It’s a peaceful and cloudless Saturday here in Evanston.
Dunreith and I have been relaxing, doing some cleaning and catching up with various friends and family members after taking Aidan to the high school for his lacrosse game against the team from Hoffman Estates.
While a more religious Jew than I would scoff at the idea of our day being a legitimate observance of the Sabbath, today for us does have a spiritual and contemplative feel.
Abraham Joshua Heschel, the famed rabbi who left his native Poland in the face of the rising Nazi advances and later march with Dr. King in the Selma march, made the Sabbath the subject of one of his many books.
The descendant of seven generations of rabbis, Heschel writes in The Sabbath about Judaism as a religion, the need to release desire for material gain and wealth, and instead to work toward a more spiritual relationship with God. Rather than coveting goods, he says, people should covet time as a way to experience communion with the Almighty.
Nonbelievers and atheists may not want to engage with Heschel’s words and values, but the reward is there for those who do.