Keeping the Sabbath

April 01, 1999|By KATE COLEMAN

"Remember the Sabbath day" means many different things to different people.

[cont. from lifestyle]

Keeping the Sabbath is taking a day to nourish your soul, according to Leonard Felder, a Los Angeles psychologist and author of "The 10 Challenges: Spiritual Lessons from the 10 Commandments for Creating Meaning, Growth and Richness Every Day of Your Life."

"If you want to know what adults struggle with, look at the 10 commandments," was the advice of one of Felder's professors at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.

"I always thought of the 10 Commandments as a bunch of rules," Felder says.

His view changed after years of research, studying the original meanings of the Hebrew text. Felder doesn't believe that the 10 Commandments are about angry rules.


The Sabbath is a day set aside for taking time to do all the things that hectic work-week schedules don't allow, Felder says. It's a day that has all the ingredients of what a child might call a "special day," a day when the child knows he has his parents' undivided attention. It's a day when you are really fully present without being pulled in 12 directions, he explains.

Felder advises people to be open to taking charge and inventing what's right for them. For Felder, keeping the Sabbath can include taking a walk with your family, spending time with people who inspire you, doing what really matters.

For many, what really matters is the more traditional view of keeping the Sabbath. Despite busy lives, the prime ingredient of that "special day" is going to church.

The act of participating in a faith community, worshipping together - going to church - is an essential part of keeping the Sabbath for many.

We talked to a few people for whom the Sabbath and church are very important. They are different people attending different churches, but they have something in common.

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