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Celebrating sabbath (not sunday) when I'm not Jewish or SDA

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm just wondering for those who celebrate the Sabbath (sundown Friday to sundown Saturday) how do you celebrate it when you're not Jewish or SDA? I'm Christian and recently want to celebrate the Sabbath at home (because we have no good churches in our area and DH doesn't like them anyway). I will be celebrating this by myself, maybe with my children too. So just reading up and wondering what others do.
post #2 of 18
that's a tough question. technically, the torah tells us that the sabbath is a gift to the jews so it isn't really to be celebrated as the torah prescribes by non-jews. in fact, if a non-jew is converting and keeping jewish law in preparation, including shabbos, that person actually has to "break shabbos" at least once (because shabbos is for the jews and he/she is not jewish yet.)
and in reality, keeping shabbos is tough. there is the "shomer" (the guarding or the "can'ts", no driving, no turning electicity on/off, no carrying outside the home, no cooking...the list goes on and on) and the "zocher" (the observing, the "do's)...but the "don'ts" are so many that keeping the "celebration" idea in your head is a real challenge sometimes.

so i would say to make your own special day. i think one thing that you could incorporate from the jewish faith is torah/bible study. we read the entire torah (5 books of moses, genesis, exodis...) on a yearly cycle starting on rosh hashanah. so that for every week there is a specific portion read in every synagogue everywhere, called the "parshah." and for each parshah there is commentary and tons of learning from the obvious to the very deep.
if you do the parshah of the week, you will have done the whole cycle in a year...and then start over again.

this link gives you the parshah of the week with links to all sorts of study.
http://www.chabad.org/parshah/defaul...sh/Parshah.htm
and for kids...
http://www.chabad.org/kids/article_c...ayei-Sarah.htm

then do like we do and have a really nice meal and a long nap (or a walk..although i always go for the sleep.)
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the info, anyone else with experiences celebrating sabbath?
post #4 of 18
We observe the Sabbath. Ideally, Friday night's dinner is an easy prep & clean, a special (yet easily prepared and cleaned up) breakfast. Time as a family, worship (online Church services for us, since we are 2 hours from the nearest congregation with like-beliefs), bible study. No major cooking/cleaning. No worries about money. No job stress. No laundry, etc. Since it is often just myself with my three monkeys, I let them watch certain VeggieTales, Adventures in Odyssey, Bible stories, etc. as I study. I would like to have more prepared before the Sabbath than I do (activities pre-printed for the older kids to do during services, a basket of toys ready for the baby during services, meals prepared, just waiting to be popped into the oven, special Bible activities for the kids and I to do after services, etc.), but have yet to achieve this as desired.
post #5 of 18
The way we did it growing up, was that Friday was a day of prep. From sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, we limited the work that we did (for instance, meals were prepared on the Sabbath, but we didn't do laundry or mow the lawn. A spill would have been wiped up, but the floors weren't mopped.) TV and radio were shut off (nowadays computers would be in there too, but it wasn't a factor for us 20 years ago) and only uplifting, wholesome, non-worldly activities were allowed... so reading was limited to religious or inspirational materials, Bible study, etc. The children mostly just played freely while the adults talked in the kitchen. It was mostly considered a family time, free from worldly pressures and concerns, and a day for re-focusing on family and God.

However, I was in a family where my grandparents and other extended family also kept the Sabbath in this way -- when I was an adult living away from my family, trying to keep Sabbath with my little ones with a husband who was tolerant but NOT enthusiastic - it was harder. Taking time on Friday to bake bread is helpful - especially if it is a type of bread you don't make ordinarily - because then the bread itself becomes a symbol to you that that day is special. (For Jews, the traditional bread is challah, but you can certainly make your own family tradition.) Really, any type of special things you can do for that day to set it apart, are helpful, even if it is something like hanging a pretty silk scarf over your door as a visual cue. The ritual of lighting a candle can also provide a sense of the sacred, setting that day apart from the others. (Candles are really good for this, which is why they are used in so many religious ceremonies, across faiths.)
post #6 of 18
Dh and I keep the Sabbath, and we give the house a good clean on Friday, as well as preparing cooked meals for Friday evening and Saturday so that we don't have to prepare our food on the Sabbath. We don't currently have a church we attend, but we try and listen to a sermon online or do more studying than we would do during the week. We often take the little ones out for a walk, depending on the weather, and then have a sleep after lunch.

