Thursday, February 3, 2011
Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren F. Winner
Lauren Winner converted to Christianity from Orthodox Judaism when she was in college. That alone is mind-blowing to me. In this book she writes about 11 spiritual practices she misses from her "jewish ways." Then as she gives clear explanations of each practice, she explains how she is trying to incorporate it into her Christian life. The information is great, the writing is great, and reading it made me want to be a better person. It inspired me to evaluate my devotion, my spiritual practices, and what I could learn from traditions and practices of a religion I know very little about.
I loved when she talked about the Sabbath. "In observing the Sabbath, one is both giving a gift to God and imitating Him." Her descriptions of ushering in the Sabbath, and then enjoying it, were beautiful. I'll admit I've let some things slip in my observance, and reading this made me want to work more on Saturday, so that my Sabbath can truly be Holy.
The chapter on mourning was fascinating to me. Judaism has these very specific, structured time lines for mourning. I loved the part about the prayer that must be said twice a day, but must be said with 10 other people. So no one is left alone in their sorrow. When Winner has a close friend die, she is reminded that "I might not know what to do in the face of this death, but the tradition that raised me knew what to do." This made me think of the way that having practices and procedures can help you to deal with the pain.
Look this one up. Its a tiny little volume that was both thought-provoking and inspiring for me!