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The Gift of Rest: Rediscovering the Beauty of the Sabbath Hardcover – August 16, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


“What a wonderful book! Reading it helped me to recapture the wonder and excitement I experienced when I first became a Sabbath observer some thirty years ago. Senator Joe Lieberman and David Klinghoffer provide insights that can enrich anyone's life, not just weekly but daily.” (Michael Medved, nationally syndicated talk radio host, author of The 10 Big Lies About America)

“What a wonderful service Joe Lieberman has rendered his frazzled fellow Americans by reminding them of God’s gift of the Sabbath. The Gift of Rest has certainly convicted this too-busy Baptist to mend his ways and once again embrace a weekly ‘day of rest.’” (Richard Land, President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission)

“Joe Lieberman’s modest memoir of a notable political career, lived wholly within the frame of the eternal Jewish Sabbath, is unique in its zestful picture of how he does it in this day and age.” (Herman Wouk, bestselling, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Caine Mutiny)

The Gift of Rest is a charming, beautifully written inspirational gem, as well as a fascinating insider’s look at how spirituality and faith intersect at the highest echelons of political power.” (Jonathan Kellerman, bestselling novelist)

“This charming, personal, and informative book by the popular Senator Joe Lieberman ‘is my love song to the Shabbat,’ the Jewish Sabbath, and what it can mean for non-Jews as well. This discovery and rediscovery of the Shabbat offers an intimate glimpse into the mind and heart of a decent and thoughtful person, written in non-technical prose, and which cannot fail to inspire a sensitive reader. Read it and cherish it. It will add a new dimension to your life.” (Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm, Chancellor of Yeshiva University, Rosh Hayeshiva (Head) of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary)

“Senator Lieberman’s The Gift of Rest is itself a gift of faith. In these few pages, Senator Lieberman reminds us that the God-given day of rest—whether we call it Sabbath or Sunday—should be honored by all believers. As Pope John Paul II taught: we cannot work with God all week, if we do not rest with God on His Sabbath! Senator Lieberman’s reflections help each of us to remember just how to rest in God’s presence on His day.” (Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York)

“Joseph Lieberman does not just acknowledge the Sabbath as a break from the working week. As an observant Jew he relishes and bathes in the spirit of it. While most other faiths do not embrace the formal rituals of Judaism, there is much here that we can admire and that will remind Christians of what we have lost as respect and love for the Sabbath has diminished. This is a book about faith that both informs and transforms the reader.” (Cecil O. Samuelson, President, Brigham Young University)

“What a beautiful book about a beautiful concept—a day of rest as a gift to humanity. Senator Lieberman’s account of the Sabbath brought back fond memories of my own past while inspiring me to try to return to the values embodied in the Sabbath.” (Alan Dershowitz, author of The Trials of Zion)

“This deeply sincere and highly readable composition is certain to help people rethink their concept of Sabbath and prod them to rest.” (Publishers Weekly)

“The author deftly weaves his experience as an observant Jew on Capitol Hill into the readable exposition. Appealing for true believers and politicos alike.” (Kirkus Reviews)

About the Author

Joe Lieberman is a United States senator representing Connecticut. As the 2000 Democratic vice presidential candidate, he became the first Jew in American history to run for national office on a major-party ticket. With close ties and a wide fan base among Evangelical Christians, a popular speaker at churches and conferences, Lieberman counts top Evangelical leaders including Pastor John Hagee, Joyce Meyer, and Rick Warren as his friends and supporters.

Senator Lieberman lives in Stamford and Washington with his wife Hadassah. Together they are the proud parents of four children—Matthew, Rebecca, Ethan and Hana—four granddaughters, Tennessee, Willie, Eden and Madeleine, and a grandson, Yitzhak.