We are also praying that God will teach us how to keep His day in a way that honours Him, so I guess the things we do, and don't do, will keep changing with time.
post #7 of 18
I thought only Seventh Day Adventists celebrated the Sabbath from Friday night to Saturday night. (But I'm Jewish, and not an expert on Christian denominations).

I'm curious what denomination you are, OP and if you're not affiliated with one, what has led you to want to do this, as opposed to celebrating on Sunday, like other Christians?
post #8 of 18
I've thought a lot about having the kind of Sabbath that you are exploring. I am neither SDA or messianic, but Sunday is a busy day of the week for us. So, instead of pretending that Sunday is restful, I prefer to call Sunday a "day of service" (Sunday service, Bible study, teaching...) and Saturday a "day of rest."

Remember that you are not required to set aside one day as more special than another, just one day for resting from your labor. I think that we need to be careful as Christians not to make a Sabbath rest our legalistic requirement(. Instead, it is made to be a tool for us (Mark 2:27). That being said, I like to make a braided bread on Friday and perhaps even clean (although it doesn't bother me if I don't). Sometimes, I light candles. And, I'd really like to knit a special challah cover for my meal- just to set the day apart (side note- I knit this cover for a friend and had trouble giving it away).

Overall, I would say that you should "do Sabbath" in a way that reflects your beliefs and enjoy the day. Take walks, go on a drive, bake cookies, play with the dog, disciple the kids, take a "nap" with your husband..... Enjoy. God gave us this day!
post #9 of 18
we do we just started though so I can't give you too much help. just some moral support. We also don't know anyone in real life that keeps it on friday/saturday except jewish friends and a coupld of SDAs friends I have.
post #10 of 18
My husband was raised SDA and me Catholic we are now neither. We do practice what we call Family day though, following some of the same rules as SDA. No spending money, no extra work, no TV/computer, we just try to be mindful and spend time together. I would call us non religious but we want to have our children be aware of having time to be reflective and thankful. We started doing this about a year ago and then stopped for a while after a big move and now we are back to it. Our kids are 5 and 2 1/2.
post #11 of 18
You might want to see if you can find the book, "Keeping the Sabbath Wholly."
http://books.google.com/books?id=W9X...age&q=&f=false

I had an SDA friend in grad school, and her commitment to keeping the sabbath always impressed me. She would not do groups (it was business school--lots of groups), homework, or any sort of work on Saturday. I don't know if she cooked or not... but she wouldn't watch TV or anything like that either.

I had friends who also experimented with it. The Mom would either buy or bake some challah...and they had dinner by candlelight on Friday. Saturday was a day where they'd either go out into nature or spend with family/friends. Tried to make it a no-spending day.

I think you should just start and add/subtract and see where it takes you.

Here's another article:
http://www.religion-online.org/showa....asp?title=318
post #12 of 18

Sabbath is for everybody according to the Bible

Quote:
Originally Posted by tzs View Post
that's a tough question. technically, the torah tells us that the sabbath is a gift to the jews so it isn't really to be celebrated as the torah prescribes by non-jews.
The Torah actually states that the Sabbath was given at creation(Genesis/Bereshit 2:2,3), which is before sin, any religion, and long before the covenant at Sinai. It's good for everyone according to G-d's plan.

I hope you are enjoying your celebration of it. There are over 500 groups that keep the Sabbath on day 7 and it can be great to find ppl who appreciate your understanding of things. However, if you want to keep it at home, you have some great advice here.

Candles just before sunset Friday night, prepared food and clean house bring lots of comfort smells, taste, sight and feeling to the day, helping to make memories and foster peace. Here's another good link: http://katyrecords.org/library.html <--It's an easy reading guidebook for starting to keep the weekly holiday.

Best

post #13 of 18
I think you would like this book, it describes exactly what you are asking about. http://www.amazon.com/Sabbath-Time-U...7799750&sr=1-3
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by momlives View Post
The Torah actually states that the Sabbath was given at creation(Genesis/Bereshit 2:2,3), which is before sin, any religion, and long before the covenant at Sinai. It's good for everyone according to G-d's plan.

