way she writes is so simple and honest, and it endears me to her. I picked this up after having owned it for years because I've been studying Exodus and Mosaic laws go completely over my head. I loved these little vignettes about the similarities and differences in between Jewish traditions and Christian ones. It fascinates me to learn how a culture who also seeks to worship God with their lives has completely different ways of doing so, th
Mar 25, 2017 rated it liked it
In Mudhouse Sabbath, you'll discover a rich picture of Christianity informed alongside a contemporary Jewish perspective. Having grown up Jewish, Lauren Winner is able to weave together Christian and Jewish practices, allowing each to inform the other in the context of everyday life. The book begins with Sabbath, but extends to include such topics as hospitality, aging, candle-lighting, doorposts and more...

Oct 29, 2007 rated it liked it
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
Kelly Hager
May 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Maybe a memoir, maybe a book review of Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren F. Winner

Honoring my body, it is safe to say, is something at which I have failed. Gratitude for this conglomeration of blood, bones, organs, skin, tissues that God bestowed upon me has not been high on my priorities. Indeed, it would be also safe to say that I was taught to use it but not pay too much attention to it. Mom taught me to call certain body parts by made-up words. No doubt she was continuing a tradition her mother tau
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 28, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 03, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 03, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: readin08
Easy introduction into some of the spiritual disciplines practiced in the Old Testament and by modern Jews.

I heard Winner speak a few months ago at a conference, and I think I had too high of expectations of Mudhouse Sabbath after hearing her talk. I enjoyed the book. It was an easy read, but I think I was expecting a little something more.
Sep 16, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Beautiful. A library read, it's now added on wish list for my own copy.
So many spiritually impacting and challenging thoughts of which I want to be reminded, not just for thought but for implementing.
Loved it.
Suzie Soucy
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It discusses practices in Judaism that Christians could incorporate into our faith.
Justin Ferguson
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: random
I find that looking at how other faiths treat certain life moments helps me reflect on my own faith as well as expands and makes my religious practice more dynamic. In this case, Lauren Winner ended up doing the same as she converted from Orthodox Judaism to Protestant Christianity. In "Mudhouse Sabbath," she reflects on how certain life events as peaches by Jews could enrich the practice of Christians. I found this idea intriguing and while I appreciated the over-arching approach she took in th ...more
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I find that looking at how other faiths treat certain life moments helps me reflect on my own faith as well as expands and makes my religious practice more dynamic. In this case, Lauren Winner ended up doing the same as she converted from Orthodox Judaism to Protestant Christianity. In "Mudhouse Sabbath," she reflects on how certain life events as peaches by Jews could enrich the practice of Christians. I found this idea intriguing and while I appreciated the over-arching approach she took in th ...more
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm fascinated by conversion stories--particularly those where someone who is already a member of one religion switches gears to another as opposed to jumping in off the diving board of atheism or agnosticism. I greatly enjoyed Winner's first book, "Girl Meets God," her spiritual autobiography recounting her journey from conservative Judaism to Orthodox Judaism to Episcopalian Christianity (even if writing a spiritual autobiography in your 20s is a bit premature). A friend recommended "Mudhouse ...more
May 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lauren converted from Judaism to Christianity during her college years. This little gem of a book compares some of the spiritual practices of Judaism with those of Christianity. Neither religion is held up as perfect, although she is devoutly a Christian. Both have good things to offer the thoughtful.

' "Spiritual practice" is a phrase that means what it says. Madeline L'Engle once likened spiritual practice to piano etudes: You do not necessarily enjoy the etudes- you want to skip right ahead to
Jan 03, 2018 rated it liked it
An interesting little book, which is so simple that it can be read in a couple of hours. I appreciated Winner's insights into areas of Christian practice that could be improved by a deeper knowledge of Jewish customs. This was especially true in her chapter on marriage (as more communal than private), on the Sabbath (as a reclaiming of our birthright rather than as an adoption of a Jewish ritual), on the human body (Jews are less gnostic than Christians in this), and on aging.

Nothing earth shatt
Cindy Brookshire
Our rector saw this book among others in the pop-up bookstore at the diocesan convention in North Carolina and encouraged our parish to read it as a Monday night study. I learned how nurturing the Jewish faith is to a couple in the process of getting married, and to a grieving family in the midst of death, and how that sense of community isn't prolonged in the Christian faith during the most vulnerable times of family life. The most benefit I received from reading it was that my husband and I st ...more
Becky Lai
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
A friend mentioned Winner’s book “Wearing God” and it reminded me that I never finished this book on my shelf.

I appreciate Winner’s thoughtful introduction to the study edition of this book: 1 - she talks about how the book lacks mention of an attention to God’s justice even though she’s come to understand it as central to her life as a disciple 2 - she suggests that “study” is an important practice for Jewish people and Christians, loving God with our minds, study as a spiritual practice and 3
Apr 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Lots of good conversation has opened up between me and my husband from this book. However we both felt that Winner wrote this as a way of comforting herself with the idea that she has converted to Christianity, but not in an attractive way. She speaks about Judaism with such love and knowledge that it almost feels as if she longs to stay a part of the community and remain practicing the parts of Judaism that she does connect with. It's a lot of "I love this about Judiasm. Christianity doesn't ha ...more
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
Winner wrote this book at age 26. That adds a refreshing air to the work. She writes about a faith that is that is relatively new and that is deeper because of the Jewish tradition that she knows well. Growing up in a non-denominational and only modestly liturgical church myself, I know discouragingly little about spiritual disciplines, and particularly about Jewish ones. I particularly recommend the chapters on sabbath, prayer, food, and marriage. I am reminded that the discipline of spiritual ...more
Denise Kettering
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality
I found this book to be a helpful consideration of the intersections of Jewish and Christian practice. Winner's writing is an ongoing conversation between the two religious traditions that have shaped her. Part memoir, part academic consideration, part spiritual challenge, she writes about her own interest and challenges with various disciplines and relates possible ideas that other Christians might use to define these practices in relevant ways in their own lives. This short book offers an invi ...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 Washing ...more

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“God's Creation gives usa model for making and sharing homes with people, but the reality of God's Trinitarian life suggests that Christian hospitality goes farther than that. We are not meant simply to invite people into our homes, but also to invite them into our lives. Having guests and visitors, if we do it right, is not an imposition, because we are not meant to rearrange our lives for our guests - we are meant to invite our guests to enter into our lives as they are. It is this forging of relationships that transforms entertianment... into hospitality... As writer Karen Burton Mains puts it, "Visitors may be more than guests in our home. if they like, they may be friends.” 5 likes
“Christians and Jews hold in common one theological basis for hospitality: Creation. Creation is the ultimate expression of God's hospitality to His creatures. In the words of on rabbi, everything God created is a "manifestation of His kindness. [The] world is one big hospitality inn." As Church historian Amy Oden has put it, "God offers hospitality to all humanity... by establishing a home.. for all." To invite people into our homes is to respond with gratitude to the God who made a home for us.

In the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, we find another resource for hospitality. The trinity shows God in relationships with Himself. our Three-in-one God has welcomed us into Himself and invited us to participate in divine life. And so the invitation that we as Christians extend to one another is not simply an invitation into our homes or to our tables; what we ask of other people it that hey enter into our lives.”
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