David Klinghoffer is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute in Seattle. He is the author of five books including Why the Jews Rejected Jesus: The Turning Point in Western History (Doubleday, 2005), Shattered Tablets: Why We Ignore the Ten Commandments at Our Peril (Doubleday, 2007), and the spiritual memoir The Lord Will Gather Me In: My Journey to Jewish Orthodoxy (Free Press, 1999), a National Jewish Book Award finalist. A former senior editor of National Review magazine, he has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Commentary, The Weekly Standard, and many other publications.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books; First Edition edition (August 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451606176
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451606171
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #570,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By L. Young VINE VOICE on August 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Senator Joseph Lieberman takes us along with him as he experiences Saturday, the Jewish day of rest. Despite his grueling schedule he takes 25 hours out of every week to celebrate Shabbat with his family, friends and synagogue congregation. The Senator explains every step of the Sabbath - food preparation, prayers, teachings etc., and gives instructions to both Jews and Christians on how to make 'Simple Beginnings' in bringing this essential day of rest into our lives. Of particular interest were many anecdotes from his political life on how he balances the demands of his work with that of shunning cars, computers, television and the internet on the Sabbath. Senators Kerry, Graham, Dole and McCain, Vice President Al Gore and Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush figure in these interesting anecdotes.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By John W. Pearson VINE VOICE on September 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Full confession. I can preach--with the best of them--about the importance of balance in life. (Some are now calling it "harmony.") I'm a recovering workaholic and I share my most embarrassing, idiotic three-week workaholic marathon in the Team Bucket chapter of my book on the Management Buckets. In my workshops, I ask participants to put their hands on their hearts and pledge allegiance to the core competency of work/life balance.

Gulp. Then...I pick up and read U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman's new book about rediscovering the beauty of the Sabbath. I'm pretty sure I don't mention the Sabbath when talking or writing about work/life balance. Double gulp.

How about you? Sen. Lieberman says he has embraced the fourth commandment. "Most of the time," he writes, "it feels less like a commandment and more like a gift from God."

He adds, "For me, Sabbath observance is a gift because it is one of the deepest, purest pleasures in my life. It is a day of peace, rest and sensual pleasure." (Never heard my Baptist parents, preachers or friends ever use those words about the Sunday rules we railed against.)

Well...this is a tough sell--convincing you to read this book. But I'll try. Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan once said, "I can do a year's worth of work in eleven months but not in twelve." Ditto, perhaps, the six-day week?

Lieberman's plain-spoken, transparent--and phenomenally interesting book--hooked me in the first paragraph:

"It's Friday night, raining one of those torrential downpours that we get in Washington, D.C., and I am walking from the Capitol to my home in Georgetown, getting absolutely soaked.
Read more ›
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By L. Dunkelman on September 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I picked up this book my concern would be that politics would find its way into the text, especially since Senator Lieberman has been in politics since he was in twenties. I was pleased to discover that there is very little politics in the book. For non-Jewish readers, the Senator has painted a wonderfully detailed portrait of the Sabbath and he offers insights into the different aspects of the holiday. For Jewish readers, the Senator lays out a framework that describes the struggle with the demands of public office and the religious command of keeping the Sabbath. The Senator has found a path that enables him to do both and even if some of us may not be lucky enough to own two homes and two temple memberships, he has drawn out a path to keep the Sabbath in almost any circumstance.

Intertwined in the discussion, the Senator gives us a brief, but meaningful, autobiography of his life and we are introduced to his grandparents, his parents, his children and, of course, his second wife, Hadassah.

All in all, the book keeps its promise of the title. The Sabbath is truly a gift.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By hy on September 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Gift of Rest was an inspirational and moving book on how one can

work and take a rest from the daily grind by setting aside time for

contemplation and time with family and friends on a regular basis.

A day of rest will yield one a better, fuller and more healthful life
and for that I thought the book did fulfill its goal.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Emma Stanford on September 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book for anyone interested in learning more about how observant Jews spend their Sabbath. It's also ideal for Jews, like me, who need a bit of a reminder about all the reasons we do so many of the ritual acts on the Sabbath.
Written in an easy, uplifting and conversational tone, this book was a quick and interesting read. I loved all the personal anecdotes Lieberman included, as they really helped illustrate why the Sabbath is so important to him.
Mostly, though, I appreciated Lieberman's philosophy about the Sabbath, its place in his life, and the manner in which he observes (or reasons he sometimes needs to violate the Sabbath for the good of his community).
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Judah Levi VINE VOICE on August 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Senator Lieberman has written an outstanding book which offers a true day of rest and reflection for all Americans. Our lives have become so electronically controlled by text messages, smart phones, emails, facebook, etc. that we forget to turn it all off for a while and truly enjoy the day in all of its fullness.

The Jewish Shabbat is from sundown Friday until Saturday night, the Christian Sabbath is generally on Sunday. It is supposed to be a time of reflection about who we are, our relationship with our creator, and a reconnection with our families and loved ones. Lieberman is right that we have lost this precious day of the week, and by doing so, a lost of little of ourselves in the process.

Learn how both Jews and Christians may benefit from recapturing the beauty of the day of Sabbath or Shabbat. There is more to life than watching electronic screens.
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