That is a really interesting point I had never thought of. Thank you for shring it.
post #15 of 18
I'm Christian (not Jewish or SDA) and keep the Sabbath from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. I don't know where all of you are from, but is there anyone out there currently keeping it in their home who would like to get together on Saturdays in/around New Brighton, MN?
post #16 of 18

 

"technically, the torah tells us that the sabbath is a gift to the jews so it isn't really to be celebrated as the torah prescribes by non-jews. in fact, if a non-jew is converting and keeping jewish law in preparation, including shabbos, that person actually has to "break shabbos" at least once (because shabbos is for the jews and he/she is not jewish yet.)"

 

This is a fundamentalist (ultra-orthodox, Chasidic) perspective. I say that not as a criticism, but just as part of pointing out that the vast majority of world Jewry has got no problem with Christians making Saturday their day of rest. Another poster has already pointed out the scriptural basis for this stance (there are no Jews in Genesis, just people!). 

post #17 of 18

(The quoting function is messing up and I can't seem to put my words as comments after the quote...)

 

Actually, it's not a strictly "fundamentalist" or "chasidic" view.  It's actually quite common view among Jewish communities across the world (not just Orthodox).  But that idea of a non-jew not keeping the "jewish shabbat" is not related to Christians keeping Saturday as a day of rest. Its strictly related to a Jewish Halachic Shabbat (which is not the same thing).  

 

Regardless,  its certainly wonderful when people of all different backgrounds can make one day a week into a day of rest to separate from the material world, focus on their spirituality and reconnect with their family and community.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

"technically, the torah tells us that the sabbath is a gift to the jews so it isn't really to be celebrated as the torah prescribes by non-jews. in fact, if a non-jew is converting and keeping jewish law in preparation, including shabbos, that person actually has to "break shabbos" at least once (because shabbos is for the jews and he/she is not jewish yet.)"

 

This is a fundamentalist (ultra-orthodox, Chasidic) perspective. I say that not as a criticism, but just as part of pointing out that the vast majority of world Jewry has got no problem with Christians making Saturday their day of rest. Another poster has already pointed out the scriptural basis for this stance (there are no Jews in Genesis, just people!). 

post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chavelamomela View Post

(The quoting function is messing up and I can't seem to put my words as comments after the quote...)

 

Actually, it's not a strictly "fundamentalist" or "chasidic" view.  It's actually quite common view among Jewish communities across the world (not just Orthodox).  But that idea of a non-jew not keeping the "jewish shabbat" is not related to Christians keeping Saturday as a day of rest. Its strictly related to a Jewish Halachic Shabbat (which is not the same thing).  

 

Regardless,  its certainly wonderful when people of all different backgrounds can make one day a week into a day of rest to separate from the material world, focus on their spirituality and reconnect with their family and community.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

"technically, the torah tells us that the sabbath is a gift to the jews so it isn't really to be celebrated as the torah prescribes by non-jews. in fact, if a non-jew is converting and keeping jewish law in preparation, including shabbos, that person actually has to "break shabbos" at least once (because shabbos is for the jews and he/she is not jewish yet.)"

 

This is a fundamentalist (ultra-orthodox, Chasidic) perspective. I say that not as a criticism, but just as part of pointing out that the vast majority of world Jewry has got no problem with Christians making Saturday their day of rest. Another poster has already pointed out the scriptural basis for this stance (there are no Jews in Genesis, just people!). 



 

 

And to be honest, it's very, very difficult for any person in today's world to *not* "break Shabbos" if they don't know halakha (Jewish law).  Saying that a not-Jewish-yet-convert has to break Shabbos at least once is saying something very halakhically specific.

 

It is *NOT* saying that Jews are offended by anyone having a "day of rest" on Saturday.

 

Simplest example in the universe:  Those non-Jews who make great effort not to work on Shabbos, who try not to use the computer Saturday, say, and don't drive anywhere, and don't cook ... do they remember to turn off the internal light in their refrigerator before sundown Friday?  Likely they don't even think of it.  Then they open the refrigerator, and wham, Shabbos is broken in one thoroughly-halakhic fell swoop.  (The light going on when they open their refrigerator door is specifically turning on a light, and is not done by Sabbath-observant Jews on Shabbos.)  

 

Someone who is a convert-in-process and is making an effort to keep Shabbos, for them it is an effort to break Shabbos every week.  And for them it is no problem, because they're making an effort to live halakhically, and that's the halakha.  For a non-Jew who is having their Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, it's no effort at all, because they just don't know the extent of the halakha.  

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