The Fourth Commandment, a contemporary look at a cornerstone of Jewish life, explores the Sabbath’s origins and purpose, its basis in Jewish texts and traditions, and its meaning for the hurried lives we live today. Even people who have long observed the Sabbath will discover facets they know little about. Beautiful and evocative, the book takes listeners on a journey into understanding this sacred day in its many manifestations. Acclaimed writer and lecturer Francine Klagsbrun draws on her extensive knowledge of Judaism and personal experience in applying the profound lessons of the Sabbath to life today. Using the Bible, Talmud, Kabbalah, commentaries, and legends, she probes such questions as “What does Sabbath rest entail?” “How do we let go of our work mentally and strive for holiness?” and “What does the Sabbath teach us about our relationship to nature and the environment?” She also examines the Sabbath from a female perspective, raising challenging questions about women’s roles in relation to it. With warmth and erudition, she explains the “dos” and “don’ts” surrounding the Sabbath, the symbols of the Sabbath table, and the highlights of the day.
The Fourth Commandment is rich in history and commentary - investigating the symbolic importance of candlelighting (early mystics saw the two lighted candles as masculine and feminine aspects of God), the significance of Friday-night marital sex, the affirmation of freedom and celebration of creation that run through the day, and much more. This is a book for the contemporary seeker, at all levels of religious knowledge.